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Letters to the Editor: LED streetlamps don’t have to make us miserable

LED light bulbs in a variety of color temperature are displayed in a Home Depot store.
LED light bulbs in a variety of color temperatures are displayed at a store in New Hampshire.
(Charles Krupa / Associated Press)
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To the editor: For decades, millions of people in the greater Los Angeles area grew to like the orange light from the sodium streetlamps. Astronomers fitted their telescopes with sodium eyepiece filters and continued to view the night sky. We, along with animals, never suffered from the blue-light sleeplessness associated with the newly installed blue-white LED streetlamp fixtures. (“How an effort to reduce fossil fuel use led to another environmental problem: light pollution,” Sept. 20)

Modern engineering allows LEDs to be manufactured in any color imaginable. So, my pick for cities looking to reduce their carbon footprint and improve energy efficiency would be an LED streetlight that mimics the classic sodium light spectrum.

A possible side benefit is film makers will once again return to the greater Los Angeles area, to capture the coveted “sodium L.A. look” in their night shots.

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So, city planners, don’t just pick whatever LED streetlamps the vendors are pushing; you need to specify the acceptable color spectrum.

James Howard, Cypress

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To the editor: I purchased “dark sky” lighting for my porch and walkway and used to enjoy sitting out to observe the night sky, or what was left of it with light pollution.

That’s over. When the streetlights across from our house were changed to LED, our yard at night turned into a semblance of a well-lit prison yard. We also needed to install blackout shades to sleep without thinking there was a full moon every night.

That’s just wrong. Come on, Los Angeles, change those streetlamps out to mellow yellow.

Joanne Taylor, Northridge

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To the editor: Thank you very much for your fine reporting about this all-to-little recognized problem and some solutions. You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone — and maybe not even then.

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Camping three summers ago at Cedar Breaks in Utah, I set my watch alarm for 1 a.m., got out of the tent and lounged on a chair with binoculars. What an extraordinary experience.

I’d never seen such a dark sky. Well, maybe once before — 50 years ago with the UCLA astronomy club, atop Mt. Pinos near Tejon Ranch, where it was so dark you could barely see fingers in front of your face.

Bob Wieting, Simi Valley

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