The latest hazard on the American Medical Association’s list causes insomnia, eye pain, reduced visibility, and disruption to the migration patterns of birds and turtles. What malicious entity hiding amongst us could cause such ill effects? Surprise: it’s not your phone, TV, or laptop.
If you suffer from sleep issues, the root of the problem may actually lie along the streets and highways you drive at night. Over the past decade, roughly ten percent of all street lamps in the U.S. have been replaced with brighter, more energy-efficient LED lights. Energy savings are super, but according to a report issued by the AMA last month, our newest and bluest street lights are screwing with our sleep patterns.
How can you tell which street lights are responsible for your less-than-stellar mornings? To understand the difference in the quality of light, look at the photo above. The overpass is lit by the older, tungsten-orange-style lights, while the roadway below is lit by a newer LED. The latter is clearer and more brightly lit. Great for roads, bad for bedtime.
To be clear, not all LEDs are created equal. LEDs are easily configurable to be any number of shades and intensities. In this case, it's the hyper-intense bluish-white light, chosen for its clarity, that's a problem. This is the same light emission you get from your television. These blue LEDs have been associated with suppressing melatonin at a much higher rate than traditional street lights. Hence, the alarming revelation that street lights might be keeping you up at night.
This is the exact reason Apple unveiled Night Shift with iOS 9.3.
Isn't staying awake kind of a good thing when you're, you know, on the road?
Yes, yes it is. The Department of Energy took issue with the AMA’s new "guidelines" on LED lights and even issued a response explaining what the real issue is: poorly designed street lights. LEDs themselves are not bad: the light they emit can be focused much more precisely than the older lights, and can be turned on and off in more practical ways that avoid unnecessary use. That reduces light pollution and, in turn, ecological impact.
The goal should be carefully designing street lamps to cut back on the problematic glare associated with LEDs that might be causing those sleepless nights. Until then, these are the sacrifices we make for Planet Earth.
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What I'm about to say sounds outlandish, and to the best of my knowledge, no one at either of the companies involved has seriously considered such an idea. Still, this is something that should happen. With nearly the entire automotive industry marching toward electric vehicles, Ford should seriously consider buying Tesla.
For a decade, Tesla has failed to make a profit from producing a high-quality, mass-market vehicle. The carmaker has yet to build the first-rate supplier network it desperately needs to make the numbers work, because it takes more than a mere decade to complete the impossibly complex supply chain that established manufacturers enjoy. The only companies qualified to help Tesla overcome this gap in both quality and costright now are those established manufacturers, and of the potential suitors, Ford would benefit the most.
If Tesla is going to fulfill founder Elon Musk's vision of hastening a future that is filled with fully electric and autonomous vehicles, the company will need a partner. Ford has everything that Tesla needs, and also stands to benefit more than any other potential suitor.
Your Everyday Survival Guide to the Lower East Side
When you move to a new neighborhood (or even if you’re just passing through), it can feel like your whole routine is turned on its head. That’s even more true in a city like New York, where the sheer number of options is bound to give even the most decisive person choice paralysis. But fear not, because we’ve broken down nearly everything you could need when you come to the Lower East Side -- from where to get your pants hemmed to where to find a $3 dinner (and trust us, that’s going to come in handy).
The Best New Car Features of the 2017 Detroit Auto Show
At this year's North American International Auto Show, aka the Detroit Auto Show, there weren't as many groundbreaking vehicle debuts as some might expect, but as the saying goes, "it's what's inside that counts." There was tremendous innovation and beautiful design tucked away in the details rather than the big picture. Take a closer look at some of the best new features, and you'll see new innovations that will impact the way we drive for years to come.