New LED technology is slowly replacing conventional streetlights. They have a longer lifespan and are efficient in energy usage. These so-called ‘efficient’ and ‘durable’ lights shine in a new range of colours. The government sees this new spectrum as the way forward. The choice for these new streetlight solutions is based on political and economical viewpoints. This immediately influences the colour we see around us at night.
Because of these ‘efficient’ and ‘durable’ labels, the new colours seem free from debate, but they render the night in a new way. This changes our perception of public spaces and our relationship to them. These spaces feel emotionally different.
The night used to be warm-coloured. The conventional low-pressure sodium lights bathe the towns and cities in a palette of orange that was unique to the evening. A monochromatic light that shows only shades of orange colours. An imperfect light, but a reassuringly human one.