OUR VIEW: Briefly shelving $11-million LED plan is a bright idea, Surrey

Surrey is reviewing its plan to replace 30,000 street lights with LED bulbs after a medical association found “some LED lights are harmful"

Surrey is reviewing its plan to replace all its streetlights with LED bulbs after the American Medical Association found that “despite the energy efficiency benefits

Eleven million dollars is a lot of money to spend on changing lightbulbs, especially if you’d have to change them back again. Fortunately, things haven’t got that far.

In February we learned the City of Surrey would be replacing nearly 30,000 street lights with LED bulbs over the next five years, aiming to save $1.3 million annually in maintenance costs as LED bulbs have a life expectancy of 20 years instead of five and consume 30 per cent less power.

SEE ALSO: Surrey going LED: City spending $11 million to replace 28,000 street lights

But now, the city is reviewing that plan in light of findings by the American Medical Association in June that “despite the energy efficiency benefits, some LED lights are harmful when used as street lighting.”

The study found that high-intensity LEDs emit a blue light that appears white to the naked eye and results in a worse night glare than conventional street light bulbs. Moreover, the AMA indicates surveys have revealed brighter residential nighttime lighting is linked to reduced sleep, poorer sleep quality, excessive sleepiness, impaired daytime functioning and even obesity.

It’s a cautionary tale, to say the least, about embracing the so-called “next best thing” because sometimes it just might not be.

City of Surrey manager of transportation Jaime Boan said Surrey has installed about 100 LED bulbs in street lamps, mostly in Newton town centre, without any complaints but rather positive feedback.

The AMA is mostly concerned about LEDs functioning at the 8000-Kelvin level, he said, and considers 3000-Kelvins to be the optimal level. Surrey’s are 4,000-Kelvins.

The city is getting prepared to put out a request for proposals for its five-year plan, Boan told the Now, but is “holding off while we dig into this issue a little bit further.”

Now that’s a bright idea.

The Now

Just Posted

Surrey goalie gets a shot with NHL Boston Bruins on China trip

On tryout contract, Derek Dun practiced with team ahead of pre-season game

SFU unveils new lab at Surrey Memorial

Combination of MRI, MEG allows for ‘best possible windows’ intro brain function

Comic Strippers to return to Surrey’s Bell for third time

Improv-comedy show is ‘semi-dressed and completely unscripted’

UPDATE: Surrey firefighters trying to determine what caused Bridgeview propane blaze

Firefighters fought blaze at Pacific Propane Container Recycling

Expansion White Rock Whalers earn first win

New junior ‘B’ hockey team earns victory over Surrey Knights on weekend

B.C. tent city ‘devastated’ after flash flood

Maple Ridge mayor says that residents shouldn’t have to return to their flooded tents

21 new paramedics promised for B.C. Interior

A total of 18 new full-time paramedics will be hired for Kamloops and three are being hired for Chase.

Drop-in to a Cloverdale Library Philosophers Café

First cafe of the fall is Tuesday, Sept. 18

Federal stats show slight increase in irregular migrant claims in August

113 extra people tried to cross the Canadian border last month

U.S. congressman issues dire warning to Canada’s NAFTA team: time is running out

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to resume talks with the U.S.

Tornado reported near B.C. lake

Environment Canada investigates, says a ‘possible’ tornado took place in Mission, by Hayward Lake

Work begins to remove cargo from grounded Haida Gwaii barge and fishing lodge

Westcoast Resorts’ Hippa Lodge broke from its moorings and ran aground early this month

Man convicted of manslaughter in 2016 belt-strangling death in Abbotsford

Shayne McGenn found guilty in apartment killing of David Delaney

Most Read