5 July 2019
[FYI request #10469 email]
Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA) request for the feedback
on the LED trial in South Dunedin
I am writing in response to your request made on 6 June 2019 asking for the feedback on the LED trial
in South Dunedin.
Please find attached the feedback provided from the LED trial in South Dunedin. Pursuant to Section
7(2)(a) you are advised that certain information has been withheld to protect the privacy of natural
As we have declined to provide some information you are advised that you have the right to seek a
review by the Office of the Ombudsman 0800 802 602 or [email address]
Governance Support Officer
LED South Dunedin Trial feedback/questions
My concern is the brightness of the new lights. The new ones that are by the Botanic Gardens are
to my mind unnecessarily bright. I also support the push for Dunedin to become a Night Sky city.
Safety of pedestrians i do not think would be compromised by less bright lights. I also note that
Hamilton has adopted 3,000 K rather that 4,000 K on its arterial routes to protect its bat
populations, whereas Dunedin is allowing the NZTA to install 4,000 K LED on our arterial routes
and highways. Why does Dunedin need brighter lights?
The LED lights in South Dunedin are way too bright! It is bad for health and aesthetics. Please go
for the lower powered option mentioned in the ODT. The bright ones wil ruin the feel of the city.
Would like to see the lower rated 2400K lights as the 3000K lights emit too much light which
invades private property and isn't good for our health.
I have looked into the three streets in south Dunedin and the led lights in Fawcett Street were by
the best quality lights.
Please don't use the led lights. I find them very blinding. And they are real y bad for our eyes.
Low-energy-consumption lighting is clearly the way of the future - I commend the DCC for being
proactive towards this. I felt that the LEDs in the trial street were too blue, i.e. too higher K rating.
Blue light is a rather aggressive light that is not particularly relaxing (not unlike the intense orange
colour used by mitre 10 mega). Many people wil be able to relate to this when trying to get to
sleep after watching a tablet screen. I think that a slightly warmer LED could be used with
minimal loss to safety for pedestrians or drivers.
AMA Adopts Guidance to Reduce Harm from High Intensity Street Lights
CHICAGO - Strong arguments exist for overhauling the lighting systems on U.S. roadways with
light emitting diodes (LED), but conversions to improper LED technology can have adverse
consequences. In response, physicians at the Annual Meeting of the American Medical
Association (AMA) today adopted guidance for communities on selecting among LED lighting
options to minimize potential harmful human and environmental effects.
Converting conventional street light to energy efficient LED lighting leads to cost and energy
savings, and a lower reliance on fossil-based fuels. Approximately 10 percent of existing U.S.
street lighting has been converted to solid state LED technology, with efforts underway to
accelerate this conversion.
"Despite the energy efficiency benefits, some LED lights are harmful when used as street lighting,"
AMA Board Member Maya A. Babu, M.D., M.B.A. "The new AMA guidance encourages proper
attention to optimal design and engineering features when converting to LED lighting that
minimize detrimental health and environmental effects."
High-intensity LED lighting designs emit a large amount of blue light that appears white to the
naked eye and create worse nighttime glare than conventional lighting. Discomfort and disability
from intense, blue-rich LED lighting can decrease visual acuity and safety, resulting in concerns
and creating a road hazard.
In addition to its impact on drivers, blue-rich LED streetlights operate at a wavelength that most
adversely suppresses melatonin during night. It is estimated that white LED lamps have five times
greater impact on circadian sleep rhythms than conventional street lamps. Recent large surveys
found that brighter residential nighttime lighting is associated with reduced sleep times,
dissatisfaction with sleep quality, excessive sleepiness, impaired daytime functioning and obesity.
The detrimental effects of high-intensity LED lighting are not limited to humans. Excessive outdoor
lighting disrupts many species that need a dark environment. For instance, poorly designed LED
lighting disorients some bird, insect, turtle and fish species, and U.S. national parks have adopted
optimal lighting designs and practices that minimize the effects of light pollution on the
Recognizing the detrimental effects of poorly-designed, high-intensity LED lighting, the AMA
encourages communities to minimize and control blue-rich environmental lighting by using the
lowest emission of blue light possible to reduce glare. The AMA recommends an intensity
threshold for optimal LED lighting that minimizes blue-rich light. The AMA also recommends all
LED lighting should be properly shielded to minimize glare and detrimental human health and
environmental effects, and consideration should be given to utilize the ability of LED lighting to be
dimmed for off-peak time periods.
The guidance adopted today by grassroots physicians who comprise the AMA's policy-making
body strengthens the AMA's policy stand against light pol ution and public awareness of the
adverse health and environmental effects of pervasive nighttime lighting.
