August 18, 2015

WHAT ARE STREET LIGHTS?:

Street Lights Don't Make Us Any Safer--And May Even Be Harming Our Health (Charlie Sorrel, 8/18/15, Co.Exist)

The aversion to dimming or switching off the lights is a subjective one. People feel safer on well-lit streets, even though light levels make little difference to their actual security. Police like blanket white lighting because their surveillance cameras work better. But even if safety isn't affected by fewer lights, the social impact is there. Street lighting might be viewed in the same light (pun intended) as benches or other street infrastructure. People may be less likely to use public spaces at night, or during dark winter afternoons and evenings, if there is no lighting.

But all-night light might be harming us. Research has shown that electric lighting at night can increase the risk of breast cancer, and we've seen that blue light, like that in our tablets and phones, as well as modern LED bulbs, interrupts our circadian rhythms and stops us from sleeping.

The AMA even recognizes that "exposure to excessive light at night, including extended use of various electronic media, can disrupt sleep or exacerbate sleep disorders, especially in children and adolescents." It also recommends "developing and implementing technologies to reduce glare from vehicle headlamps and roadway lighting schemes."

Why would you need a public space at night in the snow?

Posted by at August 18, 2015 5:51 PM
  

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