Defective LED Streetlights Are Turning Nights Purple – And The Effect Looks Fascinating

Cities around the world have stopped using sodium-vapor streetlights, and they’re quickly replacing the old streetlights with modern LEDs. The benefit of using LEDs is that they are long-lasting. But recently, a growing number of white-colored LEDs have noticeably taken on a deep purple glow.

All over the United States, people have reported seeing the purple glow. They say that the LED streetlights that are currently shining purple are the result of a manufacturing defect, although the purple lights have also given rise to online theories about everything from vampires to vaccines.

Modern LEDs convert electricity into light via an electronic chip. The resulting color is blue, but it appears white thanks to its exterior package made of laminated glass. The cheap laminate on those packages is responsible for the color shift, but the transition does not happen overnight but rather is gradual. The phenomenon has also been reported around the globe.

There is no reason to get worried. These purple LEDs aren’t harmful in any way. The new LED lights are much brighter, so they provide better visibility for drivers, make things safer, and are more efficient, using less power, so we’re not using as many taxpayer dollars to pay the utility bills. The purple LEDs kind of look cool. It fits the night better than pure white light, anyway. Maybe they should keep it.

In the next four years, the City of Vancouver plans to replace all 55,000 of its outdoor lights with LED models, starting with about 44,000 of the street lights. The city anticipates saving $1.65 million in energy costs and an additional $650,000 in labor costs annually once all the lights have been converted. Crews are working to replace the bulbs and are asking for the public’s help in finding all the defective lights.

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