AMA Media and Editorial
Pressroom: (312) 239-4991
Email: [email address]
My name is
and I'm extremely concerned with the new LED road lighting in South
Dunedin. In fact, there are so many problems, the issues cannot be ful y addressed here.
The vast majority of New Zealanders are unaware of the shortcomings and inherent risks of this
lighting technology - and the LEDs in South Dunedin demonstrate unfit for purpose lighting is
being instal ed without the necessary know how and expertise.
This matter is so serious, a group of concerned residents are scheduled to meet the Minister of
Health, David Clark, to present an appeal for safer road lighting, supported by recent scientific
papers, journals and literature, letters from various professional experts, medical/photographic
records, and the 2018 report by the Royal Society of New Zealand.
Itâ€™s urgent that Dunedinâ€™s retrofit be delayed.
Please read the attached pdf document which explains in more detail what these problems are.
Please find this PDF at the end of this document.
How big is the trial? How long before the trial is assessed?
Where can I find more information on the parameters of the trial?
I'm the chairman of the
and also one of the experts listed in the
pollution. In the Wairarapa we
minimised the potential impact on our citizens health by using 3000K streetlights but also
minimising the brightness and number of streetlights. This was also done before the Royal Society
report was released. Unless DCC is comfortable being exposed to the public liability of having
instal ed blue rich, bright and high density white LED lighting post Royal Society report I would
advise very careful planning. There are independent organisations which can help, please contact
us if you need connecting. Dunedin has the chance to be an international y respected city for
managing light pol ution impacts, please don't squander the opportunity.
I think the retrofit should be delayed until more investigation is carried out on what negative
impact the new lighting may have on the health and safety of the general public. Keep in mind
asbestos was considered ok. Smoking was considered ok etc etc. Best to have all the facts in place
before the lights are installed!!
I live in Sunnyvale, California, USA. Our city installed 5000K streetlights. They are a catastrophe.
They are far too bright and have too much glare. We can no longer sleep. The local observatory
has been negatively impacted due to sky glow. The worst thing is that this light make us feel
angry because we can't look at anything around us. The light overwhelms everything. I urge
Dunedin to not make the same mistake. Please install only low intensity, soft lighting that is less
than 2700K, shielded and diffused.
My name is
and I submitted a pdf file earlier today with my feedback. Can you please
delete the file titled "LED South Dunedin Feedback Nov 2018" and use this amended document
titled "LED South Dunedin Feedback - Nov 2018 FINAL. It has a small correction. Many thanks,
My name is
and earlier today, I submitted a pdf file with my feedback.
I then sent another file with a small correction but forgot to remove the tracking when I saved it,
so the editing window was stil open, which mucked up the layout of the pdf.
I have corrected this now.
Can you please use this final amended document titled "LED Feedback Nov 2018" and delete the
other two files.
My apologies at the mixup :)
For the trial, it is very hard to visually compare the lights at street level when the lights are in
different streets. It would be more practical to have one street with sections that have all three
different light types. Also would suggest having lights that can do the 3000 - 4000k during the
early evening then lower to 2200 k alter evening, this would have health benefits, safety, night sky
friendly bring in more tourists to stay longer. The china factories will make whatever we want so
to design this to be economic, eco-friendly would make us world leaders and put Dunedin on the
world map for doing something super awesome (in the same spirit as the harbour proposal)!
There are countless studies, reports and examples there e.g https://www.change.org/p/london-
I'd like some information about whether the fittings are fully cut-off or not. I read in the ODT
article that the lighting encroaches more than the sodium-vapour lamps. I'm really worried about
this at my place, I really dont want my house/garden lit up like it's a prison yard.
Please do not ruin the urban streetscape with LED lighting. It's harsher on the eyes, bad for
wildlife and will make our beautiful southern skies -- with their occasional urban auroras! -- harder
These 3000K lights pose a health and safety risk, they are a hazard, not only to me but too many
others in this community.
The light is too bright to drive safely under at night and if you have had a traumatic brain injury
like me they are just too much to handle, I wil become a prisoner in my own home with my
curtains drawn from when they are turned on at night. Heaven forbid if my block out curtains
can't hold the light spill.
There is an opportunity for the DCC to really consider the well-being of the individuals, the wider
community and the environment and to get it right, be like Tekapo, Fairlee and Twizel and get a
dispensation from NZTA to use 2200K amber lights. This would also tie in with Keep NZ Beautiful
and retaining Dunedin glorious night skies.
