The City Council is considering a plan to replace many of the street lights in town. New LED lights will save money through decreased energy and maintenance costs for years to come. This is also an opportunity to invest in the health of our community. Our sleep/wake cycle is controlled by the light around us, especially blue light. 

There is a growing body of research that points to connections between sleep disturbance and multiple chronic health problems (Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity). After an extensive review of the available evidence the American Medical Association issued guidelines for outdoor lighting. They recommend that; “LED lighting should be properly shielded to minimize glare and detrimental human and environmental effects,” “the use of 3000K or lower lighting,” and that “LED lighting to be dimmed for off-peak time periods.” 

The term “3000K” refers to the color temperature of the light. The higher the number the more blue the light is. The current proposal from Otter Tail Power is for older 4000K LEDs.

 Some cities have had to replace their 4000K LEDs with lower temperature products at considerable expense.

 I encourage Pelican Rapids to install fully shielded, dimmable 3000K LEDs now rather than later. This is a wonderful opportunity for our city to save money and invest in the health of the community at the same time.


Dave Ellison, MD