(Shawinigan) Council of Shawinigan is not too shaken by the reservations expressed by the American Medical Association on the use of LED lighting. Since May, the City is converting its 6141 street lights and no question for her to suspend the current operation.
WADA’s warning regained some arguments already conveyed to the potentially harmful effects of LED technology. This light may stimulate the brain developed to interfere with sleep and even certain cancers.
In April, the City of Montreal has decided to suspend its streetlights conversion project, preferring to await the findings of the Public Health Directorate. Trois-Rivieres has just declared that it will reconsider this technology when the time comes to change its 6,000 streetlights changed in favor of another system, there are about three years.
In Shawinigan, almost half of the lights have already gone Technology in sodium than the LED. The transformation should be completed in the fall and until then, no question of pressing the brake, said the mayor, Michel Angers.
“There are plenty of similar lights installed throughout the world,” he notes. “It is not because an American medical clinic … I remember the episode of smart meters, the old transmission towers … When it is validated and installed by everybody, the technology is safe. We’re going in that direction. Nobody will sodium lamps! ”
“If we have comments, we will make the necessary adjustments,” he adds. “I was reading about cancer risks … Hydro-Québec provides grants (up to $ 300,000 to Shawinigan), it exists everywhere in the world … Before thinking of alarm, if had anything, of any dangers, we would have been notified. Risks, there are probably everywhere in nature. These are technologies that are proven, validated and accepted. ”
The mayor recalled that Shawinigan innovates by combining LED technology with a remote control, making it even more efficient. “We are the first city (Quebec) to install intelligent control,” he says. “This will modulate lighting. It is installed at 60% intensity. According to the suggestions of citizens and our analyzes, we will be able to reduce if necessary. ”
The same remote control system was installed in Mississauga, Ontario.
“Light pollution risks will not exist among us,” says the mayor. “If people have a hard time sleeping, one is able to vary the intensity as you want, when you want. It’s not the same problem of those who install these lights at full capacity. ”
François St-Onge, Director of Communications, said that citizens have already commented on that intensity and that in some cases it had been reduced to 30%.
Municipalities interested in the LED system because it allows significant savings. In Shawinigan, they were valued at $ 482,000 per year in energy and maintenance.
In February 2015, the municipal council had entrusted the mandate to Énergère for improving the street lighting in the amount of $ 2.6 million. Then in December, DimOnOff obtained the contract for the supply of intelligent control system for nearly $ 743,000.
“There is an issue of significant energy savings and profitability,” agreed the mayor. “That’s a lot of money ! But the fact that embarks on an intelligent lighting allows us to avoid light pollution. Moreover, people from Longueuil want to meet with us to learn from what we do. ”
Last year, Trois-Rivieres was not considered appropriate to this intelligent control system for the conversion of some 9,000 street lights to LED system.
“We thought that since the lighting is very directional toward the street and the sidewalk, we do not see the need to have an intensity control,” says Yvan Toutant, spokesman for the City.
A compromise “ideal”
The company Énergère of Montreal does not fear that the fallout of the comments of the American Medical Association harm the reputation of LED lighting. No changes are planned in the draft Shawinigan which, however, did not adopt the optimal intensity for its new lighting system of public roads.
“One can choose heat (brightness), which is expressed in degrees kelvin,” says Catherine Roy-Cardin, Account Manager at Énergère. “At Shawinigan, is 4000 K, which represents the ideal compromise for energy savings and an interesting efficiency. It would have been possible to go to 6000 K, but you could have a different effect. Four thousand kelvin, it is the consensus that installs in major cities around the world. ”
Ms. Roy-Cardin also considers the intelligent control system is an advantage. This remote modulation calibrates each lamp individually, which was not possible before.
The spokesman noted that to feel the effects raised by the AMA, it is not only the intensity but also exposure time.
“For example, a night worker in a brightly lit factory,” she illustrates. “The sleep cycle can be disrupted because the light must keep these people awake. But here we speak of luminaires where the rate of exposure is minimal. The luminaires are oriented toward the ground; there is no glare in the houses. ”
Ms. Roy-Cardin added that these conversion projects DEL extend into schools with comparable intensity.
“There is no questioning that, but for streetlights outside, there is an outcry,” she said.
“It’s a false debate. It’s so far in the blue light exposure chain! Our cell phones generate, our computer screens and also our time of exposure to these tools is very important. It would see again these habits think luminaires, including the level and exposure time are almost nothing. ”