Lights Out Los Angeles

We like neon. We’d like to see all those bright lights turned back on for good Downtown. Hollywood. All over Los Angeles. We like seeing searchlights marking their territory in random pockets of the city. It reminds us that something important is taking place somewhere. It reminds us where we live. Boomtown.

But, we want you to turn them off. All of them. For one night, one hour, we want L.A. to fade to black. It’s Lights Out Los Angeles.

On October 20 from 8-9 p.m., citizens throughout Los Angeles will join in by installing one compact fluorescent light bulb in their homes or offices and turning off all non-essential lighting.

Why? According to, turning lights out in Los Angeles for even one hour could save as much as 15 percent of the energy consumed on an average Saturday night.

Buy one compact fluorescent light bulb. Turn the lights off for one hour. Cake. Think of all the things or people you could do in the dark for one hour. And you’ll be saving the planet.

The mayor should jump on this like it’s Mirthala Salinas.

13 thoughts on “Lights Out Los Angeles”

  1. I hate to be the nay sayer on this but I will. I am really good at turning off lights we don’t need and using lowest watt bulb we can. Conservation by being a cheap SOB is the motivation. That’s why my powerbill is always way less than any of my neighbors.

    I hate those compact flourescents for a lot of reasons. I tried them for about a year and bailed on them. They are way expensive. Burn out way too fast. I know I thought I’d be smart and put them in my kitchen after we remodeled. After months of 6-8 weeks then replacing I went back to the regular bulbs. They last longer and cheaper. No economic sense in it.

    The landfill issue, those puppies have a lot more toxins than regular bulbs. I don’t know which is worse a dozen of those cf’s a year from my kitchen into the trash or on regular bulb every couple of years.

    The color of light on those things is awful and next to impossible to correct for. I think the only thing worse is halogen’s in terms of spectral pollution. This one is really important to me, gimme nice neutral light whenever possible, second best is one that’s easy to color correct.

    The cause is interesting. Simply conserving doesn’t force the powers that be to increase our capacity. The better solution needs to be resolving the waste issue and build more nukes so we can get ourselves off coal, oil and gas to generate our electricity.

  2. If you live in real LA like me, not ivory-tower-or- behind-guarded-gates LA like celebrities and politicians, you might want to make sure you’re locked and loaded on October 20 from 8-9pm. When this city goes dark, robbers and looters come out to play.

    When incandescent light bulbs are banned, which I am confident will eventually happen, I’m leaving the US. I’ll go down to Central America and smoke in public and drive around with kids in the back of my pickup and stuff.

    I just can’t wait to see what happens when all these hybrids start getting up to 80,000 miles.

    Anyone with half a brain should realize when anything becomes as trendy as environmentalism, you should be very, very skeptical. There is no way so many celebrity retards with sub-high school educations can be right.

  3. This is a total load of manure.

    The other day I saw a commercial that says installing one (or five – who can remember) compact flourescent bulb is like taking 100,000 cars off the road (or some other such crap statistic).

    I’ve been using only compact flourescents for more than 7 years and yet Al Gore’s still crying – Are there 3 million fewer “cars” on the road because of me? I doubt it. And besides I’m just one of many, many households using these crummy light bulbs.

    Take your junk science and feel goodery and if anyone really does this “lights out” bit I say shut up and enjoy a sky filled with stars – for an hour.

  4. Considering Los Angeles has been plagued with the occasional blackout or brownout, I don’t see how asking for people to consider energy conservation “junk science”. Its reality.

    But I think the reasons for going lights out for even an hour go beyond enviornmental reasons… one, as Ruth, is merely to enjoy the stars for a little bit… even with the light pollution there’s many to see.

    The other reason is to remind us, on a small scale, of what we’ll have to deal with the next time a power outage strikes, either by earthquake, brownout, or whatever.

  5. I replaced 14 bulbs in my house this past summer, getting the same light from around 200 watts that I previously was getting from around 750. I found soft-white bulbs at Home Depot, about $2 each.

  6. Frazgo, I’m with you 100% on the compact fluorescents – ugly light, toxic waste-disposal problems (it’s actually illegal to throw them in the trash – we don’t need more mercury in the groundwater), economically useless lifespans under many common conditions, not dimmable, and the ballasts emit stray RF radiation.

    Nasty things.

    But I’m curious about your remarks concerning halogen and “spectral pollution.”

    Halogen bulbs have a higher color temperature than conventional bulbs (3200 K. vs. 2850 K) – they have to burn hotter for the halogen cycle to work – but they’re still a full spectrum black-body-like source. Human vision adapts fairly easily to color-temperature shifts (and daylight, remember, is a LOT higher color temp than either conventional or halogen bulbs).

    Mind you, I don’t much like ’em, myself – I prefer the warmer look of tungsten or flame sources (what can I say? I was a lighting designer in another life), but they’re not the sort of color-distorting perceptual hazard that fluorescents, discharge lamps like mercury or sodium vapor, or even LEDs are.

    I do wish people would put a bit more effort into keeping the night sky dark, though. One of the most remarkable moments of the Northridge quake was looking up with all the power out and seeing all the stars. There’s just an awful lot of light that’s being wasted lighting up the night sky.

  7. LA Mapnerd…halogens can be full color spectrum, but you need to buy them and they cost a lot more than the standard halogens you get at home depot. You are correct, halogens have a higher color temperature than traditional regular bulbs, daylight is 6500K. Am with you the warmer soft white tones are just fine in the house for mood lighting.

    My lab work and printing I need as color accurate as I can get. Standard halogen are so totally devoid of green they are tough to balance when you use a simple source like silver media or early digitals. Am picky on the color of light when it comes to my work.

    And DM…our rolling brownouts of several years ago were due to a lot of factors, mostly power generation not keeping with demand. How we manage power was different back then. Also, who can forget the whole Enron fiasco that played a huge factor in the rolling brown outs to make a buck on the spot market a few years back.

    We need to conserve, but we need to increase our power generating capacity especially if the foothill communities are going to cram in a half million people into the SGV Foothills in the next couple of decades.

    Like I said before, we need to move to clean energy sources quickly and end our reliance on coal, gas and oil to make the juice.

  8. I’m not saying there’s no value to using less power. That’s an obvious fact.

    But the rest of it is just bullshit speculation, polishing an imaginary Good Guy Badge while John Travolta flies his PERSONAL 727 to tell me about the evils of global warming.

  9. Isn’t electricity one of those commodities that can’t be saved? Turning off the lights might save you money and help the stars look mighty pretty, but it’s already generated and done with. It’s like growing too many tomatoes, doesn’t matter if you conserve on the eating side, they’re all ready grown. Not knocking the idea, just can’t figure out the logic.

  10. What a joke! This is like those “don’t buy any gas for one day” things — the math just doesn’t work. And if I were criminally inclined, I’d be planning now.

    This won’t save energy. I’ll just wait an hour to do my laundry and use the same amount. And the grid ain’t gonna be happy when everyone powers back on at the same time.

Comments are closed.