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Council considers transition to softer LED street lights

Hendersonville City Council members and city staff deliberated in the dark Thursday evening. There wasn’t a power outage, but rather a demonstration of two different sorts of LED street lights.


The lights use the same amount of power and are in most ways similar, but they diverge on the key difference of color. There was a 4000K light (daylight color) and a 3000K light (soft white color). The daylight bulb is industry standard, but the soft white bulb is Dark Sky compliant.

The demonstration was given following a presentation by Ralph Hammond Green on the Dark Sky Initiative a few months prior. The initiative seeks to reduce light pollution and in doing so improve the visibility of stars, reduce wasted energy and promote better sleep and health.

Council Member Jeff Miller said, “I think we need to address this long-term anyway.”

Miller has a 4,000k light on his street and he said, standing under it “you can get a tan.”

Leading the demonstration, Public Works Director Tom Wooten said, “We can ask them to take the 4,000k lights down and put the 3,000k lights up, but there is a cost to that. … To replace an LED with another LED is $40 per fixture.”

Duke Energy is in the process of replacing old city streetlights with the 4,000k LED bulbs and crews have changed out 580 of the approximately 1,000 streetlights in the city.