Light NZ Streets Smarter

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New Zealand’s Transport Agency has created an unsafe and unhealthy public environment throughout the country by throwing a bone to local councils in the form of an 85% subsidy to commit to installing 4000K LED streetlighting luminaires.

These 4000K LED light sources are unfit for purpose, blinding to be near, emit a harsh, cold and clinical light, and are the subject of a report warning about their potential dangers by the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Both 3000K and 4000K LEDs emit disruptive blue wavelengths of light which shuts off the body’s natural melanopsin cells. This prevents the body producing melatonin, the hormone which entrains our circadian clock, induces sleep and determines the quality and duration of our rest.

Melanopsin cells can be found within chromosome 10, and are a vital part of our genetic makeup. Melanopsin can be found in many mammals and the blue-rich light emitted from white LEDs affects them in similar ways too.

Due to a lack of due diligence, the NZTA is now effectively weakening our health and ruining our quality of life, making us more tired, stressed, anxious and accident prone, with adverse flow on effects to mental health and wellbeing.

I beseech Parliament to take action to swap out all 4000K LED street lighting luminaires for safer 2700K LEDs, and to ensure only 2700K LEDs be used moving forward into the future.

Research around the negative effects of this energy efficient lighting technology is less than 15 years old and these warnings must be taken seriously.

It’s paramount any ill effects on humans, wildlife and our environment are prevented.