In 2016, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced guidelines encouraging restrictions on the spectral properties of outdoor and roadway lighting, based on CSAPH Report 2-A-16 from their Council on Science and Public Health.

The Illuminating Engineering Society recently completed a review of the report and guidelines and issued Position Statement PS-09-17, joining with the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD). IES approached AMA to revisit the guidelines and has stated it will continue to work with AMA to address its concerns.

From PS-09-17:

“The IES respectfully disagrees with the 2016 AMA Policy H-135.927 Statement 2 and the first sentence of Statement 3 specific to limitations on spectral content for outdoor area and roadway lighting. We want to emphasize, that while the principal motivators for the AMA report are understandable, the CSAPH 2-A-16 report filed as background for these statements does not provide sufficient evidence to substantiate these statements, and a more comprehensive analysis of the public health impacts of outdoor and roadway lighting should be considered prior to adopting policies that could have a negative effect on the safety of drivers and pedestrians.”


“The IES also disagrees with 2016 AMA Policy H-135.927 on the basis that Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) is inadequate for the purpose of evaluating possible health outcomes; and that the recommendations target only one component of light exposure (spectral composition) of what are well known and established multi-variable inputs to light dosing that affect sleep disruption, including the quantity of light at the retina of the eye and the duration of exposure to that light … The upper CCT limit of 3000 K contained in AMA Policy H-135.927 lacks scientific foundation and does not assure the public of any certainty of health benefit or risk avoidance.”

Click here to check out the full IES position statement.