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NIPSCO Changing Streetlights Only For Self Interest, Harming Birds
Beware, NIPSCO is changing our streetlights, but it’s just for their own self-interest. Though LED streetlights save money, NIPSCO and their lead designer Robert Kramer of Purdue Northwest, chose to install the cheapest ones they could, mainly for the sake of their own wallets and short-sighted profits rather than for our health, safety and the nighttime environment. They are installing these particular LEDs despite the American Medical Association’s warning and the growing consensus in the medical establishment, as well as in the environmental and scientific communities against their widespread use.
Indeed, I have been learning a lot of bad things about these particular LEDs that NIPSCO is installing, including suppressing melatonin at night, an important hormone that regulates sleep and immune function, leading to poor sleep, increased risk of cancer, depression, diabetes, obesity and other health problems, to worse environmental impacts, such as harming wildlife, especially birds more than ordinary streetlights and causing increased artificial sky-glow that washes out the stars in the sky many of us enjoy seeing every clear night. They also create harsher, more piercing glare.
The LEDs NIPSCO has chosen to install have a correlated color temperature of 4,000 Kelvin. The main issues here with this particular choice of lights are intensity, too much blue light emission and the cold, sterile mood of the light, making them unappealing to many, harmful to our health and more disruptive to the nocturnal environment than the 2,100 to 2,200 Kelvin high pressure sodium streetlights we are used to. NIPSCO should instead be installing warm color LEDs that have a correlated color temperature of 2,700 Kelvin or under and which emit less or no harmful nighttime blue light.
They also need to use the minimum wattage bulbs necessary to do the job in order to reduce light pollution and the adverse effects of artificial light at night (ALAN) exposure, especially from blue light, which suppresses melatonin most sharply and has the greatest disruptive effect on circadian sleep rhythms since it more closely mimics daylight. Full shielding of the LED streetlights is also necessary to prevent discomfort and disabling glare from the intense point source nature of the LEDs and to prevent light trespass – not everyone wants all that light coming onto their properties or into their windows, especially if the light is harsh, disruptive and harmful to health.
I guess NIPSCO still hasn’t learned to be more environmentally responsible and considerate of human health issues, even after all the toxic, arsenic-laden fly-ash they dumped everywhere in the Town of Pines just west of Michigan City, Indiana, which they are still in the process of having to clean up and which has irreversibly contaminated wetlands in the area, the shallow aquifer that exists there and the Pines drinking water, causing the town to have to install city water.
If anyone has trouble sleeping at night from these new streetlights NIPSCO is installing or if cancer rates increase after they have been placed on our streets, I think it is fair to say we can hold these lights as suspect. The people in charge at NIPSCO know that what they are doing is wrong but are just trying to brush it off. This public health and environmental issue is too important for us to remain silent. We need to speak up before NIPSCO installs these harmful first generation LED streetlights in our neighborhoods and anywhere near protected wildlife areas.
1575 Illinois Ave., Pines
Michigan City, IN 46360
1) NIPSCO installing LED streetlights press release
b) https://www.nipsco.com/docs/default-source/our-services-docs/led-street-light-request-for-information.pdf (Note: Please see page 9 of this document to verify that the LED streetlights NIPSCO is installing have a correlated color temperature of 4000 Kelvin.)
2) American Medical Association
a) AMA Adopts Guidance to Reduce Harm from High Intensity Street Lights _ American Medical Association
b) REPORT OF THE COUNCIL ON SCIENCE AND PUBLIC HEALTH – CSAPH Report 2-A-16, “Human and Environmental Effects of Light Emitting Diode (LED) Community Lighting”
NOTE: This AMA article contains an error that needs correction, therein it states that Davis California lowered the color temperature of their LED streetlights from 4000 Kelvin to 3000 Kelvin due to public outcry when in fact they actually lowered it even further to 2700 Kelvin:
a.) Davis, CA LED Streetlight Retrofit _ Smart Outdoor Lighting Alliance
3) Blue light has a dark side – Harvard Health
4) ALAN (Artificial Light At Night) and cancer – PubMed
a) melatonin artificial light cancer articles – PubMed – NCBI.html:
b) melatonin ALAN cancer – PubMed – NCBI.html:
5) Lighting cities with cheap, glaring LEDs is a dim move | New Scientist
6) AAS Council Issues New Resolution on Light Pollution _ American Astronomical Society
7) EPA, NIPSCO agree on soil cleanup in Town of Pines _ U.S. EPA News Releases _ US EPA.html
8) Cleanup of coal ash gets underway in The Pines _ Local _ southbendtribune.com.html
10) Most Pines homes to get city water _ Local News _ nwitimes.com.html
11) Brown landfill to close; capping process to begin.html
12) FLAP – Fatal Light Awareness Program – Working to Educate & Engage People About The Safety of Migratory birds in the Urban Environment
Lights and Nighttime Collisions – http://www.flap.org/lights.php
13) Bringing Back the Night: A Fight Against Light Pollution – Yale E360
14) 5 Appalling Facts about Light Pollution