U.S. Cities Revisiting Outdated LED Lighting after AMA Warning

The Washington Post reports that people across the U.S. are reporting sleepless nights caused by the blue light emitted from outdated LED lighting.

Similar to the light cast by televisions and computer screens, the American Medical Association issued a warning this past June that high-intensity streetlights – found across the United States – emit unseen blue light that is widely known to disturb sleeping patterns. The AMA also reports that the pesky blue light may cause a plethora of other serious health conditions and even impairs nighttime driving vision due to outdated LED lighting.

How did this Happen?

The U.S. government as an economical way to light city streets and highways quickly adopted first generation LED technology. LEDs are up to 50 percent more energy-efficient than yellow-orange high-pressure sodium lights typically used to light streets. LEDs can also last for 15 to 20 years, much longer than the old sodium lights.

LED light is measured by colour temperature, commonly expressed in “kelvin” or “K”. First generation LEDs had colour temperatures of a minimum 4000K, known to produce an invasive bright white light with a high level on unseen blue light.

When speaking about the AMA findings regarding colour temperature, VISO’s LED expert Brooks Munroe said:

“This is why colour temperature is so important. Higher colour temperature equates to colder and less attractive light output. Being closer to the blue spectrum of light is what is causing these issues.” 

What were the findings of the American Medical Associations report?

The AMA’s report finds these bright, harsh LEDs decrease our melatonin levels, which in turn reduces sleep time, sleep quality and impair our daytime functioning. It is reported that exposure to high-intensity light at night might also increase the risk of cancer, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Not only are these lights bad for humans, but also effect wildlife such as nocturnal animals, birds and insects.

What can I do to ensure I am using the right LED lighting?

When shopping for LED lighting for your home, workplace or commercial project, be sure to do your research. Ask a lot of questions. Shop for LED fixtures or bulbs with colour temperature ratings below 3,000K. Ask your lighting sales representative what colour the specific fixture/bulb casts. If it’s cold and blue, skip it. Look for fixtures/bulbs that emit warm amber hues. Steer clear of 1st generation, outdated LED lighting.

VISO’s LED commitment

VISO is committed to the long-term health of our customers. We only use top-of-the-line Xicato LEDs in our decorative light fixtures. Xicato LEDs cast a warm, even, inviting amber colour temperature with kelvin ratings 3,000K or lower.

For more information on our LED technology or to speak to one of our lighting experts, contact our dedicated sales team at 416.461.8476, by email at sales@visoinc.com or on our website here.

Streetlight Photo by haru___q.