I do not understand why this has to be done in such haste, at the very least please slow down and
update on the scientific data such as the Royal Society.
Is your communityâ€™s wellness not a priority?
Are al the current bulbs going to blow al at once and need replacement? Is the NZTA subsidy
worth it at the end of the day?
Is my right to live a well life worth nothing to you?
You have the power to eliminate this extreme hazard - please use it.
Dunedinâ€™s LED road lights may be unstable. 3,000 K and 4,000 K LED road lights may exhibit
chromaticity shift; LEDs degrade over time and their colour changes, long before the life
expectancy of luminaires. This is worrying the lighting industry. The DCC should stop the planned
retrofit of LED road lights in 2019 and investigate the chromaticity problem, as well as other
serious problems and major health and safety flaws with LED technologies. It would be costly if
the LEDs are unstable and donâ€™t remain white. The NZTA have granted the DCC until July 2021
to implement LED upgrade. Donâ€™t rush into an unreliable evolving technology, retain high
pressure sodium, and shield it inexpensively with a metal strip as per those in Ross Street, Roslyn
by the Beverly Begg Observatory.
I am not in favour of replacing our amber lighting with LED street lights. there is some research
out there about the negative effects of LED lighting mainly health wise. I am more than happy
with our current amber lighting.
Led Lighting Trial
I am in favour of finding energy efficient and environmentally non-polluting alternatives to reduce
the impact humans have on the earth and decrease our contribution to climate change. If there
are good alternatives to our current street lighting, which achieve this, then we should invest in
However in my observations of the trial area of the suggested new lights, I have major concerns:
â€¢ In comparison to the sodium lighting the light produced by the new LEDS is cold, white and
â€¢ It is not diffuse lighting, which spreads evenly over the ground and therefore leaves bright
pools of light between quite dark patches. It means those living right next to the lamp poles have
extremely bright light intruding not only onto their properties, but directly into their houses,
especial y the ones in South Dunedin, which are often very close to the footpath and close to each
other. I am concerned that I will have a lamp in very close proximity to my bedroom in a house I
am currently building.
â€¢ The light/dark contrast also produces a slight strobe effect as you are driving along and also at
one point the very bright LEDs are shining directly into the driverâ€™s eyes. This does not make
for safe driving.
â€¢ I also understand there is accumulating research that indicates there may be health issues
with prolonged exposure to blue light and its interference with the production of melatonin and
hence our circadian rhythms.
â€¢ More importantly I find the overall aesthetic of the trial lighting harsh and unappealing. I
would not want these light instal ed throughout the city.
To be clear, I do not want to see these lights installed across Dunedin at all. I would like to see
further investigation into better downward, softer and more diffuse lighting to enhance our dark
sky status and save energy and therefore costs. The current suggestion is not the way to go.
Please note, I will include a duplicate submission as an attachment, as it looks like all the
formating has been lost on this form so it will be more difficult to read.
The drive by DCC to certify Dunedin as an International Dark Sky City is a total folly and a waste of
money, but worst of all - it wil destroy stunning night views of tens of thousands of residents in at
least 26 suburbs.
While the move to LED lighting is a good move by council, the shading that will destroy our night
views of the city has not been thought about.
The plan to shade the new street lights should be stopped immediately for the fol owing reasons
1. Looking at the black hole in the city lights that is the street light trial, moving to the new shades
will obliterate Dunedinâ€™s famous night views from at least 26 suburbs - The Cove, Waverley,
Vauxhall, Shiel Hill, Andersons Bay, St Clair Park, Kew, Corstorphine, Calton Hill, Lookout Point,
Balaclava, Mary Hill, Mornington, Belknowes, Roslyn, Maori Hill, Dalmore, Liberton, Pine Hill,
Waikari, Helensburg, Halfway Bush, Brockville, Opoho, and Ravensbourne.
2. For years the council has repeatedly used multiple pictures of Dunedinâ€™s amazing nightscape
to promote the city. And rightly so. No city anywhere in New Zealand of Australia has anything like
our hill views of the city and harbour, except for perhaps a couple of multimillion dollar
3. The council obviously see our night views as a major asset to the city, yet they plan to destroy
that major asset. A large amount of our city promotion showing this great asset will have to be
pul ed, other any future promotion of our stunning night views, will be false advertising.
4. Residents have spent millions of dollars on decks, window alterations, and house remodelling,
to take in our amazing night views â€“ this will be wasted money.
5. Home buyers have spent tens of thousands of dollars as a premium for homes and sections that
have great night views over the city. For people who work during the day, they see their night
view much more than their day view. All this additional value that has been paid for a great night
view will be destroyed. Have residents been informed of this, and will the DCC compensate for
millions upon millions of house value they are destroying?
