NPSNJ Advocacy Alert: Warm up those Streetlights

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities is seeking public comments (see the request here: by March 29 on PSE&G replacing streetlights to LEDs. In principle, this is good as it reduces energy use and thus mitigates climate change.

The Native Plant Society of New Jersey is concerned about the color temperature of the proposed LED lights and requests that future installations of LED street lights have temperatures of 3000K or lower.

Existing Sodium-vapor street lights have a temperature of around 2200K whereas new LED street lights are around 4000K, a “cooler” temperature much closer to daylight. There is scientific evidence that this is bad for pollinators, for example,, which in turn will be bad for native plants. Although the direct impact of these cooler color temperatures on nearby plant life is under-researched, evidence suggests that there are adverse effects from street lights on plants, which need darkness to anticipate the seasons, for example, to anticipate that fall and winter are coming and that it is time to lose their leaves and cooler lights, which are closer to “daylight” temperatures are more likely to impact this process. The American Medical Association also notes the disruption cooler temperature LEDs have on human health:             

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