Street Light Interference

Professor_Pretorius

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I was reading the Matrix Glitch thread which includes some cracking Reddit threads. I was reading these in the morning before heading off to work at 4am. I was properly spooked by the various tories and by what the Missus had just told me about an old friend of hers who shared the same birthday and same day of death with her mother (!!)
So I'm about to start my car, and I could swear the garage light blinked. Except it's an incandescent bulb, not florescent tube. Somewhat startled, I started backing down the driveway, and the neighbor's garage light across the street went out !!! Like someone had shot the bulb out. No flicker, just POW!! I should point out the neighbor only recently installed this light and it has been working properly so far.

I usually make street lights blink out when in high spirits.
 

Simon

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gncxx said:
I'm sure there was an eternal light bulb or two mentioned in one of those UK TV magazine shows, like Nationwide or That's Life, where you'd get some little old lady who had stayed in the same house for two hundred years or whatever, and had the same lightbulb in her hallway all that time. They've probably all been replaced by the energy saving kind now. The bulbs, not the old ladies.

And yet they're more interested in the lightbulb!?!
 

GNC

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Well, I was exaggerating for figurative effect, but the point holds!
 

Yithian

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Round-up of theories surrounding the phenomenon:

The Curious Case of Street Lamp Interference
Massimo Polidoro
Skeptical Inquirer Volume 32.6, November / December 2008

It’s about midnight and you are heading home. Suddenly, the street lamp above turns off without reason, and you find yourself in the dark. It is natural to experience a chill. But what would you think if street lamps kept turning off when you passed them by?

It is something that many of us have experienced, at least once. Many don’t take notice, but others do and wonder if the cause of such interference lies inside them.

“The fact that so many witnesses are making claims which seem to involve a Street Light Interference (SLI for short), that they are doing so in apparent good faith, and doing so independently of one another and without awareness, that the effect may constitute a phenomenon in its own right, these circumstances encourage us to proceed on the basis that SLI, whatever its nature, does indeed occur.” These are the words of Hilary Evans, English author, fellow researcher and friend, who in 1993 founded “Project SLIDE”.

Says Evans: “Project SLIDE was created simply as a first step towards defining and assessing the apparent phenomenon. As its name implies, it sets out to be little more than an exchange of information between those who are interested.”

The idea is that there appears to be an effect that is not consistent with our current knowledge of how people interact with the physical world, and which occurs in specific circumstances.

Four explanations for SLI have been proposed.

Delusion
“A primary question must be: does SLI occur at all, or are the alleged witnesses deluding themselves?” wonders Evans. “Until the phenomenon is scientifically tested, it is not possible to give a decisive answer to this question. However, SLI has not the ‘appeal’ of witchcraft or abductions: there is nothing like the same psychological pay-off. Individuals seeking to enhance their reputation for possessing special gifts will not find much to flatter themselves with in SLI. In short, it seems highly unlikely that all SLI experiences are delusory.”

Continued here: http://www.csicop.org/si/show/curious_case_of_street_lamp_interference

Explanations suggested:
  • Energy Fields
  • Paranormal Phenomena
  • Mechanical Effect
  • The Power of Suggestion
 

heisenbear

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I have heard tales of light bulbs from the 30s lasting for 50 years and more. My impression is that before the advent of planned obsolescence light bulbs routinely burned for decades.

My parents fitted a Sylvania heat lamp bulb in their downstairs toilet in 1985. It's still working now. The element is massive, like a cooker coil.
 

Mythopoeika

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My parents fitted a Sylvania heat lamp bulb in their downstairs toilet in 1985. It's still working now. The element is massive, like a cooker coil.
They must be built to a high spec. I've encountered these things a few times and wondered why someone would put something so dangerous in a bathroom.
 

Coal

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They must be built to a high spec. I've encountered these things a few times and wondered why someone would put something so dangerous in a bathroom.
There's one in our bathroom. It's disconnected (by me)...
 

Ghost In The Machine

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Not street lights but I had this affect on watches - to the point I stopped wearing them (long before mobile phones came along making watches a bit obsolete anyway).

What finally did it for me was one night in 1984, the year after I left uni, but was still living with my friends in a student house. We had one of our parties, and that night my watch broke and a (solid silver) ring I'd worn for a few years simply broke in a couple of pieces, simultaneously. The next day, we heard a friend had died, driving home from the party (sober - he was a non-drinker, but it was an icy night, and he was killed by whiplash from his seatbelt). I'd been the last person to speak to him, alive - trying to persuade him to stay and sleep on our sofa. It haunted me for years.

Now whilst I knew objectively, my watch and ring spontaneously busting that night had no real significance as such - that was it for me.

Also when I was a kid, the clock in my room and every other one in the house all stopped simultaneously at the same time, one night. Scared the crap out of me.

Years later, I found my grandmother's watch - a nice 1930s or 40s one, maybe older - and paid for it to be fixed by a watchmaker. As soon as I wore it, it just stopped dead again.

