The American Medical Association is Worried About LED Street Lighting, Cree Has An Answer

Post by on April 22, 2017 in Lighting Tips, Our Brands

LED street lighting is on the rise, but just because it's LED doesn't mean people want it.

Cree is rolling out their new RSW street light and announcing it with an ad that perfectly describes what happens when LED street lights are poorly specified, especially in residential areas. It’s not just a nuisance. The American Medical Associate has issued a report discussing the possible poor outcomes for residents living under street lighting.

From the report:

In addition to its impact on drivers, blue-rich LED streetlights operate at a wavelength that most adversely suppresses melatonin during night. It is estimated that white LED lamps have five times greater impact on circadian sleep rhythms than conventional street lamps. Recent large surveys found that brighter residential nighttime lighting is associated with reduced sleep times, dissatisfaction with sleep quality, excessive sleepiness, impaired daytime functioning and obesity.

I ran into this first hand when visiting family in the Whitestone section of Queens, where LED heads have replaced the traditional high pressure sodium. This photo is a composite of three images I took. The photograph is actually flattering to the lighting effect. The glare shooting out of the directly visible LEDs makes fixtures very harsh. This cold light shoots directly into people’s homes. The lack of diffusion of the source is so apparent you can see the clear cable shadow lines on the street.


The RSW addresses these concerns through some design innovations:

  • Wavemax technology creates a street light with minimal glare. The LEDs are recessed into an optical chamber, hiding them from direct-view as the wave max lensing guides light into the proper pattern.
  • The RSW is available in 2700K with an 80+ CRI this puts it’s lighting quality on par with what you might specify for an office or even a residential environment.
  • The Wavemax lensing maintains high efficacy of the fixture, making them a solid energy saving choice for municipalities.

Head over the RSW on the Cree website and give the AMA page a read. Whether you’re a lighting specifier or just a concerned citizen, make sure you’re thinking about lighting specification across all of the relevant metrics, including how comfortable people will be living with the fixtures.


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