Jan 18, 2017: The city of Montreal is in a dilemma over the type of lighting to be used to illuminate the roads, parks and residential areas. The city is yet to make a final call on the type of lights to be used for its 132,000 lamps.
Montreal originally planned to switch to more energy-efficient LED lights that emit a colour temperature of 4,000 Kelvin. But due to its bright, blue light, the residents opposed the decision, and hence the city started debating whether it should use a softer variation as it fears that the brighter LED lights can have negative health effects. Esthetically too, it can be unpleasant in the eyes of many and produce excessive light pollution.
After the residents’ complaints and due to the advice of the American Medical Association, cities like Toronto and Chicago have installed 3,000 Kelvin LED lights. In Davis, Califonia, where 4,000 Kelvin LED lights were installed, residents protected against it and wanted them to be removed as the lights had increased glare, and ruined views of the night sky.
Mayor Denis Coderre said that Montreal is also thinking of abandoning the idea of using 4,000 Kelvin LED lights citywide. “There is a question of security, environment, and health,” Coderre said. “There are realities of security—parks require certain level of brightness so that the residents feel secure.” So, the city is toying with idea to go for security or health.
In December, 2016, Montreal’s public health agency conducted a study of scientific analyses that concluded that “4,000 Kelvin lights did not pose more of a threat to public health than regular city lighting.” This countered the findings published by Toronto Public Health two months back, which said that the city should use 3,000 Kelvin LED lights.