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Streetlights going out as you walk by, what causes it?

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posted on Feb, 25 2006 @ 10:12 PM
I've witnessed this phenomenon countless times, and I've heard other people mention it as well. I'm wondering, are there any prevailing theories as to why this happens?

My current theory is that the phenomenon is quantum-mechanical in nature. Many streetlights are attached to photocells that turn them off during the day and on at night. With a bit of atmospheric scattering and the right balance of conditions, the light coming from the bulb could form a delicate feedback loop with the photocell. Observing the light causes a fluctuation in this feedback loop, tripping the photocell and turning the light off.

Now I'll admit that this is a pseudoscientific explanation at best, but it's the best explanation I can come up with. Has anyone else experienced this phenomenon? What's your best theory to explain it?

posted on Feb, 25 2006 @ 10:23 PM
As for them going out, they are probably on motion sensors. Some streetlight out there are on motion sensors, they turn off and on when a car goes by. They do not respond to human walking though. So maybe just maybe a car went by and when you walked under the lights have gone out.

posted on Feb, 25 2006 @ 10:33 PM
called the slider phenomenon...several threads on the subject here

here's one for now
Streetlights go out when you walk under them... pt2

ATS google search for the rest

posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 12:08 AM
I worked hard at tagging ALL the s.l.i.d.e.r threads together. Took days lol.....
If you do a tag search for S.L.I.D.E.R.S you should be able to find them all.

Lots of information to be found this is for sure

[edit on 26-2-2006 by theRiverGoddess]

posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 04:45 AM
It's happened to me many times. My theory is we all have some type of energy surrounding us.

posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 04:52 AM
happens to me all the time........i'll be driving or walking and as i pass under the light it turns off.
i've found that they also come back on if they aren't on as i walk under them.
must be connected with energys

like a spiritually energetic person will absorb the power if they are in a fowl mood.
but perhaps they restore it if they are in a good mood.

i'm constantly blowing bulbs as i turn them on and when swiping my eftpos card it always says error. but as soon as i give it to the attendant it works first time.

[edit on 26-2-2006 by spearhead]

posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 08:42 AM
Many streetlights are naturally broken. They have photoreceptors that are supposed to tell when the sun is up and when the sun is down (or are on a programmed time). Sometimes the light conditions in a certain area are such that the receptors get confused, and they'll go on and off. It'll go on because there's not enough light. This then causes enough light for it to go off. It can't go off immediately, and so it stays on awhile before going off again.

Also, it could just be a problem with the fillament.

I studied this phenomenon when I was young. There was a few streetlights that I noticed would do this. Of course, being young, over-imaginative (and believing in some of those imaginations), and such, I thought I was causing it. Then, after that got boring (and I realized that, no matter what I did, I couldn't control it - and therefore, it could not be me), I realized that the lights which flickered like this were always, or often, the same lights.

So I studied these lights. In particular, one by my nonna's (grandmother) house. It would go on and off all the time - especially during the evening. Then I noticed that others that did this were always the same lights. Certain ones around my home. Certain ones here and there.

In essence, I found that it had to be something OTHER than paranormal, since it was a predictable phenomenon since it occured in only CERTAIN lights, and never in others. If it was me causing them, then it should happen to all lights.

Do the same experiments yourself on these lights you see. Is it the same one that always does this? If so, it's likely just a normal phenomenon. Are you able to control it? If you start thinking its someone else, take some time, and when you see it happen, wait around for it to come on again. Wait around for it to go off again. On again. Off again. I'm not going to lie... this could take an hour of observation, so please have patience.

In the end, you should come to the conclusion that it's something else - a mechanical problem (whatever it may be).

posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 01:02 PM

Originally posted by theRiverGoddess
I worked hard at tagging ALL the s.l.i.d.e.r threads together. Took days lol.....
If you do a tag search for S.L.I.D.E.R.S you should be able to find them all.

I'd never heard that term before, sorry for the dup! I'm actually floored that this is such a well-known phenomenon, looks like I've got some catching up to do!

posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 02:56 PM
This happened to me a lot as well walking home from a place i used to work they would click off right when i got to them the whole way down the road one at a time then click back on when i'd passed them .

I doubt it's anything paranormal in anyway it's certainly a little weird though when it happen's to several one after another.

My guess is vibrations from someone walking close and some cheap sensors or something like that.

[edit on 26-2-2006 by Teknikal]

posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 04:01 PM

Originally posted by Thao
It's happened to me many times. My theory is we all have some type of energy surrounding us.

Yep, thats what i think. Some of us may have more energy than others. Ive noticed this happening to me for year. Sometimes im driving, other times im walking or running.

posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 03:25 AM
yep, this has happened to me, in fact it has been happening allot to me, especially this year and i just came home and when i was coming home a street light like 5feet infront of me turned off by itself. This happens to me almost every night, and it does happen in other place too. For instance i live in Pittsburgh, but i went down to New Orleans and i was walking around one night and this streetlight right infront of me went out...very weird.

[edit on 27-7-2007 by ATSGUY]

posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 01:41 PM
Interesting topic. It's good to know I am not the only one this happens to. I've had that affect on streetlights since I was a teenager. That's the earliest I remember it, anyway. It still happens. Not every time, with every streetlight, but it does happen quite often. Also... when I was younger, I liked to wear a watch. But somehow, for whatever reason, the watches would just randomly stop working after a while. And I hadn't even had them for a year.

As far as those other things listed, I don't think I've had those things happen to me, though. Just the streetlights and watches.

posted on Apr, 27 2009 @ 05:09 PM
Streetlights,and other types of light going out when I walk or drive by,my cars interior lights coming ON on their own,all in all very frustrating stuff,but not only streetlights.

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