These Harrisonburg street lights recently turned purple – And here is why

September 4, 2023 by No Comments

Recently, a Harrisonburg resident named Nicole Maryland took to social media to ask a question surrounding a pair of unique light poles in the city. Instead of showing the typical white lights associated with street lighting, these gave off an ultraviolet, purple glow which made for a strange visual.

This question was accompanied by a photo of the lights which showed exactly what she was on about. So, had these lights been tampered with or was there a specific reason as to how this happened? It turns out that the explanation is quite simple and makes perfect sense when you think about it. The mysterious light poles can be seen in the image below.


It turns out that these are broken lights. They aren’t broken in terms of the glass smashing but instead, it’s to do with the lightbulb tint fading away over time. In short, LED is experiencing a defect. To achieve its bright white illumination, manufacturers apply a filter or coating to the bulb. Occasionally, this filter or coating deteriorates over time, causing it to peel or fade.

Consequently, more blue light penetrates through, resulting in a purple hue. This issue is often noticeable in urban areas where long stretches of road display a similar problem. This happens because they purchased these bulbs in large quantities, and many of them share the same defect. Mystery solved. However, it certainly does add a unique vibe to the area and you would assume that the Harrisonburg authorities will deal with it quickly.

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