Thursday, December 16, 2010

New Lighting Code Would Regulate City Lamps

To regulate the city’s LED Streetlight Project, Pittsburgh Council is considering a document to create a lighting code as part of the larger City Code.

Mike Cherok of Powerhouse Lighting authored the lighting code, which aims to reduce light pollution and save money while maintaining equal quality of lighting throughout the city.

Cherok says under the plan, Pittsburgh would use longer-lasting, energy-efficient LED lights on city streets. He says the new lights would also produce better visibility than the city’s current high-pressure sodium bulbs.

Cherok notes the document would also require people who illuminate buildings to aim 80% of the light at the building itself. He says that measure will help reduce the amount of light pollution, or ambient light that’s reflected from the clouds back to the city.

Many of the wattage restrictions also included in the package would not apply to residential areas.

Councilman Bill Peduto hailed the legislation, but Council President Darlene Harris raised concerns that the code would be difficult to enforce because of its complexity. She says she’s not sure everyone would understand the restrictions imposed by the code.

Pittsburgh’s LED Streetlight Project was approved by Council this March. The project will mostly be funded by the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

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