Lake Worth’s LED Controversy
By Daniel Gold, CEO, Future Energy Solutions
The City of Lake Worth (Florida) is making a big mistake…and I’ll tell you why.
First, a little background. A recent Washington Post article reported the American Medical Association is warning that LEDs’ bright, bluish light can be harmful to people’s health. The article also said Lake Worth was converting more than four thousand street lights to LEDs…but only after modifying them to give off amber light, which some experts consider less dangerous.
Now, I’m not a physician, so I’m not addressing the possible adverse health effects of LEDs. But I do know about lighting economics, and going all-out for LEDs just doesn’t make good business sense.
First, there’s nothing significantly wrong with Lake Worth’s current lights. It’s not like the City is in complete darkness when the sun sets, so there’s no urgent need to spend money.
Next, they’ve got the technology all wrong. Yes, LEDs are more energy-efficient than the existing lights, but they can also be expensive and costly to maintain. There are less expensive, longer-lasting alternatives that provide similar or improved lighting to LEDs…such as induction lights.
But then, Lake Worth officials are compounding their mistake by altering the LEDs to shine amber instead of their natural blue-white light. So, in simple terms, they are paying a premium for LED lighting, reducing their effectiveness, and then throwing away a key benefit – that being bright light.
It’s like trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. The City is going to pay too much to convert their lights…then can expect costly maintenance expenses in a few years.
As a lighting expert, I could show them a much better…and less expensive…way to achieve the same results. As a taxpayer, I’m glad I don’t live in Lake Worth. They’re buying what can become an expensive headache.