LED Street Lighting Could Be Doing More Harm Than Good

Street Lights
Image used for representation only

Pune has adopted the more power efficient LED ( Light Emitting Diode) based lighting across the city, both at an individual level as well as for street lighting.

LED lighting over a short span of time has proved its efficiency in power saving and lumens be it for home or commercial use. They are known to be adaptable to various different uses, making them highly popular.

In fact, The Pune Municipal Corporation has been replacing the old street lights with LED lights to save on power, maximise energy usage and reduce the need for regular maintenance.

Considerations that has led to this use of LED were apparently the 30-50% energy saving, 10-20% more life than the normal bulbs and virtually a maintenance-free lighting system. Leading manufacturers also back it with a free replacement/ maintenance over a few years.

Paradoxically, this recent study by Public Health (England) indicated that LED lights used for street lighting may cause more harm than good and needs to be examined and worked around.

A recent study by Public health England has warned that new street lights installed in the city could harm people’s eyesight and disrupt their sleep. The powerful new bulbs could interfere with people’s natural sleeping patterns, resulting in ‘permanent jet lag’. Public Health England further added that the uncomfortable effects of lights are specially marked in elderly and to the people having already an eyesight problem, and could end up with them needing the help of an eye surgeon.

They have also warned that the new LED lights on the streets could make objects jump while they’re moving smoothly.

The American Medical Association has provided more information on LED lights and their harmful health effects. They have indicated that while they are energy efficiency and have a lot of benefits, some LED lights could be harmful when used for street lighting.

The AMA explains that, even though the light appears white to the human eye, they are actually blue in colour, which can make nights tougher for travellers and can lead to discomfort in eyes.

An expert from American Medical Association has apparently said “High-intensity LED lighting designs emit a large amount of blue light that appears white to the naked eye and create a worse nighttime than glare in comparison to conventional lighting. To protect your eyes against blue light in everyday life, sunglasses designed to filter blue light might be an ideal solution.

Discomfort and disability from intense, blue-rich LED lighting can decrease visual acuity and safety, resulting in concerns and creating a potential road hazard.”

The association also recommends that street LED lights should be used with proper coverings and dimmed during peak hours.

It is obvious from these reports that, LED lighting needs careful examination and appropriate safety measures in place, to keep them from being potentially harmful for the travellers. Large scale adoption of this must be kept in abeyance till these important issues are taken into account.


Ankita Malekar

Ankita Malekar

A talkative tiny speck in the world of Media, with an itch for travel and paws.
Ankita Malekar