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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Blue streetlights in Spokane are manufacturer’s defect; city investigating

Some intersections in Spokane have defective LED streetlights that have turned a bluish-purple color. A good example is at 29th Avenue and Ray Street where three of the four lights illuminating the intersection have gone blue.  (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVI)

At night, strange bluish-purple lights illuminate some intersections in Spokane.

No, the streetlights are not that color to save energy. It is a manufacturer’s defect.

The city’s streets department is investigating the issue, said Public Works spokesperson Kirstin Davis.

Three streetlights mounted above the traffic signals at 29th Avenue and Ray Street have turned blue, while the fourth remains white. Affected intersections are Government Way at Sunset Boulevard and others along 29th Avenue.

“The manufacturer will be contacted to see if there is a recall or warranty for the lights,” Davis said. “When that is determined, we can determine how the lights will be managed.”

In the meantime, the lights do not present a safety concern, Davis said. She was unable to name the manufacturer.

The city maintains about 2,300 streetlights – all of which have been converted to LEDs – for downtown, most bridges and tunnels, and all lights mounted on traffic signals. Avista Utilities maintains over 11,000 remaining streetlights throughout the city.

A spokesperson for Avista said their lights have not been affected.

James Hanlon's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is funded in part by Report for America and by members of the Spokane community. This story can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.