Darkness Falls

I came out of the house this morning and found the streetlights were having a vote on whether or not I needed to put my lights on. You know, I always thought that streetlights were on some sort of central timer switch controlled by the council, plugged into some sort of national register of lighting up times. Cometh the hour, or cometh the dawn, and they’d all switch off in one go. But it seems not, at least around here. Instead, it looks like each individual light is on its own timer, or else is triggered by something else, like light levels. Certainly they don’t all go off at once. Instead, the first one went off as I was zipping up my jacket, the next as I put on my gloves. Two more went as I unlocked my bike and stowed my lock away. By the time the moment of truth came – to put on my front light or not – there was just one hawkish die-hard holding out in a corner of the square. Did I need my lights or not? In the end, as I wheeled my bike out of the front gate and got ready to get in the saddle, the last light gave up and went out. It was now, finally, officially daylight.

But not for long. Tomorrow there will be two holdouts or more still shining as I set off for the station. Next week, it will probably be all of them. The brief respite of daylight we gained in the morning by turning the clocks back will be gone. For the next few months I will leave in the dark, and come home in the dark.

Anyone else feeling SAD?

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4 responses to “Darkness Falls

  1. They’re probably each fitted with a light sensor, which are not that accurate or reliable, hence the varying on and off times.
    It can get a bit depressing over the next couple of months with the dark mornings and evenings, especially if the weather isn’t good.
    Have a good weekend.

  2. While I don’t know how they are controlled I know they don’t all come on/go off at the same time as that would cause a massive spike on the national grid which, apparently, they don’t like 🙂

  3. TMC – good point, hadn’t thought of that
    Flighty – I think you’re right about the sensor, because they were all actually off this (much brighter and sunnier) morning

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