Health Effects of LED Street Lights: What You Need To Know

In June 2016, the American Medical Association (AMA) released a document titled “Guidance to Reduce Harm from High Intensity Street Lights.” The AMA presented recommendations related to possible health risks of increased short-wavelength content of outdoor lighting sources, including the conversion to LEDs from older products. As often occurs with complex scientific and technological advances, the guidance by the AMA has been misunderstood and misreported, creating confusion for consumers.

In response to many questions and concerns from communities considering street light conversions, the U.S Department of Energy has recently published two documents related to the health effects of LED street lights.

A study of the expected contributions to sky glow from converting high-pressure sodium (HPS) street lighting to broader-spectrum (i.e., white light) sources, with specific focus on LEDs, which presents the contributions in a manner relative to HPS baseline conditions.

A set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) assembled in response to ongoing discussion of the AMA community guidance on street lighting.