Stop Harsh LED Streetlights in Duluth Petition

Harsh LED Streetlights Petition


We have a petition to stop the installation of harsh LED streetlights in Duluth

We need the help of all our friends

Please take a moment to sign the petition and pass it on to your friends and family – thank you (paste to browser)

Stop the installation of harsh white LED street lights

in Duluth and St. Louis County

The installation of 4000K harsh white street lights will have negative consequences for the next 25 years, which residents and businesses will have to live with if the City and County continue their current installation program:

  1. Ambient Character of Duluth

    Instead of a warm inviting feeling that a 2500 to 2700K light would provide, the city will look like an industrial zone.  You have seen the cars with the new LED white lights that blind you.  This is the same color of harsh white light that is being installed.  It will substantially add light pollution, glare, and sky glow.  It will be more difficult to see the stars.  Many areas have already switched to the 4000K lighting.  Now that you are aware, you will notice how unappealing they look.

  2. Health Concerns

    The American Medical Association released their findings, and they recommend the installation of lighting with no more than a 3000K temperature.  The AMA warns in its new guidance for communities selecting LED lighting, “LED lights emit large amounts of blue light, which appears white to the naked eye, but can cause severe nighttime glare, more so than conventional lighting.  This can create discomfort and disability causing pupil constriction, decreasing visual acuity and safety, damaging the retina and causing more road hazards. LED lights also operate at wavelengths that suppress melatonin production during the night.  Researchers estimate that white LED lights have five times greater negative impact on circadian sleep rhythms than conventional street lamps.  Brighter residential nighttime lighting is associated with reduced sleep times, dissatisfaction with sleep quality, excessive sleepiness, impaired daytime functioning, and obesity.”

  3. Environment and Wildlife

    Sixty percent of invertebrates and 30% of vertebrate species are nocturnal.  Many of these are insects that pollinate flowers on the plants that provide the protein foundation for the entire ecosystem.  Now, instead of having 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of nighttime, we are bathing them in 24 hours of daylight.  Artificial light destroys their habitat; the new blue LED lights, which include the 4000K lights, are the most destructive.  Migrating birds are attracted to the unnatural lighting, which often results in injuries or deaths when they collide with reflections on buildings.  High Kelvin rated lights have been linked to low survival rates in hatchling sea turtles and inhibited migration rates for salmon and other fish.

  4. Obsolete Technology

    Other cities that have not yet installed new lighting will be using lower Kelvin rated bulbs, while Duluth will be locked for 25 years into a level of lighting which will soon be obsolete.

  5. Efficiency & Savings

    The argument of efficiency and savings does not hold water anymore.  A 3000K bulb is within 2% efficiency of a 4000K bulb, less than 1/3 a penny per day per fixture, and this is changing monthly.  LED technology is rapidly advancing and the efficiency will balance out very soon.

  6. Brighter Lights Will Not Increase Our Safety

    Some light at night can improve safety, but too much bright light can actually reduce safety.  We see best at night by having lighted objects stand out against a dark background, rather than by lighting everything as brightly as possible.  A good example is a green highway sign lit by headlights.  In creating such a bright nighttime atmosphere, we create glare and cast shadows that actually make it more difficult to see.

    In 1998, Chicago experienced very high levels of crime and decided to increase street illumination and light alleyways.  To the contrary, where “enhanced lighting” was installed, incidence of crime increased.  Studies in the United Kingdom found that street lighting has no significant variation in rates of crime.

    We are requesting the City and County to proactively solicit public input to develop a comprehensive lighting program that benefits the City, County, citizens, guests and tourists.  Also, they should follow the guidelines of the International Dark-Sky Association: 

    1.Only be on when needed

    2.Only light areas that need it

    3.Be no brighter than necessary

    4.Minimize blue light emissions, and use lighting with a color temperature of no more than 3000 Kelvin

    5.Be fully shielded

Information Sources

  2. Bogard, P., “Replacing streetlights, we must get it right”
  3.     ama/index.html
  5. a-dark-side
  6. Lapp, C. & Larson, R., “Design Duluth”, Meteek & Co., Sept. 8, 2016
  7.   human-health-led-risks-highlighted.html