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Chicago Will Lose Its Orange, Nighttime Glow Thanks To An Outdoor Lighting Revamp

By Kate Shepherd in News on Sep 22, 2015 8:19PM

The well-known orange glow that emanates from the Chicago skyline at night is set to disappear soon.

The orange glare is actually a form of light pollution, caused by the city's outdoor high-pressure sodium-vapor lamps, which the city plans to replace with more energy efficient-lighting. The Chicago Infrastructure Trust will replace the city's 348,500 outdoor lights with energy-efficient LED technology, according to a statement from City Hall. The Smart Lighting Project is aimed at making the city's lighting more environmentally-friendly and save money.

The LED lights would be significantly more efficient than the current sodium-vapor lights and would produce the same amount of light while using a fraction of the electricity, according to TimeOut Chicago. However, the new lights will produce a white light instead of the famous orange glow.

We might miss the orange, but it's still a positive step for Chicago, which has the most light pollution of any city in the world, according to a study by the University of Colorado.

"By improving lighting throughout the City of Chicago, we will continue to find more cost efficient ways to operate and provide longer lasting services for city residents," Mayor Emanuel said in a statement. "In addition, ensuring that our neighborhood streets and parks are appropriately lit creates better living environments for our residents."