New LED street lights get mixed reviews

New LED street lights get mixed reviews

SPOKANE, Wash. - It's so bright, you can almost wear your sunglasses at night! That's because new LED streetlights are replacing the old ones.

But not everyone is happy about the brightly lit arterials and neighborhoods. Some say the new lights are intrusive and too bright.

As old lights burn out, Avista is replacing them with more energy efficient LED bulbs.

Some residents in the Rockwood and Perry District neighborhoods tell KXLY they don't mind the new lights because their streets were very dark before. One man said he feels safer now walking his dog.

But others think they are invasive. Perry District resident Steve Selser complained to the City of Spokane on Wednesday because he thinks the new light feels like an industrial flood light coming into his home.

"It was like there was a spot light on my house, it was unlike anything I'd seen before," Selser said about the new streetlight, "and I noticed, 'oh hey, they put new street lights in, it's a new LED lamp,' and whatever that's cool. However, that's really, really bright. This morning, I contacted the City and emailed them that it was too bright."

Selser said the City promptly forwarded his complaint onto Avista, who will come check out the street light. Selser said he thinks the light could be dimmed or have a hood attached to it and it would still be effective.

Avista has launched a five year project to replace nearly 30,000 streetlights with energy efficient LEDs.

The company says these lights will use about 50 percent less energy than the traditional High Pressure Sodium lights, and are expected to last 2 to 3 times longer than the traditional lights.

Avista plans to upgrade 3,000 streetlights in Washington by the end of 2015, and launch the program in Idaho in 2016.

Avista told KXLY on Wednesday that is has received more positive feedback on the lights than complaints.