“Shaped like a pinecone (and hence its name), the pineal gland is located deep in the center of the brain between the two hemispheres and behind and above the pituitary gland.
“It acts as the body’s light meter, receiving light-activated information from the eyes (by way of the hypothalamus) and then sending out hormonal messages that have a profound effect on the mind and body. It’s activity, regulated by environmental light changes and the Earth’s electromagnetic field, is to transmit information to the body pertaining to the length of daylight.
“Since the length of daylight is a function of season, this transmitted information from the pineal tells every part of the body whether it is light or dark or whether the days are getting longer or shorter, and what season of the year it is.” – Liberman O.D., PH.D, Jacob. Light: Medicine of the Future, Ed Rochester, Vermont, Bear & Company, 1991.
Light emitting diodes, or LEDs, have been installed on my street and around the rest of Canmore at 5000K (Kelvin) and higher with no shielding. LEDs higher than 3000K are harmful to human circadian rhythms (sleep patterns). The blue light spectrum which happens at 4000K and above appears as harsh white light. This spectrum of light is harmful to human health and is not appropriate for our community, especially in our residential neighbourhoods.
From an American Medical Association report: “Human and Environmental Effects of Light Emitting Diode Community Lighting” the potential harmful effects of LED street lighting are:
A core concern of disruption of circadian rhythmicity or sleep disturbance
Long term increase in risk of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity from chronic sleep disruption.
Migration disruption of bird populations
Procreation of insect populations (which feed birds)
Disruption of turtle hatching and much more
I appreciate the letter to the editor reflecting on my previous letter. However, as described above, the writer is misinformed about benefits of LED lighting as a solution to light pollution, specifically when the light is not shielded or reduced in the lumens it has been programed to emit.
Within the Town it is interesting to me that there are some areas of the community that have shields and others that do not. It appears that newer developments within the community seem to be shielded and older ones like Three Sisters Drive get stuck with tall Cobra light posts left over from the second world war, bright 4000-7000K blue light and no shields.
Why is this? Harvie Heights has no lights; why are we so intent on lighting up residential roadways of Canmore like an airport? Has there been an environmental impact study on the impact of these lights? Jasper National Park seems to enjoy the dark. Darkness seems an important part of the Jasper tourism asset. Banff is in a national park too and we are their neighbours. Could be that it’s time for a lights out policy?