There is a major push all over the country to install LED streetlights based on assumptions of saving energy and money. In places where the LEDs have been installed there are so many complaints. On February 16 Sebastopol will consider whether or not to allow PG&E to install the LED streetlights. PG&E owns the streetlights and requires cities to opt-in to the changeout.
PG&E is currently installing LED streetlights in Santa Rosa, and we took a team to investigate, measure and photograph there. What we found is, unlike the warm yellow streetlights, the LED’s are very white, with cold blue tones, and painfully bright.
Mary Carvalho who lives in Santa Rosa writes, “Has anyone noticed lately that the night sky is lit up like a full moon every night?”
Paul Marantz, a lighting designer said about the yellow streetlights, “there was a warmth about them that’s missing from the new lights. And because of the way the LEDs are designed, it’s a much more directed light, with more glare.”
When the environment is saturated with blue rich light it causes melatonin reduction which can affect sleep. Harvard Medical School reported blue light has a dark side. “Light at night is bad for your health, and exposure to blue light emitted by electronics and energy-efficient lightbulbs may be especially so.”
Bob Parks, executive director of the International Dark-Sky Association states, “Now, people can certainly close their blinds and block-out that rich blue-white light. The problem is that every other species on the planet can’t do that, so you have an impact on everything else. And not just animals — we are talking plants, trees, right down to one-cell organisms.”- Earth Island Journal
The Department of Energy (DOE) and IEEE reported there are serious health risks from LEDs if inexpensive drivers are used. DOE writes, “Why is flicker bad? For one thing, in addition to being annoying and distracting, it can cause eyestrain, blurred vision, and impairment of performance on sight-related tasks. And in those who are flicker-sensitive, it can cause debilitating headaches and migraines — 10% of the population is estimated to suffer from migraines, and that’s only one of the groups prone to flicker sensitivity. According to the IEEE recommended practice, flicker has been reported to contribute to autistic behaviors, and can be a trigger for epileptic seizures.… Some of these problems might occur even when the flicker isn’t detectable by the eye.”
The EMF Safety Network sent a list of questions to PG&E about their LED streetlights. We await their answers. We can trust PG&E will cut costs and we can’t be certain they will tell the public the truth. We don’t know whether or not PG&E will be using the streetlights for wireless transmissions, as has been done in Los Angeles and Florida. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) had a presentation on their website that touted the benefits of “intelligent” wireless streetlights.
We don’t know if PG&E is installing these, but we do know the rapid increase of microwave technologies deployed on our homes and in our neighborhoods, largely without informed consent, threatens privacy, public health, children, wildlife and nature.
The other risk is whether or not the LED streetlights add unintentional radiation to the power lines, creating “dirty electricity” like PG&E smart meters do. Samuel Milham, MD and David Stetzer, Electrical Engineer wrote a peer reviewed published paper in 2013. They wrote, “Dirty electricity, also called electrical pollution, is high-frequency voltage transients riding along the 50 or 60 Hz electricity provided by the electric utilities… has been associated with cancer, diabetes and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in humans.
Some people claim brighter streetlights will help reduce crime. However, Earth Island Journal reported “Public safety was a big motivator behind the Oakland conversion project, and it may seem intuitive that brighter lights improve safety. However, some studies suggest that though brighter streets make people feel safer, they have no impact on actual crime levels.”
In 2015, PG&E’s claims of LED cost and energy savings were merely assumptions. In the CPUC 2015 Uncertain List they stated, “market move to LED technology requires verification.” As yet PG&E has offered no proof. In addition the city claimed the streetlight conversion would be free, however PG&E intends to recover streetlight costs through customers rate increases. So we all pay for the LED streetlights.
Why should perfectly good streetlights be scrapped for a risky technology whose benefits are questionable? A study published in late 2010 in the journal Environmental Science and Technology found that LEDs contain lead, arsenic and a dozen other potentially dangerous substances. While it is possible that the LED’s save energy, it’s not worth the cost to public and environmental health.
In September 2015, the Sebastopol city council had the PG&E streetlight conversion on their consent calendar. Due to complaints, they took the issue off consent and put it on the regular agenda. At that meeting, Rich Emig, Public Works superintendent, gave a report acknowledging the LED health risks. Public comments included one woman who said when she was a child she had seizures from light flicker. See the Sebastopol City Council’s video which starts at 1:40:00
Considering the city acknowledged the serious pubic health risks, why are they bringing it back to the council, and why have they not notified the public of this issue that will affect each and everyone of us?
What LED light pollution looks like from space
Ecological Light Pollution http://www.urbanwildlands.org/Resources/LongcoreRich2004.pdf
A Silent Cry for Dark Skies http://astrosociety.org/edu/publications/tnl/74/74.html#3
Residents sue Monterrey over new LED streetlights (2012)
Ann Arbor Michigan has been a leader in converting city streetlights to energy-efficient LEDs, but despite a large reduction in energy usage, DTE Energy is proposing rate increases for LED lights, while decreasing rates for conventional high-pressure sodium lights. http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2015/02/ann_arbor_responds_to_streetli.html
Darkness is a requisite part of life.
“Half of your life, half of the lives of all nature, half of all human history has occurred between sunset and sunrise. We and all of the natural kingdom have evolved in a landscape that segues from a bright blessed day to a dark sacred night. A dark night is really that–sacred. Every cell in the human body has time-related functions, part of the bigger circadian system. I’m referring to science, not some woo-woo feel-good incense-laden chanting mysticism. Healthy life depends on critical functions for which the absence of light is essential.”
