Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Light solutions

November 13, 2017

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To the editor:

Last week, the Lawrence Journal-World published a letter about my too-bright streetlight. The same day, I contacted our city commissioners, who were extremely helpful. Commissioner Amyx even asked Public Works to get in touch with Westar. Within a few days, Westar placed a shield around the light. It was still very bright, so when Westar called me to follow up on the issue, I was able to find out all the options and work with Mr. Avila to find a solution. Looking out tonight, the streetlight is shining down onto the street, is not casting a glow into the backyard trees or glaring off our windows. I encourage others with this issue to contact their commissioners and ask for help. Maybe we could create a procedure with specific contacts to help simplify the process and help people resolve problems with the new lights as they are installed.

In 2016, the American Medical Association concluded that LED light in the blue spectrum is harmful to human health. To avoid this blue-light disruption, the AMA recommends that no streetlight should be bluer than 3000K on the Kelvin Color Temperature scale. Our new bulbs fall into the 4000K range.

There are many cities, including Prairie Village, which have chosen lights under 3000K, and cite the AMA recommendation as their reason for doing so. The AMA is not a radical institution. We may find that Lawrence has to replace 100 percent of the new bulbs in the future, costing even more money than changing to the 3000K bulbs now.

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