Lights are driving her crazy

Kelly of Grand Haven asked, "Why are the lights on the smokestack for the Board of Light & Power white sometimes and red other times? Once I noticed that they change, it really drives me crazy!"
Mark Brooky
Mar 22, 2013



Oh, so that's what that Ellie Goulding song, "Lights," is all about!

Just kidding. The lights are there so planes don't hit it.

Jeff Chandler, director of production for the Board of Light & Power, said federal regulations require a stack below 500 feet to use the red-white configuration.

"Our stack is 360 (feet high)," he said. "This allowed us to go to this red-white configuration. I pursued this because it is more pleasing at night to use red — and I must admit, they are much more acceptable now."

Chandler said the stack lights are energy-efficient LEDs, and they use about a tenth of the juice that the high-intensity Zenon lights had used. Yes, even the power-generating municipal utility has to conserve electricity!

"They are also designed to shine straight out and up, so they are not a nuisance to the public on the ground," he added.

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