September 4th - I forgot my camera today, so instead I grabbed it and my little tripod when I had to run a late evening errand. It was quite still in Brownhills this evening, and there were few people around.
I am fascinated by the new white LED streetlights the council are installing in some places. Unlike the ones in Birmingham, these seem much brighter and clearer than the sodium ones they replace, and the cold white light the spread is somewhat otherworldly, particularly on street corners where old and new technologies overlap.
At the Pier Street bridge, I was fascinated by the lights shining off the surface of the canal, something I’d forgotten in the light days of a summer now passed.
Now autumn is upon us, I must sharpen up my night photography techniques.
April 27th - I was working throughout the day, and only got out late evening. It was threatening rain, and dusk was bearing down. I then realised I’d forgotten the camera, so had to use my phone. It didn’t really like the light, I think.
Nice to see that in the last week my favourite tree - the lone horse chestnut near Home Farm, Sandhills, has burst into leaf; I read the seasons by that tree, and now I know safe passage to summer is guaranteed. The canal all the way round to Newtown (and probably well beyond) is lush, and green, and beautiful. How I love this season.
Cruising up Short Street, I spotted the sky, and shot home before I got soaked. Interesting to note, though, that the street lights here have been changed for new LED ones; they’re very good, and are creeping onto many streets in Brownhills. Wonder what the rollout plan is?
So much nicer than the old orange ones.
December 11th - Taking a short cut through the Butts (no sniggering at the back), I noticed that Eastbourne Street has had it’s street lighting changed to LED technology. These lights are cool white rather than the customary yellow, and run much more efficiently and at lower power than sodium discharge types. Birmingham has being undertaking a rolling program of installing this type of lighting for a year or two now.
They’re a shock at first, but I prefer them. Although they look dimmer, their illumination is actually great, and I find they don’t cause the glare that the older types do.
The eerie effect on the urban scene is also rather wonderful.
January 7th - Talking of technology I’ve been interested to note of late that Birmingham Council - or rather, contractors working for them - are replacing street lighting on side routes with modern, low energy LED lights. I’ve been using LED lights on my bike for four or five years now, and they’ve improved massively. The lights being installed are an unexpected design, and seem to work really well. They give off a harsh, but clear white light. Interestingly tonight, when I left at 4:30, they were only just coming on, so the days are already lengthening considerably.
November 17th - Winter, cycling in darkness. I really can’t stress this enough, but lights, folks, lights. Lights are about being seen - creating a moving point of highlight in a dark world. In an urban environment, that’s all you need: to this end cheap LED blinkies and such are perfectly adequate. In rural environments, and for moving at speed off road in the dark, good forward illumination is essential. The better the light, the sooner you see hazards, the faster you can potentially go. I use an LED light by Hope, of Barnoldswick in the UK; it’s their flagship R4 model, and is very bright indeed. This is a non-assisted photo and shows the light spread on a medium setting. I have a very bright rear light from the same company. I love Hope’s stuff. They keep me safe at night.