For the last several months, the City of Phoenix has been testing out new LED bulbs to potentially replace all of its streetlights. But some neighbors were worried the 4000 Kelvin bulbs too "blue."
"Our eyes are more sensitive to that and then there's (sic) the health impacts. There's also the public safety issues. People driving on the roads might be blinded by the harshness of it," said resident Nicole Rodriguez.
Since early October, neighborhood groups like Rodriguez’s have been petitioning, writing letters and pleading with the city to try a different warmer type of bulb at just 2700 Kelvin.
"They're not as invasive. You don't feel like your home is going to be lit up," she said.
On Wednesday night, the Phoenix City Council voted yes to the warmer, more "orange" lights.
"Phoenix listened and it took our work and effort as well but that's what it takes," said Rodriguez. "I can hope that people see that not just with this initiative, but with other initiatives, neighborhood voices really do matter."
During the next two years, the city will replace all 90,000 streetlights within city limits at a cost of $30 million. The city thinks these new lights will save it $22 million in energy and maintenance costs over the next 14 years.
"This is an exciting project that will not only yield significant savings in energy and cost but will also address a potential public safety issue, which is the harmful effects that bright lights have on individuals and the environment," said City Councilwoman Laura Pastor. "This is an example of how by working together, with the community and across departments, we can accomplish a large undertaking and be a leader on the cutting edge of technology for other cities to follow."
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