5 Popular Myths About LED Streetlights

International Dark-Sky Association - 5 Popular Myths About LED Streetlights
The rapid changes in LED lighting technology have given rise to an LED retrofit revolution. Across the globe, municipalities are opting to switch out their older street lighting to new, more energy-efficient LEDs. Unfortunately, these changes have also given rise to misinformation about LEDs, dark skies, safety and the environment.
Empire State Building Night Light Pollution Skyglow
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The fact is that LED lighting does not reduce light pollution. Not at all. Energy efficiency does not translate to smarter usage either. Their energy efficiency actually leads to the usage of more LED lighting on streets and in public areas, increasing light pollution to levels higher than previous times, using older 'lighting technology'.

LED street lighting also tends to increase glare and can make it more dangerous for drivers and pedestrians alike at night. On top of that, the wavelength of white LED lighting is in the blue wavelength, making skyglow worse. This is true even when the lighting is shielded. Two other myths about LED lighting is that it discourages crime and increases traffic safety by lighting the streets more thoroughly.

The final myth is that they're better for the environment. Sure, the can be if they're used in a limited manner and cities don't go overboard in their usage. Facts show that the lower the costs of lighting in public places, per "fixture", the more of said lighting is put up. Which negates the purpose of cost savings and environmental friendliness in the first place. Also, while not as toxic as CFLs, LEDs still contain heavy metals and that could become a future problem.

All in all, the overuse of LED lighting is quickly becoming an issue and its beginning to affect nature in a negative way. It is a form of 'visible/invisible' pollution that's out of mind, while not being out of sight.

Yes, the "default" blue spectrum of LED lighting is having a negative affect on wildlife, plant life, and even on humans. To have lighting be "better for the environment", light pollution has to be taken into consideration, becoming a concern, and more has to be done to address it.

Inform yourself and your community by read (and/or printing) the materials at http://darksky.org/resources/public-outreach-materials/

Additional Information:
http://spie.org/newsroom/1015-led-light-pollution
http://www.universetoday.com/107372/leds-light-pollution-solution-or-night-sky-nemesis/

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