Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bright Lights, Now 33% Whiter?

One morning last week, very early, I gazed out of the window of the regional jet I was flying to Chicago and took notice of all the lights. Street lights, headlights, parking lot lights, flood lights—all illuminating Central Pennsylvania in a dot pattern like a giant LiteBrite board. Looking closer, I realized the lights were two distinct colors: orange and white. Orange for old-school, incandescent bulbs and white for newer, LED bulbs. I scanned the area within my view and made the entirely unscientific declaration that about one-third of the fixtures were energy-saving ones. I found that encouraging.

Last week en route to Las Vegas, I didn’t take notice of white lights, but, then again, in Vegas, most lights are colorful. It’s hard to imagine the original Sin City worrying about their electric usage when that neon skyline is tied so closely to its image. Has anyone noticed how entrenched “white lights” are in cities you’ve visited?

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