Defective LED Streetlight Bulbs Being Replaced in Over a Dozen U.S. Cities

By B.N. Frank

Numerous studies have already determined that exposure to blue light from LED light bulbs and other sources is biologically and environmentally harmful (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13).  Unfortunately, despite research and warnings (see 1, 2), over the years, American communities have been installing blue light-emitting LED bulbs in streetlights and continue to do so.  In Lincoln, NE and at least a dozen of other cities, these LED streetlight bulbs are also defective.

From the Lincoln Journal Star:

Lincoln will replace remaining purple-hue streetlights in coming months

Andrew Wegley

The purple glow that has illuminated some of Lincoln’s roadways for more than a year is on borrowed time.

At the direction of the city, private contractors will continue work over the next several months to replace more than 1,500 defective LED streetlights that malfunctioned after they were installed, emitting a purple hue on streets across the city, but particularly downtown and along arterial roadways.

Crews have been working to replace defective bulbs since at least May 2021, when contractors had replaced about 100 defective lights.

By December, that number had ballooned to 500, and city officials estimated they had 484 left to replace.

Now, Lincoln Transportation and Utilities Director Liz Elliott said, the city has more than 1,000 replacement bulbs on hand and crews ready to install them — all at no cost to the city.

“What has happened to our streetlights has happened to cities across the country, including many here in the Midwest,” Elliott said a Wednesday afternoon news conference where she appeared alongside Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird.

Schneider/Acuity sold Lincoln — and at least a dozen other cities — the LED lights that, after working normally for a while, started emitting the glow.

Elliott said contractors at RS Electric would intensify replacement efforts over the coming weeks and — weather permitting — should finish the project in the coming months. More than 95% of the city’s streetlights are already properly functioning.

The purple lights didn’t pose any inherent safety concerns, Elliott said, but they aren’t what Lincoln ordered, which is why the taxpayers won’t pay the bill for the ongoing replacement project.

“Some people love the purple lights, some people not so much,” she said. “We just want to make sure that we’re getting what our community wanted and paid for.”

The installation of the purple-hued lights was an unintended side effect of Lincoln’s push in 2019 to replace 27,000 street light fixtures with LED lighting, an effort that Gaylor Baird said saves the city $340,000 annually in energy costs and reduces the city’s carbon emissions “by over 9,000 tons every year.”

Of course, LED light bulbs being used for purposes other than streetlights are creating issues too.  The use of LED and HID bulbs in vehicles headlights is causing dangerous situations on U.S. roads.  The Department of Energy (DOE) funding LED lightbulbs to be installed in low-income homes will likely to create and/or escaberbate health problems for at least some Americans as well.  Unfortunately, earlier this year the Biden Administration took additional steps to end the production of safer bulbs.  Bummer, right?

Activist Post reports regularly about blue light, LED bulbs, light pollution, and unsafe technology.  For more information, visit our archives.

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