AMA Warns About LED Street Lighting

LED Street Lighting pic
LED Street Lighting pic
LED Street Lighting

William Pino serves as president and CEO of Main Street Engineering, a Miami consulting firm of which he is also the founder. William Pino’s company has been involved in jmajor outdoor lighting projects, including a lighting upgrade at The City of Coral Springs, Florida.

LED lighting is now often used in municipal outdoor lighting applications but it is not always pleasant to the eyes, and lowering the “color temperature” can be a significant improvement. In June of 2016, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced an official policy statement concerning street lighting – that lights need to be both “cooler” and dimmer. Since municipalities are replacing traditional bulbs with LEDs, the AMA recommends that the color temperature, or measure of spectral light, not exceed 3000K.

Several US cities adopted lighting systems in the 4000-5000K range, with a higher quantity of blue in the light spectrum. Residents of Davis, California, for example, found the high-temperature lights so disagreeable, they demanded their replacement. High-temperature illumination causes two problems: Glare and discomfort. If the blue light concentration is so high that glare is excessive, this can result in constriction of the pupils or even damage to the retina.

The AMA also cited the ill effects of high-temperature light on human circadian rhythms. White LED lights are estimated to suppress melatonin (the chemical responsible for sleep) five times more efficiently than the high-pressure sodium lamps they replace, so people subjected to this light are increasingly suffering from sleep disorders.