[Darksky]antiLP amendment in Czechia did not pass Senate

Jan Hollan
Fri, 1 Feb 2002 12:01:38 +0100 (CET)

The Senate of the Czech Republic rejected yesterday including LP
prevention into the ``clean air act'' text. The senators were influenced
by a major lighting company (doing at least all public lighting in Prague)
and a couple of people from lighting industry, who declared that obeying
the demand for using FS luminaires further on for the existing
installation would mean an additional cost of one billion Czech crowns
just for Prague.

Prague has over one million inhabitants and some 130 000 street lights.
One billion CZK amounts to some 30 millions USD, so additional costs
should be some 230 USD per fixture.

Seems impossible, for a necessary gradual change of old fixtures for new
ones? Even new luminaires would not cost that much on average probably,
not to speak about price differences between FS and non-FS luminaires.

At first I've said that it is simply a clear nonsense. Additional costs
could be at most one million $. Then I got an information that Czech
``lighting experts'' decided, that FS technology needs moving the existing
poles closer together. This was the source of an ``astronomical height''
of estimated costs! However, typical spacing of poles in Prague and Czech
towns in general is 2 to 3.5 pole heights, sometimes low enough for 
a 60-degree cutoff!

There is surely no installation with old lamps on distant poles, which
meets some or all uniformity criteria at present and could not meet them
with new FS luminaires easily. We will demand at least one Prague example
of a street which is to be retrofitted in a couple of next years and
poses such a problem.

If they would not be able to give it (and show for how many streets such
absurd measures as moving poles would be really ``needed''), we hope to
persuade the House of Representatives to vote over the Senate verdict. The
war is not lost yet. 

Still, examples of retrofits from other cities (including costs, problems,
statements of DOTs and police) could help us (the ones we have already are
Czech-commented at http://svetlo.astro.cz/svet -- big thanks to those who
have sent them). 

Perhaps it's similar to the NYS problem, let's hope that gov. Pataki will
not believe the threats from old-fashioned industries and will sign the
bill, it would be an important example even for us and Europe. 

Jenik Hollan