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What’s Up with the Purple Street Lights?

Video report by Samantha Soucier | Centre County Report

It’s a bit of a mystery that’s happening nationwide and here in Centre County: purple street lights, like you may have seen on Curtin Road, South Atherton Street or Whitehall Road in State College.

Lights are turning purple in other states too, including Nebraska, Kentucky, Iowa and Kansas, and in Canada. As you can see in the video above at the Curtin Road and North Atherton Street intersection, the lights are different than others nearby, giving off a purple hue into the street.

Mystery solved: The LED lights are simply from a bad batch distributed nationwide. A defective coating on the lights has eroded, causing them to produce a purple hue.

State College Borough traffic signal and street lighting technician Bryan Thal says there have been delays getting replacement lights in.

“They’ll be replaced and they’ll all be gone by Wednesday of next week,” Thal said.

Although the borough is planning to replace all the lights, residents like Vincent Krall say they’re not bothered by the purple glow.

“I’ve walked by this intersection tens, honestly hundreds of times. I’ve never noticed it before,” Krall said. “But after pointing it out, it is surprisingly noticeable. It lights up a lot of the intersection.”

So if you see the purple ones, chances are they won’t be around for long.