1. All outdoor lighting shall be full cutoff, or fully shielded.
2. If LED lights are used, they shall have a correlated color temperature (CCT) less than 3000K.
3. All lights shall minimize glare, sky glow, and light trespass. —–Excerpt and recommendations from www.Nightwise.org
Video of New York news story on LED street lighting and resident reaction. http://pix11.com/2015/04/27/new-bright-leds-that-replaced-street-lamps-angering-local-residents/
The city of Davis received so many complaints about the LED lights they put the project on hold for a year, then spent $350,000 more money on the project. http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2014/10/21/davis-will-spend-350000-to-replace-led-lights-after-neighbor-complaints/
Houston, we’ve got a problem with LEDS. http://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/2016/02/08/136878/city-waiting-for-more-information-on-alternative-led-street-lights-as-some-call-for-change/
Grassroots website about LED streetlight complaints http://lightsickness.com/actions-you-can-take/
Dr. Louis Slesin of Microwave News reports: In August 2014, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued and then rescinded precautionary advice on the use of cell phones. Now, Danny Hakim, an investigative reporter at the New York Times, has published a behind-the-scenes look at what was going at the time, based on 500 pages of CDC internal documents, including e-mails, together with follow-up interviews.
Unfortunately, Hakim leaves a key question unresolved: Why do U.S. officials interpret the available data differently than their counterparts in many other countries?
Read the whole story at:
VENICE, Fla. – Leaders of a coalition of Venice community groups against a proposed cell tower say they’re encouraged that the Sarasota County Planning Commission voted unanimously to deny a zoning exception for a 125-foot cell tower. The tower was planned to be built on residential land in the Plantation Golf and Country Club community. The tower would be visible to hundreds of residents in the neighboring Lake of the Woods of Jacaranda development.
The vote was taken at a public hearing attended by more than 100 residents of the two communities. Residents opposed to the tower wore red to show their disapproval. More than 20 residents spoke at the hearing in opposition to the tower.
Doug Barkley, chair of Stop Tower on Plantation, said, “A dedicated group of property owners has worked for a year to assure that a commercial cell tower was not constructed in the middle of their communities. The recommendation by the Planning Commission to deny the exception to land use creates faith in the integrity of the zoning system and the protection that it offers to property owners.”
A hearing before the Sarasota County Board of Commissioners is set for Tuesday, January 12th. The Planning Commission hearing may be viewed online at the following URL:
On May 21 Ken Herrmann went to the California Public Utilities Commission and spoke to the CPUC Commissioners during public comments. Here’s his comments on Memorial Day, civil rights and liberties, and smart meters.
“This coming weekend we celebrate Memorial Day, a day set aside to remember those that have lost their lives in war. The last time I stood here was between Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Day.
Through these three holidays together we give thanks for what we have as individuals and as a Nation, and give thanks to those that have given part, or all, of their lives for what we as Americans believe in.
The laws and Constitutions of this Nation are what best describe American ideals and what generations of Americans have sworn to support and defend, against all enemies foreign and domestic.
The Fourth Amendment of our Constitution states that “The RIGHT of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,”
The Fourteenth Amendment strengthens this Right to Privacy by stating “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…”
And yet, and without argument, the “smart” meter, and system, has been designed and forcibly installed for the specific purpose of invading lawful property and privacies – by intruding behind the curtained windows and locked doors – of the homes and businesses of Citizens of these United States to discover exactly how, when, and why, consumer citizens use utility resources.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005, section 1252, provided, first, for the introduction of a time-based rate schedule, and then the installation of a time-based (“smart”) meter to enable customers to receive such a rate, both on a consumer request basis. As such the new metering system was designated as an OPT-IN program.
After ten years state utilities have never offered or provided a time based rate schedule, there is none.
State utilities in collusion with the CPUC have instead, and without individual consumer request, installed millions of “smart” meters and have instituted a punitive system of fees and threats of utility disconnections, the “opt-out” program, to demand Citizen compliance. This path and program meets the definition of Extortion in the United States Code Title 18, section 1951.
The “smart” system, as installed, is contrary to United States policy, general and Constitutional Law and any support for it is a violation of the Oath of Public Service to “support and defend our Constitutions against all enemies foreign and domestic”.
We memorialize those that have given their all for our Nation, yet the Privacy invasions, National Security and Health issues imposed by the “smart” system are a hard slap to every one of their faces.
The choice is simple: either abolish the “smart” meter system, or, denounce millions of Americans for their support and defense of the Principles and Freedoms of our Nation.
The only ethical and lawful answer to the “smart” system is… NO.
I pray that you all have a safe and non-hypocritical Memorial Day.”
LA County firefighters called for support in stopping 86 cell towers on fire stations. County supervisors voted to suspend the construction at the hearing on Tuesday.
Firefighters used social media, radio and video to get their message out to the community. This radio ad ran for three days:
“This is fire captain Lew Currier. Los Angeles County is installing cell towers on 86 fire stations near you. The radiation generated by these seven story eye sores can cause debilitating health effects. Studies suggest nearby families could get sick too, yet the board of supervisors is erecting these toxic towers without public hearings or required studies. This time, be there for us, your firefighters. Call the Board of Supervisors at 213-974-1411. Tell them to stop the cell towers, NOW. This message is brought to you by Los Angeles County firefighters local 1014.”
Los Angeles County firefighters are in immediate danger of having their fire stations used as cell tower sites. You can help them by calling, and attending the hearing which will be held on Tuesday, March 24; 9:30 am at the LA County Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 500 West Temple Street, Los Angeles.
3/24/2015: UPDATE: County suspends decision to construct the towers! Congratulations local 1014!