Blue Light From LED Street Lights - The American Medical Association's New Policy Guidelines

Posted by Steve Mower on 21st Jun 2016

The American Medical Association has just adopted a new policy guideline for LED street lights. 

If you were not aware of this already, most new street lighting being installed or upgraded in the US and abroad is LED. Light Emitting Diode or LED lighting is very efficient, saving both money and energy. But,

"Despite the energy efficiency benefits, some LED lights are harmful when used as street lighting," AMA Board Member Maya A. Babu, M.D., M.B.A. "The new AMA guidance encourages proper attention to optimal design and engineering features when converting to LED lighting that minimize detrimental health and environmental effects."

Relating to vision and blue light:

"High-intensity LED lighting designs emit a large amount of blue light that appears white to the naked eye and create 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.

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."

More here-

There are a few things we can recommend that can help with nighttime glare from LED street lights.

  • First, make sure that the outside and the inside of your windscreen is very clean. Dirt and film can build up on the inside of the glass causing incoming light to refract. Same thing with your mirrors.
  • Second, tinted lenses are not a good idea for night driving. You want light coming to your eyes but not glare. Getting lenses with an anti-reflective coating (AR) can help, in zero power or in prescription for distance vision. 
  • Third, if you do get anti-reflective lenses then get blue block AR. Blue Block AR lenses like our Mojo BluBlock AR reflect off bad blue light. They are available with zero power or in prescription for distance vision.
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