Want to know how E. Berlin and W. Berlin look different?

Though it may be difficult these days to tell West from East, this view of Berlin from above, makes it very clear. It all has to do with the kind of lighting that is used. Chris Hadfield, the Canadian commander of the ISS, made this photo: http://cdn1.spiegel.de/images/image-486098-galleryV9-pfdn.jpg In the former West there are still a lot of gas street lamps (42.500 ~ 2/3 of all remaining gas street lamps on the planet) as well as white light Mercury-vapor lamps. And in the former East mainly the yellow light of sodium-vapor lamps. Thanks goes to Abalada, a TA poster for this information. I thought it looked really cool. Berlin is fighting to keep their gas lights now too.

Posted by Andre L.
Tilburg, Netherlands
2374 posts

It is a neat image. I think gas lamps are incredible inefficient and they will be ultimately phased out, at least for mass use.

Posted by Kim
993 posts

That is cool. Thanks for sharing, Jo! I sent it to my brother and dad.

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
4488 posts

You can see a similar effect flying over Chicago on a clear night. The outline of the City of Chicago is distinct from the suburban towns by Chicago's uniform sodium-vapor street lights and the suburban mercury-vapor street lights.

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
2028 posts

Thanks Jo. That is one cool picture, you could frame it and hang it on the wall.

Posted by Anita
Long Beach, California, USA
1351 posts

Thanks so much for sharing this! My son is studying the cold war right now and will be very interested in this pic...:)

Posted by Tim
Wyckoff, NJ, USA
1095 posts

Let's not go overboard on this: There aren't a significant number of gas lights in West Berlin, not compared with widespread "historic" (ironica typeface ...) local areas in the US, like Montclair, NJ, Georgetown, DC, and many others. The fact is that sodium vapor lights are still much more energy efficient (lumens per watt) than metal halide or mercury vapor - they just look ugly. That's also why some cities in the US (in the 70s) ordered lime-green fire engines, because red equipment looked "black" under the street lighting. But we all forgot about the gasoline lines of the 70s, and decided fossil fuels were a constitutional right ...

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
5384 posts

Tim, did you read the entire post? Berlin has 2/3rds of the gas lights on the planet, to the tune of 42,500 of them. I would say that yes, this is a significant number. For them to show up on a night photo makes this apparent.

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
3929 posts

Yes, I remember..1973 and 1979, so? Great for Berlin! One more reason to go.

Posted by Andre L.
Tilburg, Netherlands
2374 posts

In any case, I think the future of street lighting is LED. LED is awesome, newer models allow for color adjustment or variable lighting as well.

Posted by Sarah
St. Louis, MO USA
1646 posts

Thanks for the info and image! I posted it on Facebook for my friends there.

Posted by Beatrix
2111 posts

Andre, you're right. As the article states the trend in Berlin is to replace existing gas lights with LEDs. It'll only take a couple of decades or so ...

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
3252 posts

Cool Image... and as a photographer I have to say it is all about the lighting.
Also, something I noticed about the streetlamps in Venice... they are so intriguing and beautiful as they are pink (so unique), but when the 'copycat' places like Vegas and even Disney (Epcot) they missed that key element. I always mean to call and tell them if they want to do a 'good fake Venice' how could they miss the pink lighting?