Complaints of “dangerous” LED streetlights in Harpenden

Mike Sanders

Mike Sanders - Credit: Archant

Long-term eye damage was caused by LED streetlights in Harpenden, says a man who likened the new lamps to “dangerous” laser pens.

Mike Sanders, 68, of Front Street in Luton, was driving along Harpenden’s Luton Road in 2015, when a white LED light caught his left eye and made it sting.

The sensation subsided after about ten minutes - it was only about a year later on December 15 2016 that it happened again, except this time the burning, irritating sensation did not subside and Mike was seeing dark spots and flashes in his vision.

He got an emergency optometrist appointment the next morning and it was confirmed that Mike now has floaters in his eye, possibly caused by damage to the retina.

The symptoms are worst when driving above 40mph, he says, when the left eye mists over and starts to water.

Now about three months after that incident the flashes are still bothering him, especially in the dark, and the next step for Mike will be Moorfield Eye Hospital in London.

Mike says the doctors at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital are stumped and have advised that the symptoms will likely be long-term: “In my opinion a lot of these LED lights are dangerous, and I am wondering how many people are getting injuries.

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“It was a stabbing pain as though someone was pointing a laser in my eye.”

A spokesperson for Herts county council said both Public Health England and the LED supplier said they were not dangerous, and it has followed national guidelines of the colour temperance.

She said: “LEDs not only use much less energy but also emit less CO2 than conventional lamps, helping to cut the county council’s carbon tax contribution.

“Compared to conventional street lamps, LEDs use up to 80 per cent less energy, reduce light pollution, improve visibility and have at least five times the life expectancy.”