6. To pass International Dark Sky certification minimum requirement 1 (F), businesses are required
to completely extinguish ALL lit signs by one hour after sunset, until one hour before sunrise . In
winter, this means most businesses will have to turn their signs off while they are still open. Even
in summer all the bars, restaurants, takeaways and petrol stations will have to turn off all their lit
7. Similarly, to pass International Dark Sky certification, thousands of businesses will have to
spend millions to upgrade all the lighting over areas such as supermarket car parks, car sales
yards, business yards and car parks, and all security lighting.
8. If businesses have not been told of this, consulted on it, and that their views taken into
consideration, then this is a clear and obvious breach of several parts of the Local Government
9. If householders have not been told of loss of night views that they have paid significant sums of
money for, and potential losses of their part of their home value, been consulted about it, and
had their views taken into consideration, then this is also a clear breach by council of the Local
10. The folly of the Dark Sky Certification, is that even if the council spent millions on the dark sky
initiative, star gazing from the city would still be nowhere near as good at driving 5 minutes
outside of the city.
11. In fact, if you took 1000 locations in the South Island, except for Christchurch, Dunedin would
be the very worst of 1000 locations try to make turn into a dark sky place.
12. The moon causes significant light pol ution that hinders star gazing. The moon is out at some
time of the night on 27 out of every 28 days.
13. With our coastal climate, on the one or two days a month when there is no moon, it is likely
there is cloud cover, or moisture in the air.
14. The very reason we light pollution from the city, is all because we have so much moisture in
the air from our coastal location. In other words, if there is light pollution, that means there are
plenty of moisture particles in the air, so star gazing is not at an optimum anyway.
15. The best dark sky places are a/ far inland 2/ have a dry or even desert air 3/ are at high
altitude. Dunedin has none of these attributes.
16. The ONLY Dark Sky Certified communities anywhere on the globe, that are near the coast, are
ALL tiny villages, and ALL of those are on remote islands.
17. No city anywhere near the size of Dunedin (even with all the best attributes of dry inland and
high altitude) has ever been awarded Dark Sky status.
18. Virtually all towns with 10,000 or more with Dark Sky certification, are dry climate and desert
towns , at high altitude (i.e 7000ft)
19. Our stunning historic heritage will be invisible at night as a minimum requirement for Dark
Sky certification will be to turn off floodlighting on our historic buildings, statues, monuments,
20. A minimum requirement to pass Dark Sky certification is that there is broad community
support. I have talked to dozens of people, and not one wants to lose their night views of the city
lights to get Dark Sky certification â€“ not a single one - including many of us who like stargazing
21. The consultation on the new street lights is appallingly inadequate. The council is asking
residents about the colour of the lights, but has totally failed in any way to inform the residents of
26 suburbs (or anyone) that they are planning to obliterate Dunedinâ€™s night time views.
22. The council is getting a reputation as of progressing with projects that narrowly focus on
improving just one aspect of the city, while being ignoring any negative consequences, and ending
up as an expensive fiasco. The South Dunedin cycleway has example after example of this, and
even expensive redesigns have had ripped up for a second time and re-redesigned. Even now
there are highly dangerous aspects of South Dunedin pedestrian redesigns. I recently saw a smal
boy nearly kil ed, because the extended curb supposed to make it safer for pedestrians, mean that
long trucks cannot get around the corner without the back wheels crossing the footpath EXACTLY
where pedestrians are supposed to stand. Hundreds of tyre marks on the footpath shows this
happens all the time. Similarly the Highcliff Rd safety barrier is safer for cars, but is considered a
â€œcheese cutterâ€ for motorcyclists, and is a death trap for pedestrians and cyclists. Projects
MUST be progressed with an open mind to negative consequences. Time after time projects end
in an expensive fiasco and an embarrassment to competence of the council, as they are pushed
through with a narrow focus on a single goal, with an arrogant dismissal of any negative
23. Therefore, with a growing reputation of wasting millions by rushing in headlong into projects
without properly looking at the consequences, it is time for the council to have a good look at the
major negative consequences of the Dark Skies initiative. Without that, the Dark Skies project is
almost guaranteed to be another failed debacle
24. BEFORE the council starts spending mil ions on instal ing new lights, the community and
businesses MUST be informed and consulted about the many ramifications of the councils plan
that are hugely negative for residents, home owners, voters, businesses and the city in general.
At the very, minimum the council is required to do that by law.
