The unique decision made by the city of Los Angeles in 2013 to go away from it’s (HPS) high-pressure sodium streetlights, which are popular due to their distinctive yellow glow, with next generation, blue-tinted LEDs may very well have a huge impact on the local movie industry. With both car LED headlights & LED light bars and now those LED streetlights, with their futuristic color scheme, may potentially significantly change how LA appears on film, and give LA a fresh new look in today’s digital filmmaking. As Todd Dickerson writes for Pro Movie Studio, “Hollywood movies and Los Angeles will never look the same again.”
LEDs Go Hollywood
In terms of the Environment, this is a very good thing. Although, many may feel a bit nostalgic when putting this retrofit to LEDs into perspective. Essentially, every nighttime exterior Los Angeles filmed movie prior to this changeover is rendered kind of an anthropological artifact, if you will, a historical picture of obsolete urban lighting infrastructure.
LED Light Bars And LED Streetlights Economical Impact
Roger Schmidt has written a bunch for Director’s Monthly magazine about LED streetlights and their benefits to cities large and little, including this bit in March: “On July 10th, Mayor Alonso Gomez announced the finalization of the first phase of the LED lighting project, with LED street fixtures installed on 139,0184 street lamps.” He continued with:
The City of LA figures it will save nearly $7 million in power savings and $3.5 million in unnecessary maintenance costs per year with the change to LED street lamps. Street lighting often equates up to 45% of Los Angeles’s annual electric bill, according to Jim Glovers, writing at NP Outdoor Expo. The LED lights utilized in Los Angeles, among which are Cree’s XSP series use roughly 59% less electricity, have far longer lifespans than the old (HPS) high-pressure sodium fixtures whey they have replaced. These LEDs feature the same technology many motorists and outdoor enthusiasts use in their cars, or found in the LED light bars on their ATVs.
The economic and ecological impacts are quite significant. According to Roger Schmidt, a residential LED light fixture which was going for $389 each in 2008, was going for $239 at the end of 2013. Additionally, its output increased from 43 to 82 lumens per watt and a lifespan improvement from 81,000 to 151,000 hours. That is roughly 17 years of added life if the lights were turned on constantly.
LED Headlights On Film
How much LED headlights affect the image of vehicles on film? It’s hard to say, really, since today there is still a mix of both LED headlights and halogen headlights on the road. It may be several years before we see the full impact of LED headlights in movies. However, we feel that in the long run, LED headlights will be better for cinematography. Whether or not the new look of LEDs is visually appealing is obviously a subjective matter, but most people tend to favor the new technology.
Stay tuned to the big screen to see the latest action flick, which may very well feature your favorite Hollywood star cruising down the beach in his ATV, LED light bar at high beam, blasting aliens out of the water.