Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
(June 28, 2016)

Response to the AMA Statement on High Intensity Street Lighting

Recently, the American Medical Association (AMA) has put forward an official policy statement1 regarding the selection and usage of LED technology for street lighting applications. This policy statement has since been referenced and recirculated in several media articles on the topic, and is based in part on a supporting AMA report document2.

To date, important industry organizations have published articles in response to the AMA policy statement. They are:

1) The US Department of Energy, through its SSL ‘Postings’ newsletter3http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2016/06/f32/postings_06-21-16.pdf

2) The National Electrical Manufacturer’s Association (NEMA), through a press release on its website4http://www.nema.org/news/Pages/NEMA-Comments-on-American-Medical-Association-Community-Guidance-Advocating-and-Support-for-Light-Pollution-Control-Efforts.aspx, and perhaps most importantly, 

3) The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), through a statement on a preliminary review of the AMA policy statement and report5http://ies.org/emails/2016/june/ama-response.html
4) The Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, through a "Response to the 2016 AMA Report on LED Lighting6 http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/resources/newsroom/AMA.pdf

 
LED Roadway Lighting Ltd. has reviewed and is in full agreement with each of the four industry responses listed above. It is our view that the appropriate research to draw links between the lighting levels generated by LED street lights that are experienced on roadways, and by extension, in our homes has not yet been established.

A memo on Lighting and Health at lighting levels relevant to street lighting has been prepared by DMD & Associates Ltd., a consulting engineering firm specializing in a range of electrical, lighting, transportation, and utility related engineering services to municipalities, government agencies, utilities and contractors. This memo takes an evidenced-based approach focused on the effects of lighting that would be experienced from street lighting systems, and concludes that appropriately designed roadway lighting systems present no inherent health risks6.

Further to this discussion, there are currently international guidelines for blue light content, and other optical hazards that are present in all types of artificial lighting. IEC/EN 62471, Photobiological Safety of Lamps and Lamp Systems7, is an international standard that has been required for all types of lighting products (including LED luminaires) since 2009. There is also an analog here in North America in ANSI/IES RP-27 Recommended Practice for Photobiological Safety for Lamps8. These standards have explicit protocols to assess the optical hazards present in lighting and even provide guidance for labelling (if deemed necessary), as well as any special handling procedures or exposure limits. To date, all LED Roadway Lighting Ltd. products are in the ‘Exempt’ hazard group application when they are installed in their design application- road and street illumination.

In spite of this evidence and discussion, we understand that some consumers will look to lower CCTs to align themselves with the AMA position. LED Roadway Lighting Ltd. has always offered a range of CCT for our luminaires including 3000K, 4000K, 5000K, and others upon request. In addition, LED Roadway Lighting Ltd. luminaires are fully shielded, and emit no light above 90°, which helps to eliminate sky glow and minimize light trespass from the roadway. We also encourage the use of lighting control systems which can help to further reduce roadway light levels based on adapted pedestrian and traffic activity levels during off-peak hours.

At LED Roadway Lighting Ltd., we will continue to work with our customers and major industry stakeholders toward consensus on how best to continue to reduce our energy and maintenance costs, while maintaining a safe and welcoming nighttime environment.

 

Sources:
1
“AMA Adopts Community Guidance to Reduce the Harmful Human and Environmental Effects of High Intensity Street Lighting.” http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/news/news/2016/2016-06-14-community-guidance-street-lighting.page. American Medical Association. 14 June 2016.

2 CSAPH Report 2-A-16, “Human and Environmental Effects of Light Emitting Diode (LED) Community Lighting.” http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/ama-councils/council-science-public-health/reports/2016-reports.page. American Medical Association. 14 June 2016 [requires free registration on AMA website]. 

3 SSL Postings, “LED Street Lighting”

http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2016/06/f32/postings_06-21-16.pdf 21 June 2016. 

4 “NEMA Comments on American Medical Association Community Guidance: Advocating and Support for Light Pollution Control Efforts and Glare Reduction for Both Public Safety and Energy Savings.” http://www.nema.org/news/Pages/NEMA-Comments-on-American-Medical-Association-Community-Guidance-Advocating-and-Support-for-Light-Pollution-Control-Efforts.aspx. National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). 24 June 2016. 

5 “IES Preliminary Review of AMA Report on LED “Community Lighting” (CSAPH Report 2-A-16).” http://ies.org/emails/2016/june/ama-response.html. Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA). 23 June 2016. 

6 “Response to the 2016 AMA Report on LED Lighting". http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/resources/newsroom/AMA.pdf. Mark S. Rea, PhD and Mariana G. Figueiro, PhD. Lighting Research Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 30 June 2016.

7 “MEMO – LIGHTING AND HEALTH”. http://www.dmdeng.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Lighting-and-Health-Memo.pdf. DMD & Associates Ltd. 25 June 2016. 

8 “BS EN 62471:2008, Photobiological safety of lamps and lamp systems.“ British Standards Institute (BSI). http://shop.bsigroup.com/ProductDetail?pid=000000000030149289. March 2009. 

9 “Recommended Practice for Photobiological Safety for Lamps and Lamp Systems –General Requirements (ANSI Approved) RP-27.1-15.” http://www.ies.org/store/product/recommended-practice-for-photobiological-safety-for-lamps-and-lamp-systems-general-requirements-ansi-approved-6393.cfm. Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA). 2015 (updated).

 

LED Roadway Lighting Ltd. is a Canadian-owned and operated clean technology company that designs and manufactures energy efficient LED streetlights and adaptive control solutions. Our goal is to create positive environmental change through the development of future-proof products and sustainable technology solutions. Our LED luminaires are designed to provide on-going maintenance savings, long-term energy savings, and a short return on investment for our customers. Our environmentally friendly luminaires improve safety and lighting quality while reducing energy consumption, light pollution, and carbon emissions. On average, our LED luminaires provide 60% energy savings versus conventional technology. Our smart street lighting products are installed worldwide in more than 60 countries.