LED: Why 3000K or Less

3000 Kelvin Shielded LED Lights Have Quickly Become the Standard for Outdoor Lighting

Save Energy & Lower Costs

3000K LED lighting is both economically viable and energy efficient.

Protect Health & Human Safety

High Kelvin lighting (greater than 3000K) create a harsh glare, making it difficult to see clearly at night. It can also suppress melatonin production, leading to disrupted sleep and other health risks. 3000K and less LED lights are the safest LED currently available.

Conserve Nocturnal Wildlife

Excessive outdoor lighting disturbs nocturnal wildlife and their habitat, negatively affecting birds, insects, turtles, fish and other species.

Protect Natural Nightscapes

Shielded 3000K or less LED lighting helps to reduce skyglow and improve nightscapes.



The Accelerated Transition to LED Environmentally Responsible Lighting has Brought a New Standard to Outdoor Fixtures

See the list of municipalities and organizations that are taking steps to provide responsible 3000K LED lighting. 

The rapid advancement of LED technology is unparalleled in the lighting industry, which has caused cities and utilities to reevaluate the specifications used for their street and area lighting applications. Early generation LEDs were typically 5000K or higher, which at the time was the upper end of the technology’s capacity for products that remained both economically viable and energy efficient.

A central deficiency of the early generation LEDs was the excessive amount of blue light they emitted, leading to complaints that they were too “cold,” glaring, and created an uncomfortable environment. Nonetheless, the only option available at the time that provided adequate lumens per watt and that were still energy efficient were 5000K+ LEDs.

Within just a few short years, the industry has dramatically improved the efficiency of LEDs, ushering in a new generation of 3000K “warmer color” products that emit less blue light. The lower kelvin lights are cost and energy efficient, safer, better for human health and wildlife conservation, and contribute less to skyglow.

Today, 3000K LEDs are the standard choice for outdoor lighting and are in use by dozens of municipalities – representing millions of consumers – both in the United States and around the world.  IDA anticipates that as LED technology advances it is only a matter of time before 2700K or lower becomes the new norm.

The following municipalities and organizations understand the importance of responsible lighting and have taken action to provide their constituents safe, cost effective, environmentally friendly street lighting:

Arizona Sunshine Coast, Queensland
Cochise County  CANADA
Colonel Smith Middle School  Alberta
Phoenix  Calgary
Sahuarita  Edmonton
Tucson International Airport  New Brunswick
Walden Grove High School Park
California  Montreal
Davis  Sherbrooke
Los Angeles
Oceanside  SPAIN
Riverside  Canary Islands, La Palma
San Diego
San Fransisco  ROMANIA
Western Riverside County  Targoviste City
Denver  Cardiff, Wales
 Lake Worth  North Island
 Georgia  South Island
 Georgia Power  Naseby
 Prairie Village
 New York
 East Hampton, Long Island
 Suffolk County, Long Island
 Town of Brookhaven, Long Island
 Town of East Hampton, Long Island
 Town of Southampton, Long Island
 Town of Southold, Long Island

Is your city or organization making the switch to responsible LED lighting below 3000K? Please contact [email protected] to be added to the list!

Learn more! Read IDA’s LED Practical Guide.

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