Watches don't seem to like me.
 

AgProv

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the streetlights thing was douglas adams (I think it was long dark teatime of the soul)

I used to believe that I could make lights go out, and also that I knew a special code that you could tap into pedestrian crossings to turn them on!

This stuff must relate to those people who can make hoovers explode and watches break. Something to do with the bodies magnetic field? After all there's a lot of electrical activity in the body.

The astrologers (and again I'm broad-minded agnostic on this - it's an interesting theory to study) have the notion that it's all to do with the planet Uranus, which could be regarded as the Fortean Planet and the guiding locus of all things weird and wacky. An astrologer who "did" me pointed out that my Sun is conjunct my Uranus in my birth chart (obvious joke follows). Conjunct means they're apparently in the same place at the same time - in this case at 3:00 pm on Monday 27th August 1962 - like a very underwhelming long-distance eclipse.

So my Sun was up my Uranus, or vice-versa, which may explain many things.

Uranus also acts as a sort of "static" for electrics and electronics and mechanisms of all sorts. My astrologer predicted that I don't get on with wristwatches, be they wind-up or digital or battery driven. She was right. they don't "live" on my wrist for very long without stopping, slowing down, ridiculuously speeding up or otherwise fritzing. So score one for astrology.

Uranus prominent in a birthchart is a sign of weirdness. It also, apparently, has to do with people who can bugger up streetlights and electricals just by standing there. I've only ever noticed this as a threshold phenomenon. Waiting for a bus in the morning at around the time when streetlights switch off, you'd expect, if they're all set to the same timer, they'd all switch off at once. Yet the one at the bus stop where I waited switched off before all the rest, a did the nearest ones to either side; some minutes before the rest of the street. Odd.
 
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SurrealKangaroo89

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Back in the earlier part of this decade, when my brother was away for college and my mom worked in the evenings, my dad and I would often eat at a teriyaki restaurant. It seemed like on our return trip home, this one street light would always dim as we drove past. I’m not sure if it was me, my dad, or our car that was triggering it. I’m not sure if my dad ever noticed, but I always thought it was odd.
 

CuriousIdent

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For the benefit of those wondering just what the original post which started this thread was...

https://web.archive.org/web/20060307001545/http://www.forteantimes.com/happened/streetlights.shtml

Street Light Interference

I live in central London. I have to say that what I am about to report has not happened to me for ages now, but about five years ago it was happening all the time, and people were very dismissive (except a few who were with me when it happened).

All of which probably sounds more interesting than in fact it was - basically, street lamps kept going out as I walked under them. Mostly they were full on, some were in that half-and-half state when they are either faulty or just igniting. It wasn't every single street lamp I passed, but it was certainly enough to make me notice it, and then wonder what was going on.

I formulated a few rather unconvincing theories about the capacitance of the human body, and how, when they were in that "just striking" state, that they must be in a fairly easily-influenced situation, but I still found it odd. My reason for contacting you is that I have subsequently been told that this happens to other people too.

Peter


Christina Hibbins

Itoopossessthis'power'andfirstbecameawareofitin 1995. It was in fact not myself who noticed at first but a friend. He pointed out that when I walked under street lights they would go out or switch on. I put it down to pure coincidence until the summer of 1996 whentwo strange incidents occurred. While visiting relatives in London I found myself walking along Shaftsbury avenue late at night. As I walked under the protruding entrance of a well known theatre the lights dimmed as I passed along each one. I was with several friends who were witness to this and I was the only one passing under the lights. The second incident occurred again whilst in London visiting and I had been making my way to a hospital in a thunder storm. As I went into the hospital walking along the very long corridor the strip lighting above me would dim to the point of almost going out. People in fact stopped in the corridor to watch thespectacle I still have the ability to make street lights go out especially two particular ones on the street where I live.
 

IbisNibs

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Uranus prominent in a birthchart is a sign of weirdness. It also, apparently, has to do with people who can bugger up streetlights and electricals just by standing there. I've only ever noticed this as a threshold phenomenon. Waiting for a bus in the morning at around the time when streetlights switch off, you'd expect, if they're all set to the same timer, they'd all switch off at once. Yet the one at the bus stop where I waited switched off before all the rest, a did the nearest ones to either side; some minutes before the rest of the street. Odd.
Uranus is in my first house, and the first house symbolizes how one appears to others. So this means when you look at me, you see . . . no, I won't say it.

Anyway, as for street lights being on timers, is it possible that they are/were triggered by light levels? During big wonderful thunderstorms in the town where I grew up, the street lights would go on during the day if the storm clouds were thick and dark enough. Then when it brightened up again they would go off.
 

EnolaGaia

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... Anyway, as for street lights being on timers, is it possible that they are/were triggered by light levels? During big wonderful thunderstorms in the town where I grew up, the street lights would go on during the day if the storm clouds were thick and dark enough. Then when it brightened up again they would go off.

