SIOUX CITY, Iowa — There are more than 8,000 streetlights in the Sioux City area.
According to Sioux City Public Works, only 2,000 of those lights belong to the city.
The rest are owned and operated by Mid American Energy.
Some streetlights have newer LED light bulbs illuminating the streets.
A small batch of lights are turning purple - something that could impact a large group of street lights due to a malfunction.
When the sun sets, street lights glow, but some lights are now turning purple in Iowa.
"I definitely noticed it happening," said Nathan Barber, a Sioux City resident, as he stood under the purple glow of a street light in front of his house.
It's happening nationwide to many utility companies.
"A lot of the lights on this street have been turning purple lately, so I kind of thought they were purposefully doing it," Barber said.
The purple light is due to a malfunction.
"There's a certain type of coating that filters lights on these diodes," said MidAmerican Energy spokesperson Geoff Greenwood. "That's failing and turning the lights into a purplish color."
The glow on the pavement comes in the mish-mash of colors - red, yellow and blue.
When that yellow filter fails, it creates a purple glow.
"Balanced correctly, the light should appear white, but the chemical is defective and not filtering light the way it should," s aid Greenwood. "That is not supposed to happen."
The issue isn't effecting all lights - the new LED bulbs are typically found on busier main streets and highways.
"The light that we have for this type of setting is typically brighter," Greenwood said.
Although the glow can be annoying, it's not too harmful to the eyes.
"I don't really like it because it makes the street a little darker and so it's also harsh on my eyes," Barber said.
"This is not supposed to happen, but it, fortunately, is not a safety issue - it's just that they're turning into a certain shade of purple," said Greenwood. "That's not acceptable, but the lights are still working - they're illuminating the area."
Utility companies won't know which lights are faulty until they turn purple - that's when the public can help identify the malfunctioning lights.
If you seen a purple streetlight, you should figure out the exact location of the light and report to the city, or directly with the utility company.
"As soon as we're made aware of a light that's purple, we send a crew out and replace it - assuming it's Mid American," Greenwood said.
Minnesota Viking fans may like that color, but for all who see a purple light and want to report - fill out the Streetlight Repair Request Form.