Thursday, November 05, 2009


A number of cash-strapped Indiana cities either already have or will be shutting off every other streetlight to save money. There's some talk of "going dark" altogether!

A city full of streetlights is a costly proposition but just one streetlight-type light, not so much.

Here's something you might not know: most electric utilities are still in the "light" part of the Power & Light business. They will lease you a streetlight; it gets hung on their pole (cheapest if there's already one there) and they maintain it. There's a flat monthly fee and you have to sign up for a minimum period of time, a year or two.

It's cheap. At my old house, I was paying $6.75 a month; at Roseholme, I have a 175 Watt job, which the latest bill shows as $6.87, plus tax. It's one of the high-efficiency types, with a lot of light output for the power it uses.

So, if your part of the block goes dark and you'd as soon it didn't, see what it would cost to have a light put in.

This is a good example of the principle of beneficence: you get what you want, neighbors on your block get the benefit of an additional light, but you're not out anything extra to provide it to them.

Why expect Big Brother to do it for you?


Anonymous said...

Thats too much like right.

Anonymous said...

Only in the last year or so can I even SEE a streetlight from my house.
Told my wife then it was time to move - interferes with the view of the stars. No, not an astronomer, just enjoy seeing the vastness.

Don said...

I'd be happy to pay to have the one around the corner from my house shut off; it's ruining my otherwise perfect view of the night skies.

Roberta X said...

D.W., Farmist, you don't want the Power & Light Co., you need to call the Power & Dark Co.!

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

We didn't even have streetlights in the neighborhood until, hmm, maybe 30 years ago. (I suspect this is because the developer went bankrupt before he actually finished the development 50 years ago.)

And the ones we have are located at intersections (one each). There are none in the middle of the block.

It would get pretty dark down in here except that the residents generally have installed outdoor lights that are either left on all night or are motion-detection types.

And I strongly suspect that I'm not the only armed resident, but our numbers are dwindling as the 'hood becomes yuppified.

Oh well. When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

Anonymous said...

Further east (NJ and MA in particular), states take the trouble to install street lights along interstates, then leave them off to save money.

Stranger said...

Yep, I hate it when weather allows one my rare opportunities to haul the Dobsonian out and look at Creation first hand. It's even worse when light pollution ruins an outing.

But there ARE street lights that do not create significant pollution. The brighter to see by, the darker to view by.


loki said...

"...the Power & Dark Co."

Dark Suckers

Rob K said...

Shouldn't that be the "Weakness & Dark Co."? :)