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Lunenburg resident cites LED health concerns

Lunenburg resident Anke Holm says the town’s most powerful LED streetlights give the historic community the feel of a Walmart parking lot.
Lunenburg resident Anke Holm says the town’s most powerful LED streetlights give the historic community the feel of a Walmart parking lot.


A Lunenburg resident is fed up with the town’s latest LED street lights, and she’s urging town council to deal with what she considers a growing health hazard and eyesore.

Anke Holm delivered her eight-page presentation at the town’s last regular council meeting in late November.

Citing several sources including the American Medical Association, the report raised concerns from the quality of the “cold blue/white light” to the unsettling glare it produces.

“It is estimated that white LED lamps have five times greater impact on circadian sleep rhythms than conventional street lamps,” stated her report.

She joins a growing chorus of opponents across North America who are against the conversion trend. The province has mandated all municipalities to convert from standard high-sodium pressure lights to high-efficiency LEDs by 2022.

Holm also says the changeover has had a negative effect on the area of Lunenburg’s UNESCO designated Old Town area.

“I love Lunenburg and I want the best for our town. But right now you get the feeling at night that you’re in a Walmart parking lot.

“I just wanted them to know that there are other options.”

According to the Town of Lunenburg’s latest count three years ago, 85 of its 582 streetlights were LED. The town was not able to provide an updated count.

Holm’s report also urged that the town consider going with a lower-powered 3000 K LED light rather than the standard 4000 K option. That’s what Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre opted for, dropping plans to install 4000 K LED bulbs in 132,000 street lights throughout the city because of the possible health ramifications and light pollution.

“It’s really worth considering across the province. The energy efficiency of 3000 K is only three per cent less than that of 4000 K. The cost for the lights are similar,” said Holm.

Council agreed to have town staff study that option. Mayor Rachel Bailey said she has no concerns about the lights herself but she supports the study in order to appease concerned residents.

Brian Taylor, Department of Energy spokesman, said in an email to The Chronicle Herald that he’s aware of the concerns raised by residents concerning the ill-effects of LED lighting but offered little in the way of guidance for municipalities looking for options.

“The department is aware that there have been some complaints to municipalities,” said Taylor. “If they want to address this, it is up to municipalities to make decisions about how to address it. However, they must still be in compliance with the American standard practice for roadway and area lighting.”


-The Chronicle Herald



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