Use of LED lights in Surigao City questioned

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 18 Sept) – A councilor here has questioned the city government’s use of light-emiting diode (LED) lamps for street lighting, saying these pose a risk among motorists because these are not as bright as the sodium bulbs being replaced.

Councilor Baltazar “Batang” Abian, an electrical engineer who chairs the council’s committee on general services, said using LEDs along the national highway and city streets is dangerous, although he pointed out that it is okay to use LEDs along the city boulevard because the lamp posts are close to each other.

Abian told MindaNews that he is contemplating to call an before the city council to shed light on the issue.

LED lights have gained popularity as street lights in many parts of the world because of their low power consumption and supposed longer life.

Felipe T. Sulapas, officer-in-charge of the City General Services Office, said they are replacing the old street lights because sodium bulbs are expensive to maintain.

He said the sodium bulbs are rated at 250 watts, which consume electricity almost six times as the LEDs that are only 42 watts.

Sulapas admitted though that the 42-watt LEDs is not as bright as the sodium bulbs but stressed the savings in terms of power cost, noting that the city government pays the electric bill.

He said that LED lights are better than no lights at all.

Tricycle driver Ben Contreras has noted that the the LED lights are not quite as bright as the sodium bulbs and thus affect the visibility.

SPO2 Ariel Cavite, traffic investigator at the city police office, said that poor lighting can contribute to vehicular accidents.

He pointed out that although the city government can save money by using LED lights, it doesn’t pay when accidents occur due to poor lighting, although he admitted they still have to consolidate data on accident records in areas that already use LED lights.