City Streetlight Conversion Project
The City of Moab adopted new lighting standards in 2019 aimed at protecting and preserving our night skies. They conform to international standards set by the International Dark Sky Association, and Moab is well on the way to becoming a certified International Dark Sky Community.
Less light in the sky and less blue light on the ground are two of the main tenets of dark sky compliant lighting. In upgrading our City streetlights to LED luminaires we will eliminate skyglow, continue to safely light our evening travels, and save energy with more efficient fixtures. The proposed streetlight conversion plan conforms to international standards for sufficient lighting for safe use of roads and sidewalks.
Moab City Streetlight Conversion FAQ
The City of Moab passed the Dark Skies ordinance in 2019, which is a key component of our community commitment to better, more efficient lighting. The most important aspect of effective lighting is light where it’s needed, and none where it’s not. “Dark Skies” does not mean less light, it means better light.
Why do we need streetlights?
Streetlights reduce the risk of accidents or injuries to pedestrians, bicyclists and animals.
Streetlights help drivers see things in the roadway – such as people, animals, debris, and uneven road surfaces – in time to better avoid accidents and stay safe.
Streetlights improve driving safety in rain and snow by better illuminating hard-to-see roadways when weather conditions are challenging.
Why are we switching to LEDs for our streetlights?
LED lights use less electricity (40-75% less!) and they also require less maintenance than the high-pressure sodium lights we have all over town. Less electricity + less maintenance cost = lower energy bills.
LED lights are cleaner. They do not contain lead or mercury and do not emit toxic gases, which includes CO2. Without the CO2 emissions there are fewer insects attracted, so the overall impact is much cleaner.
Light patterns are easily controlled with LED fixtures, so the hazy glow of the high-pressure sodium lamps will be replaced by a controlled, downward-facing pattern, reducing light trespass where it’s not wanted or needed and concentrating illumination where it’s most effective.
What does the streetlight conversion have to do with Dark Skies?
Reduce Sky Glow
The new LED luminaires have an “Uplight” rating of 0. This means there is zero skyward-directed light to pollute the night sky. This is the key component of Dark Skies – less light in the sky.
The color temperature of the LEDs will be 3000K. This is a Dark Sky-approved color temperature, while still providing plenty of color-true illumination to keep people and vehicles safe on the ground.
What will be different about the LED streetlights?
Colors will be easier to see under the LED lights than they are under the orange high-pressure sodium lamps. This might appear brighter to the eye, but it will likely just be different.
Some lights might be brighter than they were before due to meeting recommended safety standards, but many will emit approximately the same number of lumens as the older streetlights.
The light pattern will be more controlled rather than a hazy glow. This means less light trespass where it’s not wanted.
Will the LED light negatively affect my sleep?
No. The new luminaires will have a color temperature of 3000K (as measured on the Kelvin scale). This is a Dark Skies recommended temperature for sufficient light and still not enough blue light to be detrimental to your health.
What if I don’t like the new light, or it’s too bright?
Rocky Mountain Power recommends waiting 60 days to decide if the light is too bright.
Shields are available if needed..
How did the City decide what light levels to replace the lights with?
The City contracted with a lighting engineer to do the calculations for appropriate light levels based on the internationally recognized standards set by the Illumination Engineering Society (IES). These are standards which combine safety and use to determine appropriate lighting levels for a particular application.
STREETLIGHT CONVERSION DEMONSTRATION SITES
Please take a moment to stop by the sample light locations and tell us what you think (look for the information boards at each light post):
Moab East Side
- 300 South at the corner of 300 East
- 300 East near 300 South
- In front of the Bierschied building
on 400 East
- Main and 400 North
- Emma Blvd. near 400 North
- Swanny Park near 400 North