News Seventeen: Common Misconceptions about LED Street Lighting
Several discussions have been going on about the possible negative effects of LEDs. In the process, many misconceptions have come up because of the lack of information about LED street lighting. Let's discuss these myths and make important clarifications.
Myth 1: LED Street Lights Are Dangerous to People
The focus here should not be on the type of light but more on the amount of blue light emitted by the light source. LED lights have a wide range of color temperatures. LEDs are available in 3000K-4000K, a good choice for street lighting. The amount of blue light is so limited that it doesn't affect people.
Myth 2: All Blue Light Is Dangerous To People
Blue light plays an important role in human health. It's part of sunlight and enhances physiological human processes. The issue with blue light comes with over exposure at night time. Too much blue light may affect sleeping patterns.
Myth 3: LEDs Emit More Blue Light than Other Street Lights
During the initial stages of LED, the products emitted a significant amount of blue light. Improvements ensure LEDs produce limited blue light without affecting their efficiency and quality. Compared to conventional lighting, LEDs have the ability to generate directional light. This means they provide equal illumination with less light, decreasing blue light emission.
Myth 4: Street Lighting Should Not Emit Blue Light
Street lighting benefits from having some blue light. Blue light is part of what makes up the light spectrum that enhances street safety and aesthetics. Light sources that contain some blue light make objects appear more natural, help with proper identification of objects and people, and enhance visibility at low illumination levels.
Myth 5: The Streets Are Better With Traditional Street Lights than LED
For years, major cities used conventional lighting like fluorescents, HPS and MH lamps. But these lights became unpopular because their lighting is harsh. They are expensive to maintain and consume high electricity with a short lifespan.
Also, while traditional lights have no control over how much light they give off. LED lights emit focused light that adjusts to the preferred level and intensity. This reduces glare, light trespass, and light pollution. Without a doubt, the streets are better with LED street lighting.
The Problem with Conventional Street Lighting
Street lighting is as important today as it was several years ago. Traditional street lighting systems have been useful over time. But, they have caused the following problems for cities, municipalities, and residents:
High Energy Consumption
First of all, the energy consumption of traditional street lights is high. Street lighting accounts for up to 40% of the total energy usage in many cities. During cold weather, traditional lamps need more energy to produce light.
Over Lighting and Light Trespass
Over lighting is another problem. Traditional HID bulbs cannot dim and thus provide unnecessary bright light.
In some cities, even with low amounts of pedestrians and cars, street lights operate at high intensity. This leads to wasted energy and environmental issues. LEDs can be controlled and dimmed to provide lighting when required.
Light trespass occurs when street lights produce unwanted light. They shine onto adjacent residential properties. Unlike LED, traditional HID lights are not capable of producing directional light.
Another problem with street lighting is the maintenance of traditional lighting systems. Due to their short lifespan, they need relamping and servicing quite often. Money spent on purchasing new lamps, fixtures, and on labor could be spent on better programs. A LED light could operate for 10 years without the need for maintenance.
Poor Quality Lighting
High pressure sodium produce yellow light and have poor color rendering ability. Everything appears brown and yellow.
Old fashioned street lighting on some streets distributes uneven. Lamp posts are far apart from each other, creating wide dark patches. In other locations, some critical areas along the street do not have lamp posts. And as cities have developed, lamp locations have not been re-assessed.
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