There's this story the ex-mayor of Berlin once told that there was a streetlamp directly in front of Rotes Rathaus (townhall) which was enlightened day and night and he couldn't figure out for a year or so who was responsible for that.

Due to its history the responsibilities in Berlin about simple things like that are separated in such arcane ways that no one really knows who is in charge for what. Even reforming that seems almost impossible and makes Berlin what it is: A likable but highly dysfunctional city state (I think I may say that as a German and ex-Berliner).

I live in Berlin and I like the old gas lamps. Fortunately, the LED retrofits are very good at imitating the gas lights - I initially didn't expect city officials to care and then do such a good job. I sometimes hold my ear to a lamp post to listen for the typical hissing noise. It's become rare that I hear it, and if I do, it's a surprise.
> Electric lights also have a grim impact on the local ecosystem. During a summer night, one light kills roughly 250 insects; by comparison, gas is harmless.

Wait, what? Do gas lamps somehow not affect insects?

London also has gas lamps, but they seem less under threat. has a nice video explaining the tech, explaining that, nowadays, they’re switched on and off mechanically, with a mechanical clock in each lamp post.

In the US, a few towns in New Jersey still exclusively use gas streetlamps. South Orange has over 1400 of them, which is somewhat ironic since Thomas Edison was based in neighboring West Orange. Glen Ridge has either 666 or 667, depending on the source, which makes me wonder if they installed an extra one during the 80s Satanic panic.
LED lights mess with my brain. The flashing is problematic.
I’m gradually developing a loathing for conservationists. Reading about these people blocking progress on the fossil-fuel phase-out is very grating. I’m sure they’re also opposed to nuclear power and other good things like happy children.