What are the orange cylinders that have been appearing over the last year on the city’s streetlights? They’re placed on the light part of the “cobra-head” style lights and there seem to be a few different kinds. I’ve been puzzling over this for a while and can’t quite figure out who to ask besides Gothamist. Thanks, D.
New York is such a quirky city that the things we see on the street sometimes are unusual and mysterious (like the sticky stuff on manhole covers; odd looking, perhaps, but practical in that it helps stave off electrocution). The answer to this question, though, is pretty simple. The orange cylinders are new fire alarm indicators. If you see one, there's a fire alarm underneath.
Special thanks to Forgotten NY's Kevin Walsh for confirming the answer for us. There's a lot more on streetlamps here.