Street Lighting in Holmfirth
Peter Jones from Underbank, Holmfirth, got in touch with us to discuss the issue of new street lighting in Holmfirth. He was concerned about the impact of LED Street lighting which was too bright.
My local authority, like so many others, is installing bright white street-lights in all areas without a thought for their effect on people or wildlife. That they were given planning permission is a truth stranger than fiction.
My heart goes out to the birds and the insects in the woods and hedgerows, to the cattle and sheep in the fields, to all living creatures with eyesight and especially human beings. Those who used to enjoy walking at night have my deepest sympathy. We have been robbed of our pleasant and beautifully lit night-time environment by the installation on our streets and country lanes of the cheapest, brightest, nastiest, most intrusive, most soul-destroying, unromantic and disruptive-to-wildlife public lighting ever imposed on us by planners and developers.
The Dark Skies Association state in their guide – The Promise and Challenge of LED lighting:
The improved energy efficiency of LEDs means that, coupled with modern luminaire design, these lights allow for reduced illuminance without compromising safety….
…Another LED benefit is better control over the colour content of the light. Manufacturers now produce LEDs with “warm” colour qualities at high energy efficiency, rendering old arguments about the perceived inefficiency of warm white LEDs moot. These same LED options also provide accurate colour rendition without emitting excessive amounts of potentially harmful blue light.
We’re looking at a big problem with an unusually simple solution. Some slight tweaks to the specification would make a world of difference.
CPRE has long campaigned against light pollution, and promoted light design that directs the light downwards, eliminating the upward and sideways spill of lighting that washes out the sky and masks the stars. But the sheer brightness, the whiteness and the increased contrast and dazzle associated with new street lighting schemes are an emerging problem, only becoming apparent as the schemes are installed. Darkness is essential for many creatures, and is an intrinsic characteristic of the countryside at night. We need to work together to understand what’s going wrong and to put forward solutions.