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Montreal drops disputed LED plan after angry protests

The City of Montreal has dropped plans to replace 132,000 streetlights with 4000K LED  luminaires after angry protests prompted a change of heart in city hall.

The protests had been prompted by a string of health warnings, including one from the American Medical Association (AMA), that LED could cause sleep problems as well as prompt adverse risks when driving.

The thousands of streetlights slated for replacement will now be fitted with 3000K LED lights instead, in an attempt to satisfy the critics. The replacement fixtures will give off a much warmer hue than the rejected luminaires, which emit a rich blue light that is close to the quality of daylight.

In June 2016, the AMA issued a much publicised report which advised against the use of strong LED light in the public realm.

In the report, the AMA cautioned against the use of LED luminaires as they ‘emit a large amount of blue light that appears white to the naked eye, creating worse nighttime glare than conventional lighting.’

‘Discomfort and disability from intense, blue-rich LED lighting can decrease visual acuity and safety, resulting in concerns and creating a road hazard,’ the AMA continued in the report, words that have now been adopted as official guidelines by the US health body.

The AMA also noted that blue-rich LED night-time light is able to reduce melatonin levels, which in turn prompts a decline in hours of sleep, sleep quality and daytime functioning.

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