Street Lights Are Turning Purple


Momo Sutton

Purple highway lights along I-4.

Momo Sutton, Reporter

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) says there’s a defect in the LED lights used for streetlights. It’s caused streetlights all over the place to go from standard white to a deep purple. It’s not just FDOT dealing with the issue, several utility companies are also repairing and replacing purple lights. Duke Energy says it’s happening in newer LEDs that were installed within the last few years.

Due to that defect, there are now hundreds of purple streetlights across the Upstate, dating back all the way from August of 2021. FDOT says in Central Florida, 300 of their lights have turned purple affecting five highway interchanges. They’re working to get it fixed. More than 600 of the lights are defective along two of Central Florida’s busiest highways: Interstate 4 and Interstate 95.

“That particular defect is impacting a few hundred lights in our eastern North Carolina area, Florida, and the Midwest,” says Duke Energy Spokesperson Ana Gibbs. “Obviously, we’re looking into this and working with that particular vendor to better understand what happened and try to prevent it from happening again.”

The defective lights are predominantly along U.S. Route 17 near Lake Monroe in Seminole County, Dirksen Drive in State Road 472, Orange Camp Road, and U.S. Route 92 near Daytona on I-4. On I-95, the lights can be seen at Volusia County interchanges of LPGA Boulevard, U.S. 1, and Old Dixie Highway; and in Flagler County at State Road 100 and Palm Coast Parkway.

The problem is said to be in the bulb or filter on the Autobahn model light heads that are supplied by American Electric Lighting under Acuity Brands. According to Duke Energy: “The change in color is due to [a] manufacturer defect that was recently identified and is being addressed. The defect causes the color of the light to gradually turn purple.”

According to the statement, Duke Energy has been upgrading many of their older and less efficient lights with LED lighting over the past few years. FDOT said the supplier is providing replacements at no charge to Duke customers. The state is still paying the installer but hopes to recoup those costs from the provider.