Chicago’s LED Streetlights Prove Controversial

The city of Chicago is replacing older streetlights with new LED alternatives.
The city of Chicago is replacing older streetlights with new LED alternatives. Christopher Zavala / Flickr
The city of Chicago is replacing older streetlights with new LED alternatives.
The city of Chicago is replacing older streetlights with new LED alternatives. Christopher Zavala / Flickr

Chicago’s LED Streetlights Prove Controversial

About a year ago, WBEZ’s Curious City show covered LED streetlights — specifically, how Chicago has been replacing its old street lights with LED lights. Proponents of the LEDs explain that they are more energy efficienct than typical streetlights, using less wattage and saving the city money. Opponents argue, however, that the LEDs Chicago has been installing emit too much blue spectrum light, which can cause problems for health and the environment, as well as make it hard to stargaze. Joining us to discuss some of these concerns during a live broadcast from the Wild Blossom Meadery & Winery on Chicago’s South Side is light pollution activist Audrey Fischer. She speaks with guest host Steve Bynum, in for Jerome McDonnell, and Worldview’s food, health and culture contributor Monica Eng.