The ongoing controversy surrounding LED Blue White lighting should be enough to halt
instal ation of the current form of LED's proposed by both the DCC and NZTA. Â The DCC has had
meetings enough surely, with informed and knowledgeable experts to think more than twice
about instal ing anything other than the amber 2200K LEDS. Â
So much money has been invested in creating a lovely city, a creative hub, "the world's greatest
little city", and research and consultation on uplifting the over all well-being of a city's residents.
Â And tourists won't like it either. Â Please pause - and take more time with this decision. Â So
much good has been done in raising the city's profile positively, and in development, that it would
be the greatest shame of all to wreck that integrity with LED lighting that has a negative impact on
the health of citizens, the look - mood - and feel of a city, and the potential for Dunedin to be
recognised as a Dark Sky City.
IfÂ The NZTA has already approved amber 2200 K LEDs for the towns of Tekapo, Mt Cook,
Fairlie and Twizel, then why can't Dunedin have the same?
Thank you for your considerations.
- I am pleased that the new LED lights are not much visible from the surrounding hil s. Based on
international research this is best for viewing the night sky, and for creatures that rely on dark.
- I think they give good visibility on the ground, however the lights used in the trial were
extremely bright, and light up all houses in the streets, rather than just the ground beneath them.
This seems like overkill.
- I think the 3000 kelvin "warm white" bulbs lights are too bright for most residential areas.
Current scientific research warns that such tones are not good for human circadian rhythms, and
that yellow tones are better for health and well-being.
- I think the bulbs used in the trial (I don't know if there was a difference, but the ones in Fawcett
St seemed painfully bright) would be suitable for main traffic routes and around shops and food
premises that are open throughout the night, but I think they are too "white" for predominantly
residential areas, and areas on the outskirts of the city.
- One other thing I'd like the council to keep in mind, is that while the LED bulbs reduce sky glare,
they are very bright from directly beneath. This is useful for some purposes, but please remember
that many of Dunedin's residents live on hills, and live directly underneath streetlights (rather
than on flat sections with some distance from the street). I live on a steep section in Andersons
Bay, and have two streetlights on the street above, about 8 metres above our house, that shine
directly down into our bedroom windows. Living in an old house, it has proven difficult to keep
the light out, even with triple layer blackout curtains. At present, at least the light has a warmer
orange tone. I am dreading that light being bright and "warm white", as I have struggled with
sleeping since arriving in Dunedin 6 months ago, and am used to living in a dark neighbourhood in
To summarise, I understand that the current streetlights are outdated and will need to be
replaced. In my own home we have recently upgraded al our bulbs to LED, however we have
chosen coloured Hue bulbs, and find that in the evenings 2200 and 2400 K light is the best, while
anything brighter feels harsh and unnatural. I know that streetlights need to light the roads for
driver visibility, but it is important to consider the impact on the humans living nearby - and on
the creatures that rely on darkness for things like migration, mating, etc. I wonder if you could
consider a compromise - choose 3000K bulbs on main routes and busy intersections, and near
businesses that are open at night, and in suburbs, semi-rural areas, and near ecological spots like
Jubilee park and the botanic gardens, choose warmer light such as 2400K. They will still be much
brighter than the current bulbs, better technology, and more future-proofing for the council's
lighting network, but wil be much better for the health of the residents and animals that inhabit
The 3000 K LEDs planned for our city emit too much disruptive blue-rich light, excess luminance
and glare. We need much safer lighting. This blue-rich lighting is now being questioned in Europe
& the United States. At the very least, I urge council to take more time with this very important
decision, 2700k lights will be available in April 2019, well before the NZTA subsidy runs out
I have seen the trial LED lights in South Dunedin and find them blindlingly bright compared to the
old sodium lights. Please don't install them throughout Dunedin. Or consider instal ing amber-
hued LED lighting and provide better shielding. Even though the trial lights are directed
downwards, they stil seem inadequately shielded and appear to be throwing off unwanted spil to
the sides and above.
Blue-hued LEDs would interfere with our lovely night skies, interfere with sleep-wake patterns,
disrupt fauna and flora (birds, insects, plant photosynthesis), but they would also destroy the
golden glow more appropriate for the ambience of our heritage city. As an example, I point to
Rome, where last year yellow sodium streetlights were replaced with blue hued LEDs. Residents
complained about the new "harsh" lighting, which made their city look like a "morgue". Do not do
this to Dunedin. Do not let Auckland or Wel ington determine what lighting in Dunedin should
look like. We have a special city, unique to New Zealand, with fabulous night skies and an historic
atmosphere, most evident in the city center. Imagine Harrop St., off the Octagon, illuminated
with blindingly bright blue-hued LEDs; it would be awful.