AFAIK most contemporary street illumination is automatically triggered by ambient light levels - whether controlled from a central sensor or via sensors built into each streetlight unit.
 

kesavaross

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Slightly off topic and at a tangent, I have no effect on street lights that I've noticed but any watch I wear stops within a few hours. Wind up watches take longer to stop than battery ones which stop working within minutes. Take them off, and they start working again. I've bought loads over the years including a really expensive Omega watch, and as always, the same story.

Also off topic, and sorry, but it's kind of related, I also have a friend who can tell if when we go for a day out somewhere, she can tell if we go under pylon cables. I though she was joking but one day while in my van going up the M23 she said I'll sit here leaning right forwards with head down towards my knees with my hands over my eyes and I'll tell you as soon as we go under pylon cables. Three times out of three she was correct. The first time we waited about 10 minutes before going under any cables. She said each time she gets a pain in her forehead.

Based on the above, maybe there is more to the human body than science can understand?
 

Coal

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It will be interesting to see if the switch to LED lighting has any effect on reports of SLI.
The intensity of some LED lights seems to trigger occasional occular migraines in my left eye - not pearl/diffuse light bulbs though.
 

Paul_Exeter

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Slightly off topic and at a tangent, I have no effect on street lights that I've noticed but any watch I wear stops within a few hours. Wind up watches take longer to stop than battery ones which stop working within minutes. Take them off, and they start working again. I've bought loads over the years including a really expensive Omega watch, and as always, the same story.

Also off topic, and sorry, but it's kind of related, I also have a friend who can tell if when we go for a day out somewhere, she can tell if we go under pylon cables. I though she was joking but one day while in my van going up the M23 she said I'll sit here leaning right forwards with head down towards my knees with my hands over my eyes and I'll tell you as soon as we go under pylon cables. Three times out of three she was correct. The first time we waited about 10 minutes before going under any cables. She said each time she gets a pain in her forehead.

Based on the above, maybe there is more to the human body than science can understand?
My mum was the same, every watch she tried over the years would stop or lose time. She gave up in the end, but used to carry a small travel clock in her handbag.
 

Paul_Exeter

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Take this for what it's worth, but here's our old mate Uri Geller demonstrating his ability (or not) to turn off a street light with the power of his mind.

Yeah, whatever Geller. How he must pine for the 1970s when people actually believed in his 'powers'.

There was a book written on this subject (SLIders, I think it was called). It was rather poorly written and lacked any real scientific basis. That said, I have witnessed this effect in the past but not lately, have streetlamps changed?
 

Mythopoeika

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Yeah, whatever Geller. How he must pine for the 1970s when people actually believed in his 'powers'.

There was a book written on this subject (SLIders, I think it was called). It was rather poorly written and lacked any real scientific basis. That said, I have witnessed this effect in the past but not lately, have streetlamps changed?
Changing technology of streetlamps has led to greater reliability.
There has been a change over to LEDs, because of better performance, reliability, safety and longevity.
Oh yes, and power usage.
 
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Coal

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Changing technology of streetlamps has led to greater reliability.
There has been a change over to LEDs, because of better performance, reliability, safety and longevity.
Oh yes, and power usage.
I bet that it's way harder to 'affect' LED lights... :)
 

Wolstan Dixie

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Yeah, whatever Geller. How he must pine for the 1970s when people actually believed in his 'powers'.

There was a book written on this subject (SLIders, I think it was called). It was rather poorly written and lacked any real scientific basis. That said, I have witnessed this effect in the past but not lately, have streetlamps changed?
He's discovered a street lamp that is faulty and switching on and off, timed it's cycle, and then timed his 'efforts' to capture the moment it goes off.
 

Xanatic*

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Or he just messed with the circuitry. I don't think you need more than a screwdriver to open most of them.
 

Wolstan Dixie

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Or he just messed with the circuitry. I don't think you need more than a screwdriver to open most of them.
Well that would be dangerous, illegal, technically complex and probably require an assistant. I've seen plenty of street lights flicking on and off - notice we don't see it off for very long. Occam's Razor!
 

Junopsis

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The intensity of some LED lights seems to trigger occasional occular migraines in my left eye - not pearl/diffuse light bulbs though.
Halogen bulbs (when they're used as rather sharp ceiling lights?) sometimes do this for me. I'll get arcs of ... I call it bad-JPEG-compression in my vision. They seem accompanied by a bit of the slowing-down feeling that comes with a proper migraine (you know; the feeling you barely notice until it's going away and you realize how much of a difference it is?), but I've never had migraine pain associated with them.
Had incidents of lights getting blurry on me sometimes, the day before a migraine or so, but that wasn't at all the same.
 
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Coal

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I call it bad-JPEG-compression in my vision.
Oh, that nails it, nice description. :hoff:

(The worst I ever had was caused by (back in the olden day) overhead projectors, I was practically blind for about two hours.)
 
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