Viewpoint - March 20, 2013
Letter: Worried about impact of LED streetlights
A few nights ago I went out at midnight and saw that new LED streetlights had been installed on our block on Pope Street. I was shocked to see how bright they were — with a sickly, electronic light — and immediately wondered about the health impact on sleep cycles of people, animals, and even plants.
A quick look online showed at least one study that shows that these lights are potentially very disruptive of human sleep cycles. I am going to do a thorough investigation, and plan on bringing this up first with the city's engineers and then later the City Council.
My feeling is that the health, environmental, and light pollution impacts of these new LED streetlights were probably inadequately studied, and that we should start thinking about mitigations (dimming them, shielding them so they don't light up front lawns and houses). I understand that LEDs save electricity and money, but at what ultimate cost?
Jordan S. Gruber, Pope Street, Menlo Park
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