City planners should also strongly consider dimming streetlights when there are no cars in the
area, this will conserve energy and conserve night skies. This has been done elsewhere. (I can only
attach one relevant .pdf file to this, so I will send another .pdf separately.)
I have already provided feedback, however I could not attach more than one file. The attached file
describes Norway's road lighting that dims when no cars are around, which saves energy and cuts
costs. Here's a link to the article:
1. I am a resident of City Rise and and overlook the city, harbour and ocean from my home. I
chose to live here because of the spectacular view. Now the night view is to change with the
introduction of blue rich white LED road lighting. This will have a major visual impact on Central
Dunedin as seen from the hil s above the city and around the harbour where most of us live. No
longer will we look down to a warm amber colour which suits the climate and our beautiful
heritage buildings. It will look cold and uninviting. Others I have spoken with agree and add their
concerns about the affects on human health, and wildlife. They are aware of new international
research on LEDâ€™s and ask for a pause to re-consider.
2. I have lived for many years in Tekapo NZ and the Sibylline National Park, Italy, where the night
sky is a wonder to behold. Please note that last month Lonely Planet Travel Trends for 2019
placed 'Dark Skies' uppermost. To quote â€œAcross the planet, travellers are now seeking out the
world's last-remaining dark places where they can get a clear, unpolluted view of the starsâ€.
We must protect Dunedin from excessive light. I fear that unless expert advice is taken, we risk
destroying an enormous economic opportunity for Dunedin to become the world's first ever Dark
3. What we want are glare-free, warm white 2700 K LEDs as a maximum on main arterial routes,
with glare-free, amber 2200 K for residential areas, parks and reserves. If it can be done for
Tekapo it can be done for Dunedin.
PLEASE PAUSE and RECONSIDER
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WARM TO COLD
I am quite concerned about the adverse health effects of the planned 3000K for residential streets
(4000K for highways). I own a mixed use (commercial/residential) heritage building on George
street that is flanked by streetlights. I am quite concerned that the new LED streetlights (at either
3000 or 4000K) wil have too much blue light bathing my property. This concerns me greatly given
evidence linking blue spectrum LEDs with sleep disruption and adverse health effects. I urge the
DCC to consider adopting warmer LEDs that work with, rather than against, humans' natural sleep
cycle. The city only has one chance to get this right. Further, it is unfortunate the DCC only trailed
ONE bulb (3000K), not the ones that are better for health, and this was done in a low decile
community (who might not advocate for the best outcome) rather than a range of communities.
I have checked the trial streets and noted the LEDs do not give as diffuse light as we have been
accustomed to with sodium lamps. I would not like one of these LEDs directly outside my house.
I understand that LED technology is rapidly evolving, as is understanding of its potential health
impacts. I would therefore prefer the DCC to delay implementation as long as possible to be sure
these are truly the best lights for the purpose â€” and for the wellbeing of residents.
I visited the street lighting trial in the Melbourne St area and was unable to complete the walk I
had planned.Thankful y i was driven there, as afterwards I would not have been able to drive
myself safely away from the lighting.The new lights are way beyond my comfort level, and indeed
caused me to feel ill even with my sunglasses on, and a peaked cap.I definitely could not look
upwards. I feel for those poor citizens living with unwanted light spil onto their properties.How
on earth wil they be ever able to look up at the night sky, or close off that harsh intense light
when it comes time for sleep. I absolutely do not EVER want this choice of obscene lighting
anywhere near my property, and feel very very sad that the DCC have foisted this decision on the
ratepayers who live here. I respectfully ask that the DCC halt this roll-out, and consider the new
science emerging all the time. The Royal Society of NZ has recently published a well researched
and thorough paper on the problems of Blue White lighting, with many verifiable attachments. If
other communities are allowing more community friendly LED's, that will do no harm to people,
our wildlife or our beautiful night sky, why are the DCC stubbornly pushing this type of lighting
upon us. Three or four years ago, the science and the supporting economics of the decision may
have made sense. Not so now. Please do the decent thing, and review the decision. This rol -out in
it's current planned form will hurt many citizens unnecessarily.My understanding of the role of
Council is to ensure the health and wel being of it's citizens and not knowingly cause harm.Thank
My wife and I were NOT impressed with the lights, it appears far too harsh and makes the area
look like some sort of gulag. A lot of light was impinging on the houses nearby, despite the
shielding and the lighting was uneven along the road. Please could you use a lower temperature
LED to try and minimise this? (If you decide to rol out this where I live, I want to inform you that I
DO NOT WANT this in the lght just outside my house in Stirling ST). Thank you
It's an improvement, but not ideal, that the DCC have opted for 3,000 K over 4,000 K LEDs. The
3,000 K LED road lights on trial in South Dunedin are far too bright, very harsh on the eye and
despite shielding, their light trespasses into dwellings, which may have a negative impact on
people's health and wel -being.
