Concerns about blue light prompt Lawrence City Commission to re-evaluate streetlights

The last word on the color and safety of Lawrence’s new streetlights is yet to be had at City Hall.

At their meeting Tuesday, commissioners pre-empted a report from city staff recommending the city not pursue changes to the color temperature of the LED bulbs. Commissioners said they are getting a lot of emails from residents about the streetlights and that more discussion is needed.

“We’re blessed with a wonderful scientific community in our town, and we’re hearing from them,” Vice Mayor Stuart Boley said. “Let’s put it on the agenda.”

Westar Energy is changing the city’s streetlights to a type of high-efficiency LED — white with unseen blue light — that some towns have begun avoiding for environmental and health reasons. The city has also elected to use the same type of bulbs in its lighting. Some studies have shown that nighttime exposure to blue light is unhealthy, and residents have raised concerns about the quantity of blue light emitted by the new LED bulbs.

(Read more: LJWorld.com / Lawrence, Kansas)