City Streetlight Conversion Project
"Dark Skies” means better light, not less.
Effective lighting provides visibility where it’s needed but not where it's not. That leads to less light pollution in the sky and better targeted light where it's needed on the ground. In upgrading City streetlights to LEDs we will reduce skyglow, light our evening travels, and save energy and money with efficient fixtures.
The City of Moab adopted new lighting standards in 2019 and updated it in 2023. Now, Moab is working toward meeting these standards through retrofits for the decorative lights on Main Street and Rocky Mountain operated streetlights throughout town.
With updated code and retrofits underway, Moab will be ready to become a certified International Dark Sky Community.
Decorative Streetlight Invitation for Feedback
Lights from 200S to 300S on Main St.
Main Street has unique city-managed fixtures with a lens that drops below the bell-shaped shields (see old-style fixture below). These are not compliant with the city's lighting code. To bring these lights into compliance, the City is demonstrating 2400K and 3000K- colored, LED dark sky retrofits to the lights (see retrofitted fixture on left).
Please email email@example.com with your thoughts, especially on:
The first streetlight demo took place in winter of 2022. See the map below for locations. We received feedback that the 3000K lights were too white and bright. Some people were concerned about light trespass.
Rocky Mountain Power has offered larger shields, and we have modified the plan for streets to match pedestrian traffic levels, which may assist with overly bright lights in neighborhoods. Other color options are not available. The streetlight conversion is anticipated in summer or fall 2024.
Moab East Side
- 300 South at the corner of 300 East
- 300 East near 300 South
- In front of the Bierschied building on 400 East
Moab West Side
- Main and 400 North
- Emma Blvd. near 400 North
- Swanny Park near 400 North
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do we need streetlights?
- Streetlights reduce the risk of accidents or injuries to pedestrians, bicyclists and animals.
- Streetlights help drivers see things in the roadway – such as people, animals, debris, and uneven road surfaces – in time to better avoid accidents and stay safe.
- Streetlights improve driving safety in rain and snow by better illuminating hard-to-see roadways when weather conditions are challenging.
A streetlight is out, how can I get it fixed?
- The city owns decorative fixtures and a few others around town. If you think a city-owned light is out, contact Moab Public Works.
- Most of the "cobra head" streetlights in Moab are owned by our utility provider, Rocky Mountain Power. To report one of these lights, visit their reporting form.
I want my street light removed. Can I request that?
- Streetlights are required for safety, so removing them is rarely possible.
- The light pattern on dark sky compliant LED lights should be more controlled, reducing light trespass. However, the higher (bluer) color (Kelvin temperature) may feel harsher to some people. Many cobra head-style lights in town may be eligible for a shield to mitigate streetlight on your property.
- You may contact Moab Public Works to request an evaluation.
Why are we switching to LEDs for our streetlights?
- LED lights use less electricity (40-75% less!) and they also require less maintenance than the high-pressure sodium lights we have all over town. Less electricity + less maintenance cost = lower energy bills.
- LED lights are cleaner. They do not contain lead or mercury and do not emit toxic gases, which includes CO2. Without the CO2 emissions there are fewer insects attracted, so the overall impact is much cleaner.
- Light patterns are easily controlled with LED fixtures, so the hazy glow of the high-pressure sodium lamps will be replaced by a controlled, downward-facing pattern, reducing light trespass where it’s not wanted or needed and concentrating illumination where it’s most effective.
What does the streetlight conversion have to do with Dark Skies?
- The new LED luminaires have an “Uplight” rating of 0. This means there is zero skyward-directed light to pollute the night sky. This is the key component of Dark Skies – less light in the sky.
- The color temperature of the LEDs will be 3000K or less. This is a Dark Sky-approved color temperature, while still providing plenty of color-true illumination to keep people and vehicles safe on the ground.
What will be different about the LED streetlights?
- Colors will be easier to see under the LED lights than they are under the orange high-pressure sodium lamps. This might appear brighter to the eye.
- Some lights might be brighter than they were before due to recommended safety standards.
- The light pattern will be more controlled rather than a glow. This means less light trespass where it’s not wanted.
Will the LED light negatively affect my sleep?
- No, they shouldn't. The new luminaires will have a color temperature 3000K or less (as measured on the Kelvin scale). This is a Dark Skies recommended temperature for sufficient light with minimal anticipated adverse health effects.
- If the light from the fixtures is disturbing you, request a shield to mitigate the light coming off the streetlight onto your property. More opaque curtains or blinds and sleep masks also help some people.
What if I don’t like the new light, or it’s too bright?
- Rocky Mountain Power recommends waiting 60 days to decide if the light is too bright.
- Shields will be available if needed.
How did the City decide the light levels for the replacements?
- The City contracted with a lighting engineer to do the calculations for appropriate light levels based on the internationally recognized standards set by the Illumination Engineering Society (IES). These are standards which combine safety and use to determine appropriate lighting levels for a particular application.