Itâ€™s not acceptable to light up peopleâ€™s homes anymore. Road lighting must avoid trespass
into private property, specially designed luminaires and shielding may be needed where dwellings
are close to the road.
There were light and dark zones on the LED il uminated streets, more so than the HPS. The
illumination from HPS was more even and the lamps themselves less glary. If the HPS lamps were
shielded they would be far superior to the LEDs.
Much better LEDs are available that diffuse the light evenly, and create less glare.
If Dunedin is to become an international night sky city then arterial routes and state highways
under the aegis of the NZTA must deploy ful y shielded (as per the IDA) 3,000 K LED and not 4,000
K as currently planned, Hamilton has set a precedent, as have towns in the Wairarapa's dark sky
reserve with 3,000 K LED road lights on arterial routes.
New street lights okay,quite impressed,with what I saw.Quite dark down Melbourne Street at
5.25am this morning Sat Nov 10
28th November, 2018
My name is
and I'm extremely concerned with the new LED road lighting in South
Dunedin. In fact, there are so many problems, the issues cannot be ful y addressed here. The vast majority of New Zealanders are unaware of the shortcomings and inherent
risks of this lighting technology - and the LEDs in South Dunedin demonstrate unfit for
purpose lighting is being installed without the necessary know how and expertise.
This matter is so serious, a group of concerned residents are scheduled to meet the Minister
of Health, David Clark, to present an appeal for safer road lighting, supported by recent
scientific papers, journals and literature, letters from various professional experts,
medical/photographic records, and the 2018 report by the Royal Society of New Zealand. It’s urgent that Dunedin’s retrofit be delayed.
LED lighting technology is stil in its infancy. It has unique properties and poses many
chal enges that lighting engineers, designers and decisionmakers in New Zealand are stil
grappling with. Indeed, there’s an alarming lack of expertise and understanding about how to
mitigate the drawbacks and properly implement this form of lighting. There’s also insufficient
acknowledgement of the negative consequences they have upon safety, health and life
quality. We simply don’t know enough about the human visual system, chronobiology, and the
technology itself, to confidently assume it’s safe.
Adequate testing is required and this must be undertaken by independent researchers
unaffiliated with the light industry, which has a vested interest in the results. We cannot replace high-pressured sodium (HPS) road lighting with LED luminaires on
a one to one unit basis
. There are simply too many different variables involved that al need
to be considered and calculated properly.
The blue-rich white LEDs in South Dunedin, produce excess luminance
(too much light
fal s on the human eye) which results in dangerous disability glare. This can harm eye health,
hinder vision, reduce safety and compromise security. Excess luminance is especially problematic for those with keratoconus
, a common form
of astigmatism. This degenerative eye condition causes extreme photosensitivity and
exacerbates the negative effects of glare, making driving under blue-rich white LEDs
dangerous, stressful and painful. New Zealand has an unusual y high incidence rate of this
condition. Blue-rich white LED road lighting is particularly unsuited for our population. Many people cannot tolerate the glare of these LEDs and are unable to safely drive at
night or walk home comfortably
. The blue light content of high-intensity LED road lighting
luminaires creates worse nighttime glare in general, and can cause increased starburst visual
disturbances, especial y for drivers over 40 years-old (which accounts for most of the driving
population). As a result, these luminaires decrease visual acuity and safety, and pose a
. There’s already been numerous letters published in the ODT newspaper in
recent months, from distressed members of the public who have been personal y impacted,
their freedom restricted and their families affected. (People who suffer from migraines, autism,
photosensitivity and certain mental conditions are also vulnerable to the blue-rich content,
excess luminance, glare and flicker generated by LEDs.)
Human vision is complex and there is much more we need to know. What’s obvious, is the
strong contrast produced by high-intensity LEDs prevents dark adaptation and hinders
needed when driving at night.
