MANTECA, CA - New, energy-efficient streetlights have some fuming and others enthralled in the Central Valley city of Manteca.
"I like them. They just seem a lot brighter. I don't know, I just like them," laughed Manteca resident Netty Perez, as she surveyed a street filled with bright, new white street lights.
The new lights will save the city over $150,000 a year in energy costs by using less electricity and in rebates from Pacific Gas and Electric.
"We've heard complaints from people who say they're too bright. We've heard complaints from people who think they're not bright enough," Manteca Deputy Public Works Director Jim Stone said.
The city got a grant from the Federal Department of Energy to help defray the cost, meaning the city had to stick with federal efficiency guidelines and other mandates.
"One of the problems we've had in the past with street lights is that in order to light a street and sidewalk well enough we had to light them too," Stone said.
But some are complaining the lights are too focused and not bright enough.
"They're lights, but it's not the same. It doesn't provide the same lighting around; it doesn't have the same radiation I don't think," said homeowner John Perez, who worries about safety for his kids and security for his home. "I like to be able to see what's going on outside you know, if our dog barks.," he said.
Others like the new lights better.
"You know they seem to be a little brighter. I'm not sure if they're providing a lot more light, but they sure look brighter," said Steve Padilla, who likes the whiter light.
Police Sgt. Wayne Miller said you couldn't tell colors with the old yellow lights.
"Witnesses that witness crimes and reported them couldn't tell us what the color was. They might report them as green when it was actually yellow," Miller said.
But youngster Tayler Perez believes the lights do not cast the same wider glow as the old yellow lights.
"Before, we used to be able to see when we ride home from our grandmother's house. At night, we used to be able to see when the little ones were riding ahead," Perez said.
In the end, some agreed, it may all be in the eye of the beholder.
"Most people do like them. It's a whiter, more natural light," said Stone.