The decision is in: 3,000 is better than 4,000.

The decision is in: 3,000 is better than 4,000.

Those numbers, of course, refer to the temperature rating of new streetlights in Columbus, for which the lower figure has been settled on as the wiser choice.

Following a pilot project conducted on a stretch of Northridge Road in Clintonville in which two sets of LED streetlights -- one at 3,000 Kelvin and the other at 4,000 Kelvin -- were tested, Columbus Division of Power officials have chosen the more yellow-gold illumination.

"After review, we found an overwhelming majority of respondents preferred the 3000K LED lights," said an emailed announcement late last month from the Division of Power Street Light Team. "With that, we will be adopting 3000 Kelvin for our LED standard throughout the entire city."

The pilot project drew 38 comments by the Nov. 23 cutoff, said James Gross, an assistant administrator with the Department of Public Utilities, with most favoring the lower rating.

"A couple preferred the 4K and a couple preferred no lights, and a couple of people just had some general commentary saying they'd like any type of lights in their neighborhood," Gross said last week.

Among those who made the trip to Northridge Road and offered comments for the pilot project was William Logan, coordinator of the Northland Code Task Force and the owner of WRL Lighting.

"I totally agree with it, given the two choices that were put forward," Logan said.

The 3,000 Kelvin LED temperature rating "simulates the older-style incandescent light," he said.

Logan said new streetlights in residential areas "will be both aesthetic and high-efficiency, and not look like a Kmart blue-light special."

The members of the Columbus Downtown Commission approved a resolution favoring the 3,000 Kelvin lighting.

"This floated to the surface because the city is planning to change from the old lighting style to the new LED thing," Chairman Stephen Wittmann said. "I think this offers an opportunity for a lot of improvement.

"It's a pretty big thing. It affects the entire city. The idea is to try to get it right."

Wittmann added he believes 3,000 Kelvin is right when compared with 4,000 Kelvin.

The latter is "harsh and it looks like a parking lot or some kind of heavy commercial use," he said. "The key to it is, just like in your home, you want to have the right kind of lighting. Our interest was to get the light that works well, does the job, but is also attractive."

Gross said some discussion is ongoing about potentially shifting all 50,000 streetlights in Columbus to 3,000 Kelvin, and firms that have undertaken such a project are being consulted.

"Right now, we're looking at what it would take, cost-wise and time-wise," he said.

LEDs cost far less to operate than existing streetlights, Logan said.

"There's unquestionably a savings that has a very short payback," he said.

kparks@thisweeknews.com

@KevinParksTW1