'We are not experimenting with different looks': Wisconsin DOT says purple-colored street lights are a manufacturing defect

Posted at 6:51 AM, Aug 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-27 14:27:23-04

MILWAUKEE — As you’re traveling around the interstate you might notice some of the street lights give off a blueish or purple hue. Michael Pyritz with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation said there is a reason for that, and it’s not intentional.

“It’s not something new that we are doing we are not experimenting with different looks around the system,” said Pyritz.

Pyrtiz said the reason for the gradual change in color is due to a manufacturing defect. A few years ago WISDOT started switching out the lights for the more energy-efficient LED lights but earlier this year, crews started noticing some of them were changing color.

“One of the concerns we had early on was that they might not be putting out the same level of light, but what we have been seeing is it still puts out the same amount, just a different color,” said Pyritz.

About 500 lights have been identified as defective across the state, primarily in southeast Wisconsin, but Pyritz said other states that dealt with the same manufacturer are also dealing with the same issue.

Pyritz said the LED lights last anywhere from eight to ten years, but longevity is a concern with the purple/blueish lights.

“We don’t know if that’s going to impact the longevity of the lives so certainly something we want to take care of,” said Pyritz.

The manufacturer is in talks with WISDOT to replace the lights at no cost to the public, according to Pyritz. He anticipates crews will start replacing the lights in the upcoming months.