What's with the flashing street lights in Montreal's west end? It's only temporary, city says

The new LED lighting in Montreal's west end is a way to save energy, but the recent flashing of some of the bright street lamps have been a tad annoying for some residents.

Residents frustrated by on-again, off-again lights

Flashing street lights in Montreal

4 years ago
Duration 0:42
Montreal's new LED street lights are flashing in the city's west end, bothering some residents. The city says it is a bug in the system that will be fixed soon.

Montreal has been busy installing "smart" LED street lights across the city, but a bug in the system has been bugging some west-end residents — sparking humour in some and annoyance in others.

Dozens of street lights on several streets have been flashing late into the night. 

A Facebook group where NDG residents share community news, ask for recommendations and post the occasional complaint about urban life has been alive with discussions about a possible alien invasion.

Or a brownout. Or a power surge. Or a street disco. Or a replacement for tow truck horns during snow-removal operations.

The theories as to what's causing the flickering have lit up social media.

Some find the LED lights to be annoyingly bright, and the flashing is just adding fuel to fire.  Others just see it as yet another Facebook group gripe to joke about.

And some of those jokes have morphed into online rumours.

But the fact is, it's nothing more than the city working the kinks out of its new "smart" system, and the lights will stop flashing soon, according to city spokesperson Marilyne Laroche Corbeil.

As Montreal crews install the new lights, some technical issues may arise as the city is testing the new system for remote management, she said.

"An electronic component's defect in certain lights was found in the NDG area," said Laroche Corbeil in an email.

"The problem should be resolved via the intelligent system in early February."

With files from Kristy Rich


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