Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Under bridge lighting....a comparative study.

Under bridge lighting along the bike path.

I'm not sure if you can tell....but this light is not currently working.  It hasn't been working in the 5 years I've been bicycle commuting. And just for reference there is exactly one light under this bridge.

Under bridge lighting on Mill St. (I-80 underpass).

I'm also not sure if you can tell....but this is a state of the art, high intensity multi-led light.  It definitely works because it's brand spanking new.  I'm guessing it puts out the lighting equivalent of a small star.

This bridge merits 10 of these lights (yes, only 4 are pictured here).

To complete this exhaustive study.  The old, broken lights are utilized in areas designated specifically for pedestrians and cyclists.  At the best these probably ran a 40 watt light bulb (450 lumen).  The new, functioning lights are utilized in areas designed for cars (and probably are the equivalent of a 100 watt light bulb (1600 lumen)) x 10 in this case.

The average bike light or flashlight produces ~30 lumen, compared to a car's headlights capable of producing between 1200 to 3000 lumen.

So, why do we put the best and brightest lights in locations designed for vehicles that have the capacity to produce tons of their own light, and leave old non-functioning lights in locations were people who have limited capacity for generating light are designated to walk or cycle?

The answer is complex and multifaceted (I'm sure of this).  However, the answer is not common sense!

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