Bright Lights Affect Health, Cities Make Changes
Cities across the U.S. are responding to a recommendation from the American Medical Association to reduce the use of powerful LED lighting. From Arizona to Florida and Connecticut, cities and towns are changing to street lights with lower color temperatures that produce less blue light.
Blue light emission from streetlights that burn at high color temperatures has been associated with a number of health problems, including eye damage and disrupted sleep patterns. According to the AMA, sleep disorders can increase the risk for obesity and mental health issues like depression over time. For people driving at night, bright lights can be distracting and may distort vision.
While research shows that light from televisions, mobile devices, laptops, etc. can disrupt sleep patterns, many experts agree that outside lighting is unlikely to cause problems. Safety is an important factor for cities and towns to consider—well-lit areas provide a sense of security at night. Possible solutions include motion-sensor lights for parking lots and powerful LED lighting in certain places, such as high-crime areas.
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