Issues with LED street lights causing some to turn purple around Green Bay area

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 9:53 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 1, 2021 at 11:06 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Around the country, municipalities and agencies are reporting issues with new LED street lights turning purple.

Now that problem is in the Green Bay area.

“The benefits of having LED lights, when they work correctly, is that they better illuminate an area, and those benefits are being undercut when they turn this bizarre shade of purple,” Jonathon Hansen said.

Hansen is the president of De Pere’s common council and alderperson. He began noticing the issue and alerted area governments.

“I was surprised in terms of how many I found and the fact that they were in a number of municipalities in this area,” Hansen said.

He made a post on Facebook where people began sharing their experiences.

“I do think it impairs people’s vision. I think it makes it harder to see pedestrians, it just doesn’t illuminate the area as well,” Hansen said.

Action 2 News found purple lights in Ashwaubenon, Bellevue, Green Bay, and Allouez.

Several municipalities told Action 2 News they don’t track the purple lights. But they said Wisconsin Public Service is responsible for changing them.

“The difference again really is just the color of the light. Just that purple light color that’s being given off by these streets lights. However, the brightness is the same. The performance is the same,” WPS Spokesman Matt Cullen said.

WPS advises people to search for a plaque with a mixture of number and letters listed on the pole if they find a purple light. Here’s a link on where to report the problem: https://www.wisconsinpublicservice.com/secure/ssl/acct/street_light

According to the agency, the manufacture had a defect with lightbulbs but WPS is working to replace them for municipalities.

“Our estimate at this point is approximately 300 of these LED street lights could experience this issue,” Cullen said.

Cullen added that less than 1% of the street lights in their service area has problems, which stretches from central to Northeast Wisconsin.

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