Due to ongoing campaigning for biologically/ecologically responsible street lighting, certain areas of Dunedin can install shielded, low glare, amber 2200 K LEDs, instead of the planned high-intensity white 3000 K LEDs.
Although thoughtfully installed amber lighting has been approved primarily to protect ecosystems, which will help preserve Dunedin’s reputation as NZ's wildlife capital and its appeal as a popular ecotourism destination, there are other advantages that make this lighting the right choice.
• It also supports the health, well-being and life quality of human residents.
• The light emitted is evenly distributed, soft on the eyes and safe for vision.
• Visual adjustment is aided for the detection of steps, obstacles, and objects in shadow, and safety, security and navigation are improved.
• Quality amber LEDs have a colour rendering index (CRI) of 80, which ensures the easy identification of colours. (Existing orange high-pressure sodium street lights (HPS) have a CRI of 25.)
• Their design also prevents light trespass (the unwanted intrusion of light into private property).
• Amber 2200 K LEDs emit light that's a similar orange colour to HPS street lights. This will provide a warm, gentle and welcoming ambience befitting Dunedin. (Ideally, the city’s heritage lighting will also involve well designed, amber LED lighting to complement our historic buildings, architecture and cultural identity.)
• Connected to the Central Management System (CMS), amber LEDs are dimmable and can also be turned off during curfew hours or off-peak times, further reducing power consumption.
• These energy efficient light sources are affordable, long lasting and low in maintenance.
• Although quality amber LEDs have been designed specifically to reduce light pollution, minimise the impact of light on biology and protect habitats on Earth - they also preserve the night sky.
If your community wants to ensure future generations also benefit from the decisions made now, protective lighting ordinances and best lighting practices can be established so your region continues to have safe, sustainable, ecologically and biologically responsible lighting. (Click here to learn more.)
Amber street lighting will help protect endangered native flora and fauna at Orokunui Ecosanctuary, the Albatross colony, as well as all harbour and aquatic life - so we’re working to help communities on the West Harbour, the Otago Peninsula, Caversham (home to the Velvet Worm), the Green Belt, and the small coastal towns north of Dunedin, including Waitati, Warrington, Seacliff, Karitane and Waikouaiti, all have amber 2200 K LED street lighting.
While "Amber Lit Communities" will demonstrate commitment to sustainability and lead the way regards fit for purpose street lighting - there’s another important reason this lighting is ideal.
Dunedin can become a “galactic gateway” to other astro tourism destinations in the South Island, as New Zealand moves towards becoming the world’s first Dark Sky Nation.
Furthermore, if these special places meet the criteria, recognition can be sought from the International Dark Skies Association (IDA). IDA status offers many social, cultural, and economic bonuses.
Just imagine what a constellation of “Dark Sky Communities” will offer, and also how valuable it is for Dunedin to have claim to a twinkling treasure trove of stars that provide infinite awe, wonder and woo
LED TRIAL WAS FOR THE TENDER PROCESS ONLY
A concerned resident of the Dunedin obtained public feedback submitted online to the Dunedin City Council, about the 3000 K LED "Trial" in South Dunedin, under the Official Information Act.
This was undertaken because Richard Saunders, Acting Group Manager Transport Dunedin City Council, was quoted in the Otago Daily Times on the 6th April, 2019, that the majority of feedback was supportive. This is what he said, "However, council transport group manager Richard Saunders said feedback from the existing South Dunedin trial had been "positive" and there was no need for another one."
This is puzzling because according to Chief Executive of the Dunedin City Council (DCC), the "Trial" was for the tender process. (So companies could try to secure the contract for the LED retrofit.)
This news was discovered at a public forum in April 2019, after Kyra Xavia from the Dunedin Dark Skies Group, requested the DCC rethink the LED retrofit, and an attending councillor asked Sue Bidrose what the public feedback had been.
Even more puzzling, is the fact that feedback submitted online by informed members of the public has been overwhelmingly negative. These comments are available in the document titled "Response for LGOIMA for feedback on LED Trial in South Dunedin" pdf in the DOWNLOADS section below.
(Many thanks to Pauline for obtaining this information.)
On 17th July, 2019 another article was published in the Otago Daily Times which again dismissed these concerns. Would the feedback from South Dunedin residents interviewed by the Otago Daily Times have been positive if they had been properly informed of the risks, drawbacks and hazards of the technology?
Also, where is the positive feedback mentioned by Richard Saunders?
While the Dark Sky Advisory Panel was dissolved a few years ago, the Dunedin Dark Skies Group has continued to campaign for shielded, low glare, amber 2200 K LED street lighting to protect the night sky.