elwynn/Shutterstock.com via CityLab

To what extent does the color temperature of urban streetlighting impact how safe pedestrians feel walking around outdoors after dark? Researchers at the University of Granada recently polled 275 pedestrians in Granada, Spain, who were out and about after dark about their perceived safety—general well-being and concern about crime—on streets lit by either conventional high-pressure sodium halide luminaires, which give off a yellowish glow, or LED fixtures, which proffer a white-toned light. Pedestrians claimed to feel safer on the streets lit by LEDs, and the researchers suggest that could be due to the LED light's ability to better illuminate the faces of passersby. Another possible factor: LEDs' white light could inhibit the production of melatonin, causing an increased alertness and awareness, the researchers say.

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