I make Streetlights go out

This is probably years since the subject came up, but for the record, I have experienced the phenomena of causing a streelight to go out when either driving or walking beneath it. I document these occasions to keep track of the frequency of these occurances, along with pertinent information: Location, time, weather conditions. It happens more than enough to be pure coincidence. I believe that some people have influence upon electrical items, I get the intuition that my mood is related to these periods. I would say that I have noted streetlights going out perhaps 30 or more times in the past 4 years. I am glad to have read that this happens to other people too.

Maybe I’m taking this too seriously, but here are two points:

  • 30 times in 4 years doesn’t seem such a large number, depending on your mileage.

  • You say it seems to be related to your mood. I’m sure your observations can depend on your mood and skew your data.

When you walk/drive under the streetlights, do they go off and STAY off or come back on again as soon as you leave the area?

Some links to Cecil’s columns
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/941028.html http://www.straightdope.com/columns/941111.html

And a link to a previous thread

Dopeler effect:
The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

Like other commentators, I’ve noticed a correlation with not sleeping, heavy drinking, and making the street lights go on and off. Though the lights still go off sometimes, since I stopped drinking heavily I no longer think I’m the cause.

The streetlight in front of our house goes off then on many times per night. Often, the next one in one or the other direction is off at the same time, so it gets pretty dark. No, it’s not because there are people walking by.

In twenty years, when the kids are gone and I have waaayyyyy too much time on my hands, I’ll start keeping a record. Stay tuned.

It is too clear, and so it is hard to see.

Hey, this happens to me too! I have kept a record, and average about 20 -25 per month. That is driving by and walking by. No, I don’t know why either. I also have problems with my wristwatches keeping accurate time and date, and battery life.



Take it back.

Street lights flicker. Watches quit working.

You will never notice it unless you are present.

Take it back.

Uh, Ken? Have you considered Listerine?

At last, I find that I am not alone!!
I walked the same 2-mile route nightly for over a year; during that time, one certain streetlight would blink out as I passed it, regardless of time, traffic or weather. For 200 nights in a row (yes, this freaked me enough to bother counting!) this Light of the Damned went dark at my approach.
Clearly, this is not a coincidence. What it actually IS…I have no idea. But at least I ain’t the only one…

All right, StoneCutter! Welcome!

What happened on the 201st day? What’s happened since?


I am stunned by the number of recent replies my recent account about streetlights has returned. There are those of you who believe I am wasting my time, but I find the the subject of psychokinetics to be a fun hobby. Why not pay attention to these things? One time, while driving to a movie theater, I chatted with my friend about an account I read in a book that of a man who worked in an office in Germany. Lights would go out when he was there, and if he was gone, they were fine. When my friend and I got to the movie theatre, the entire bulding was dark, out of power. No other buildings surrounding it were dark, and it must of just happened, because the parking lot was full, and many people were seen in front. I have strange occurances of electronic equipment breaking down frequently, such as a stereo not functioning for a while, then miraculously fixing itself. All I am saying is to not dismiss it immediately if you notice a pattern. Why not develope ESP? Why not try to discover time travel? We will never continue to evolve intellectually unless we are willing to think more openly.

On the 201st day I walked a different route! Doesn’t help, tho, the parking lot I pass still loses lights when I go by. And people I visit complain of the lightbulbs wasted. In one case, two within 15 minutes. I guess I am an Adept of the Dark Side of the Force!

I, too, once thought that I made streetlights go out.

In my freshman year at college, I had more opportunity to walk under streetlights at night than I had ever had before. The campus had lots of them, and I walked lots of places at night. That is when I first noticed street lights that seemed to go out when I walked under them. “Wow, that’s spooky,” I thought. But I never thought it was more than a very strange coincidence.

Since then, I’ve noticed and learned some things that make it seem much less strange.

The light bulbs in a typical streetlight are nothing like the light bulbs used in a residence. Streetlights use a variety of exotic bulb types, mercury vapor bulbs being one of the most common. These exotic bulbs are complex, and tend to have more in common with florescent bulbs than the familiar 60 watt screw-in incandescent bulbs. Some of them take quite a while (minutes) to warm up and turn on. When they burn out, some of them exhibit some genuinely wierd behavior.

When some of these exotic bulbs wear out, they begin to cycle on and off - all on their own! The bulb will slowly become brighter and brighter, then will suddenly go dark. After a few minutes, it will glimmer and start the cycle again. I currently have the misfortune of having worn out streetlights outside my apartment window and outside my office window. They both exhibit this behavior - on again, off again - on about a 10 minute cycle. They’re kind of annoying, which is why I’ve noticed them.

On reflection, it’s easy to see why streetlights went off in my presence so often in college. Because a worn-out mercury-vapor bulb is actually lit much of the time, it’s quite likely to be missed by a bulb-replacement crew. It’s also a less pressing matter than a light that’s completely out. So it’s easy to see how the job of replacing a lot of worn out, cycling bulbs could be put off until later. The campus had hundreds of lights that lit walkways, building entrances, etc, so if, say, 15% of them were worn out at any given time, it could add up to dozens of cycling lights.

So my campus probably had a lot of these worn-out, cycling light bulbs. And I did a lot of walking in the dark. It’s not such a big coincidence that a light would go off now and again as I walked under it, and it sure did catch my attention.

If you’d like to read far more about streetlights than you ever wanted to know, you could check out the webring of streetlighting’s devoted fans. (No, I didn’t realize that streetlights had devoted fans either.) In particular, there’s a long article on the history of streetlighting, which maybe I’ll read when I have a LOT of time on my hands.

If streetlights go out as you approach, it means you’re an abductee. Whether you know it or not. If you don’t know it, you need hypnosis so you can recall your abduction. I know this 'cause I heard it on the radio.

Seriously, I used to run a very old, eccentric, fragile, arbitrary Hewlett Packard GC/MS. I had a coworker who had only to walk past the instrument, to make the autosampler inject; which aborted that run and also the whole sequence. It was a pain in the butt and it happened every blasted time he walked by. I made sure the electrical outlet was grounded properly and put a static buster on the thing, but to no avail. The only thing we were able to figure was that he is a very large man, maybe >300 lb, and acted as a sort of antenna for EM radiation in the room … ???

Why does a streetlight flicker? Theyre just cheap. I go accross a bridge where i live, and the whole bridge goes out. I walk under street lights, they go out. Sometimes more then one sequentially as I walk under them.
I always thought it was cuase I had a bright personality, the light sensors thought it was daylight out. Those of you that think that you are the cause…why isnt it ALL electrical things…? Why dont your cars stop?
Why is your computer working right now??? hmmmmm??? reality check…knock knock

Warning The surgeon general has determined life is hazardous to your health