UK Residence in Uproar over LED Street Light Replacement Wave

The LED street light replacement wave has swept the globe as local governments embrace the low energy consumption and financial advantage they offer. However, in the rush to jump on the green technology bandwagon, governments have overlooked the health issues that LEDs pose to the human body. British citizens have been less than keen over the recent installment of LEDs in boroughs throughout the country. 

Wherever LED street lights are installed in placement of old sodium lamps, the local residents across Britain have caused an uproar, according to a recent report by the Daily Mail. Residents’ dislike of the LED street lights has gone as far as signing petitions to remove them, forcing a temporary halt in street light replacement, and even threatening to take the local council to court. Residents have complained that the bright harsh lights from the new LED street lights makes it difficult to sleep. One resident attempted to block out the light by taping cardboard over the windows of his home. “We’ve had three miserable weeks without sleep,” said Andy Richards, West London resident. 

Natural light is a combination of all the colors of the light spectrum. LEDs, however, are predominantly blue. Blue light has been scientifically proven to disrupt the body’s natural production of melatonin. Throwing off the body’s hormone that regulates sleep can led to other health problems, which include heart disease, obesity, and diabetes, according to the Daily Mail. There has also been a recent study by a Spanish University that shows that long time exposure to LED lights can cause damage to the eyes, and even led to blindness. 

Local governments have ignored the health concerns the LED lights pose and only focused on the money that could be saved through replacement with sodium lights. Residents however are skeptical that the money saved in the long run will even be substantial. The initial cost of installing the lights is high, and it will take upwards of 20 years for the cost to be recouped. 

Aside from disrupting their sleep, residents have also complained about the unappealing look of the LED street lights, which they deem as an “ugly and potentially harmful blot on the urban landscape.”

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