Please watch the technical lecture by Wout van Bommel on Signify’s website (formerly Philips
Lighting) about mesopic vision, which explains why blue-rich white LEDs are particularly
unsuited for il uminating our roads at night. https://goo.gl/byqmt4 White LEDs 3000-4000 K also emit oxidising blue-rich light which is phototoxic to the
human eye and is linked to retinal damage and cell death
The disruptive blue wavelengths of light from these LEDs can also harm health by preventing
the production of the hormone melatonin which plays a vital role in the regulation of healthy
neuro and endocrine function. Melatonin known for regulating circadian rhythms, is also a
powerful antioxidant which provides protective anti-cancer and immune boosting effects. (See
the recent 2018 report on Blue Light by the Royal Society of New Zealand.)
Due to their high directionality, these LEDs do not illuminate evenly
, instead, there are
noticeable bright and dark zones which compromises vision, safety and security. Rather than
address the cause of the problem (non-uniform light distribution), lighting/roading engineers
add more luminaires but this only results in over lighting, adding more disruptive blue-rich light
to the environment, and increased light pol ution.
The high directionality of these light sources also causes a worsening of light trespass into
private property, invading people’s homes, reducing privacy, comfort, and preventing
proper rest at night
. (Pul ing the curtains at night is not the solution.) These LEDs are too harsh, glary and bright
. Comparable to “prison lights,” and the clinical,
flat, lifeless light of a morgue, they are completely unsuited for our city and the welcoming,
warm atmosphere that befits Dunedin and its beautiful historic buildings.
The white light emitted by LEDs is not a sign of “progress”, a necessity to save energy, nor
despite erroneous claims by the lighting industry, is it safer or an improvement. In fact, just the
It’s shortsighted, inappropriate and irresponsible to light up our nights as if they were day (the
blue-rich light emitted from white LEDs trick the body into thinking it is daytime). And it’s vital
to preserve our urban nightscape with consideration, care and awareness of its biological,
environmental and economic value.
Instead of waiting for the technology to mature, and ensuring it’s safety and suitability,
we’ve embraced this new form of lighting without applying due diligence.
savings, performance, and the lifespan of the technology have been grossly exaggerated -
and lured by promises of reduced operational /maintenance costs, and substantial funding
subsidies, decision-makers have been swept up by the LED juggernaut. As a consequence,
we’ve ignored how to safely and effectively il uminate our surrounds – all to our detriment.
Cities around the world are now rejecting unfit for purpose blue-rich white 3000–4000 K LEDs,
and favouring warm white 2700 K lamps with reduced blue content, with the more savvy and
smart municipalities, insisting on amber 2200 K LEDs. LEDs have modules in a flat array, exposed to the human eye.
Due to their glare, blue-
rich light and excessive luminance (which harms eye health, impairs vision, and compromises
safety) LED modules need to be sufficiently recessed, hidden from direct view, shielded and/or
have suitable optics that cover the modules and diffuse the intensity of the light they emit.
Road lighting must have an appropriate and suitable spectral power distribution (SPD)
and these LEDs do not provide this. Only glare-free, warm white 2700 K LEDs should be installed as a maximum on main
arterial routes, with glare-free, amber 2200 K for residential areas, parks and reserves
Although the night sky may appear darker under LED illumination, this optical il usion is caused
by high-intensity light restricting the pupil and preventing dark adaption. This makes it
impossible to detect al but the brightest star in the sky. It’s a myth these LEDs are night
While they do direct light downwards, and have less obvious upwards light spil
compared to the unshielded, HPS road lighting they replace, unlike HPS lamps, their light has
a peak in blue wavelengths of light which scatters readily, bouncing off the ground back into
the atmosphere, increasing light pol ution.
Blue-rich white LED road lighting will further degrade our night sky.
Surely, the large financial investment into a technology that wil last decades should
significantly improve the appearance of our city, enhance the life quality of all residents and
be of overal benefit to our region?
Considering the shortcomings and risks of the technology have been explained in various
submissions to the DCC with safer, practical options advised - instal ing these LEDs is
inappropriate, irresponsible and negligent.
Why are we accepting inferior lighting based on a poor decision made in 2017, when the
NZTA’s subsidy deadline has been extended until June 2021?
With so much at stake this decision doesn’t make sense, especial y when glare-free, warm
white 2700 K LED luminaires with reduced blue light content and improved optics wil be
available as soon as April 2019?
The NZTA has already approved amber 2200 K LEDs for the towns of Tekapo, Mt Cook,
Fairlie and Twizel, and needs to immediately update their m30 list of approved luminaires so
al municipalities can choose more appropriate lighting sources.
Please delay this rol out and do the right thing for your caring residents, concerned ratepayers
and active stakeholders – as wel as for future generations and our precious wildlife.
Dunedin deserves safer, fit for purpose road lighting, as does the rest of the country.