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Why Are Purple Streetlights Popping Up Around NC?

Updated: Nov 17



Have you noticed a purple hue coming from the streetlights around the Triangle lately? The reason for the purple haze is, unfortunately, not as exciting as a tribute to the American singer-songwriter Prince or a nod to Women's History Month, but instead, just a batch of faulty light bulbs.


The streetlights, which are maintained by the power company Duke Energy, changed color due to a manufacturing defect where the coating on the fixture’s bulb faded with time, revealing a base purple color underneath.

“Other utilities across the nation using the same stock of lights are experiencing similar issues,” said Duke Energy spokesperson Jeff Brooks. “We are working with the vendor to better understand the issue, and they are taking steps to ensure it does not happen again.”


According to Duke Energy, it's a rare sighting to come across one of the mysterious purple lights considering only 1.4% of the 360,000 LED streetlights in the Carolinas maintained by Duke Energy contain faulty bulbs.


If you happen to come across one of the purple streetlights, or any defective streetlight, inform Duke Energy by filling out an online streetlight repair report or calling the customer service center at 1-800-777-9898.

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