Back in July, we started to see a large number of purple street lights. It's nothing new to see different colored lights in the Davenport area, but now it seems as though the issue has spread throughout the entire Quad Cities area.

There is a good chance you've seen these purple lights in some parts of the Quad Cities.

Source: Jake Truemper
Source: Jake Truemper

We here in the QC are used to different colored street lights. Many older lights that haven't been replaced In areas like Davenport are still orange.


While the new LED lights (when working correctly) have a more white tint to them.


So Why Are There Purple Lights?!

According to WSPA, these purple lights are actually a part of a major LED light malfunction.

These defects are being seen in multiple areas across the US, and WSPA  went on to say,

Duke Energy has been upgrading many of their older and less efficient lights with LED lighting over the past few years. Several hundreds of these white, street lights across the Upstate are now malfunctioning causing the lights to gradually turn deep purple.

This malfunction is most likely what we are seeing right here in the Quad Cities. Many different utility companies are using these exact same types of LED lights and are seeing the same issue. Experts believe this is the result of one bad batch of lights being distributed across the entire country, not just the QC.

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Is This A Problem?

While it might not look that bad, it can cause some visual issues while driving for some, overall the light just gives off a very dark purple tint, and isn't working as well as it should be. Overall, it is a pretty minor problem. Though one would hope there are plans to fix it.

Personally, I don't hate the color. I honestly think they are kinda cool. It almost feels like a video game when you drive by them, but again some are VERY purple, and I can see why people are frustrated by these malfunctions.


These Lights Are Not Here On Purpose

Some thought that these lights were a new type of "night vision" lights, but they are not.

On a more serious note, the color purple was also used in the month of April in memory of Breasia Terrell, a 10-year-old Davenport girl, who went missing July 10, 2020. Friends, family, and community members were asked to hang purple lights in their homes but the purple street lights do not appear to be linked to that memorial. More information about that here.

Others thought these lights were up because they are different, and cool looking, but that also does not appear to be the case.

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