Street Lamps

Street Lamps

When I was a teenager, I spent a lot of time just walking around town with my friends. We really didn’t have much to do in my small town, so we just walked and talked, and we did it a lot. Many times it was nine or ten before we came home, but this was never a big deal for my dad because he always knew where I was and who I was with. Our town was safe, and it was ok to be walking around after dark. The streets were always lit with street lamps, and the police were highly visible, and didn’t really have much else to do anyway.

Quite often during these long walks around town, we would notice that some of the street lamps would go off and on for no reason. Not knowing why this happens, we decided that it must be bad luck for street lamps to go off while you are walking under them. We knew realistically that that was silly, but we always had a lot of fun trying to run from underneath a lamp if it started to flicker as if it were about to turn off. Sometimes they can fade out, and other times they simply shut off immediately. Usually when one shuts off another nearby will flicker on to maintain light in the area.

I later found out that street lamps turn on and off in an effort to conserve electricity. If you see street lamps over an especially busy area of freeway near a city, you will find that they are always on. However, in other areas, they will turn on and off. This can be quite disconcerting when driving or walking, but it is done to save money. They never do it so that you are immersed in darkness but it can be disorientating if you are under one when it turns off.

Though street lamps are meant as a safety issue, they are often not taken care of as they should be. If you notice some of the street lamps on your street seem to be burnt out, you should call someone to report it. Cities and towns try to keep track of their street lamps to be sure they are always in working condition, but sometimes they can’t keep up. Street lamps are there for your protection; so don’t be afraid to speak up when they aren’t working correctly.

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