The streets of Brooklyn are about to look very different at night thanks to a campaign to replace all 250,000 streetlights in New York City with green-friendly LED alternatives. That means that the familiar orange-yellow wash from sodium-vapor lamps is changing into the blue-r, colder direct light from LEDs. And many Brooklynites aren’t happy with the new, harsher lighting situation, which has already come to places like Windsor Terrace. “It feels like I’m in a strip mall in outer space,” one resident told the New York Times. “I don’t want to come off as melodramatic, but it really is horrible.”
The new streetlamps give off light that’s much harsher and brighter than the old kinds, and it means that some people the Times interviewed have had to seriously up their curtain game in order to better block the intruding rays. (One person they interviewed blocked the light with heavy-duty trashbags.) The changeover began in October 2013, but the city had been testing the lights in parks and highways. This spring was the first installation of the lights in neighborhoods, which is why the newly-illuminated Brooklynites had cause to lodge complaints. Better get used to them though: The streetlights are coming.