Street lights turn off when I walk by.

Back when I was a teenager, I noticed that certain street lights and lamp posts used to turn off or flicker whenever I walked by. At the time, I was intrigued; thinking it was some sort of electrical phenomenon. Close to my house, there was one particular lamp post that seemed to turn off whenever I was in the vicinity.

While reading up on the subject, I came across material on a topic called Street Light Interference (SLI), which is basically the belief that certain people (often referred to as SLIders) are able to turn off street lights. The people that believe in this theory will often cite “unknown energy sources” from the human body, untapped psychokinetic abilities and static electricity.

To be honest – I think that the SLI theory is nonsense, and that this is just a simple case of people wanting to believe that they have some sort of weird energy source inside their bodies (we all like to believe that we are unique and special). Because they want to believe that their body is dispersing some sort of weird and unidentified energy, they ignore the other more-likely possibilities (this is known as confirmation bias).

Firstly, I think it is important to point out that Street Light Interference has never been proven. i.e. Despite all of these claims of being able to turn off street lamps, nobody has been able to recreate or reproduce the phenomenon.

Secondly – you are far more likely to remember a street light turning itself off. However, what about all of those times when the street light worked as intended? Did you make a mental note of that? I doubt it.

Thirdly – street lamps tend to use sodium vapor bulbs, which start to “cycle” at the end of their lifespan (i.e. they repeatedly turn themselves off and on). The most likely explanation is that the bulb overheats, turns itself off, cools down and then restarts itself. Obviously – people are likely to notice this “cycle”. This would also explain accounts from people who turn off a particular street light.

In conclusion: I think that a lot of people are in denial about this, simply because they want to believe that they have some sort of special power.