Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Stop and consider

August 29, 2017


To the editor:

I’m all about energy conservation, the switch to LED lighting and the cost savings for the city. However, the lack of specifics in the American Medical Association warnings against high-intensity, blue light-emitting LED street lighting does not seem to be sufficient justification to move blindly forward without further consideration.

A cursory internet search reveals plenty of different commercial, outdoor LED lighting options with less blue light. A similar search suggests that all light pollution, not just the blue-rich variety, is potentially detrimental to humans, wildlife and ecosystems. Add in KU professor Adrian Mellot’s concerns about road glare reducing pedestrian and bicycle safety, a pause and reconsideration seems a “no-brainer.” And, as a relative newcomer to Lawrence, I appreciate the ability to see the stars at night, something not possible in the well-lit neighborhoods of metropolitan Kansas City.

Perhaps the Lawrence officials should consider lower density, warmer colored LEDs and balance additional costs, if any, with strategic and fewer street light installations.

I’m with Professor Mellot. The city should do its due diligence before proceeding.


Bob Smith 6 months, 3 weeks ago

What? No LED industry shill has chimed in yet? Inconceivable!

Euan Clayton 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Not sure what you mean by industry shill. However, as a UK based lighting consultant, I would say that the AMA report, raises a number of valid issues, but is also sadly lacking in a number of areas. The fact that it was produced without the involvement of any professional lighting body (IESNA for example) seems a bit strange.

It is true, however, that many of the LED schemes which have been implemented across the globe, have been driven by a deep desire to pander to the number crunchers in the municipalities, without actually ensuring that the new installation provides the same qualities as were enjoyed previously. Over time, however, this is changing. In the UK we are starting to see a change form the use of blue rich 5700K LEDs towards 3000-4000K range, which will overcome many of the issues raised. However, one area the AMA failed to mention is that we are exposed on a nightly basis to higher levels of blue rich light from our TV sets, tablet and computer screens.

Bob Smith 6 months, 3 weeks ago

At least you own up to your connection to the lighting industry.

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