Low glare street lights likely

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Switched on . . . Responsible light advocate Kyra Xavia is thrilled the Dunedin City Council will be installing lower Kelvin lights in parts of the city, including Broad Bay. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

Shielded, low glare, amber LED lights may be installed in certain parts of Dunedin to protect the city’s wildlife.

The Dunedin City Council is considering installing lower Kelvin lights for Aramoana, Otago Peninsula, Waikouaiti, Waitati, Karitane and the Town Belt.

Responsible lighting advocate Kyra Xavia said it was an innovative and exciting development.

“The transport group have approved the lights as they recognise the importance of protecting ecology.”

Their light will be “warmly coloured, soft and evenly dispersed”, she said.

The light are energy-efficient, produce the same adaptive features as their new brighter, whiter counterparts, and can be dimmed and switched off when needed, she said.

Ms Xavia said although using artificial lights at night was convenient for humans, there is a responsibility to ensure it has minimal impact on the environment.

“Well-designed” amber 2200k lights emitted less blue and green wavelengths of light, reduced light pollution and generated less glare and contrast, she said.

Stargazers and aurora-chasers would be “over-overjoyed” with the new lights, she said.

Council asset and funding manager Merrin Dougherty said the lights would be installed in ecologically-sensitive areas because studies showed they caused less disruption to nocturnal life.

They would likely be installed at the end of the project in 2021, to give the technology more time to evolve.

NZ Transport Agency would fund 85% of the project, so the council was working with them to get their agreement on the lower Kelvin lights, she said.