Light pollution – what is it and how can the lighting industry change to address its impact?

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What is light pollution?

Light pollution is often still ignored or neglected in debates on environmental conservation despite the serious impact on nature and our nighttime environment. This phenomenon, resulting from excessive and misdirected artificial light, affects not only the beauty of the starlit heavens but also has profound consequences on wildlife and human health. Understanding light pollution and addressing it effectively requires concerted efforts, especially from the lighting industry, to illuminate our cities, infrastructure, and homes responsibly.

light pollution: what is it and how can the lighting industry help

The negative impact of light pollution

The adverse effects of light pollution extend across various facets of life and the environment. For wildlife, especially nocturnal species, artificial light interferes with natural behaviors such as migration, reproduction, and feeding patterns. Sea turtles, for instance, struggle to find the sea after hatching on beaches lit by bright lights, leading to increased mortality rates. Similarly, migratory birds can become disoriented by urban lighting, resulting in fatal collisions with buildings.

Even the smallest creatures are affected by the big impact of overly lit skies. A recent Dutch study found that moths and night butterflies are seriously affected by light pollution: the overdose of light affects migration, reproduction and forms barriers between natural areas leading to a splintering of populations. Humans are not immune to the impacts of light pollution. Excessive nighttime lighting affects our circadian rhythms and stress hormones while simultaneously also creating more artificial distance between us and nature.

Research on light pollution:

$

Artificially lit surface of Earth at night increasing in radiance and extent

$

Darwin and the street lamp: why it is good that the street lights go out more often

$

Missing the dark: health effects of light pollution

$

Light pollution is fixable. Can researchers and policymakers work together to dim the lights?

Solutions to light pollution from the lighting Industry

The lighting industry holds a pivotal role in combating light pollution through innovation and sustainable practices. Recent advances in lighting technology offer promising solutions. LEDs, for example, have been engineered to emit less blue light, reducing their impact on human health and the environment. Additionally, the development of smart lighting systems, which adjust brightness and color temperature based on the time of day and human activity, can significantly decrease unnecessary light output.

Moreover, the industry is increasingly advocating for and adopting lighting design principles that prioritize the reduction of light pollution. This includes designing outdoor lighting fixtures that direct light downward, minimizing skyglow and glare. By implementing these measures, the lighting industry not only contributes to reducing light pollution but also promotes energy efficiency and cost savings.

RAILLIGHTING’s commitment to combat light pollution

Since its inception RAILLIGHTING has promoted an industry stance against unnecessary light pollution and it’s negative impact on environments and people. We take our responsibility toward nature seriously as producers of outdoor luminaires. Our luminaires are equipped with shielding, motion sensors and LED optimization to ensure our railway luminaires give light only when and where it is needed. So that workers can operate safely while at the same time giving nighttime creatures their untouched environment back. By embracing and advancing sustainable lighting technologies and practices, the industry can lead the charge in preserving the night sky, protecting both wildlife and human health.

Credits header image: ESO/P. Horálek, M. Wallner

What is light pollution?

light pollution: what is it and how can the lighting industry help

Light pollution is often still ignored or neglected in debates on environmental conservation despite the serious impact on nature and our nighttime environment. This phenomenon, resulting from excessive and misdirected artificial light, affects not only the beauty of the starlit heavens but also has profound consequences on wildlife and human health. Understanding light pollution and addressing it effectively requires concerted efforts, especially from the lighting industry, to illuminate our cities, infrastructure, and homes responsibly.

The negative impact of light pollution

The adverse effects of light pollution extend across various facets of life and the environment. For wildlife, especially nocturnal species, artificial light interferes with natural behaviors such as migration, reproduction, and feeding patterns. Sea turtles, for instance, struggle to find the sea after hatching on beaches lit by bright lights, leading to increased mortality rates. Similarly, migratory birds can become disoriented by urban lighting, resulting in fatal collisions with buildings. Even the smallest creatures are affected by the big impact of overly lit skies. A recent Dutch study found that moths and night butterflies are seriously affected by light pollution: the overdose of light affects migration, reproduction and forms barriers between natural areas leading to a splintering of populations. Humans are not immune to the impacts of light pollution. Excessive nighttime lighting affects our circadian rhythms and stress hormones while simultaneously also creating more artificial distance between us and nature.

Research on light pollution:

$

Artificially lit surface of Earth at night increasing in radiance and extent

$

Darwin and the street lamp: why it is good that the street lights go out more often

$

Missing the dark: health effects of light pollution

$

Light pollution is fixable. Can researchers and policymakers work together to dim the lights?

Solutions to light pollution from the lighting Industry

The lighting industry holds a pivotal role in combating light pollution through innovation and sustainable practices. Recent advances in lighting technology offer promising solutions. LEDs, for example, have been engineered to emit less blue light, reducing their impact on human health and the environment. Additionally, the development of smart lighting systems, which adjust brightness and color temperature based on the time of day and human activity, can significantly decrease unnecessary light output. Moreover, the industry is increasingly advocating for and adopting lighting design principles that prioritize the reduction of light pollution. This includes designing outdoor lighting fixtures that direct light downward, minimizing skyglow and glare. By implementing these measures, the lighting industry not only contributes to reducing light pollution but also promotes energy efficiency and cost savings.

RAILLIGHTING’s commitment to combat light pollution

Since its inception RAILLIGHTING has promoted an industry stance against unnecessary light pollution and it’s negative impact on environments and people. We take our responsibility toward nature seriously as producers of outdoor luminaires. Our luminaires are equipped with shielding, motion sensors and LED optimization to ensure our railway luminaires give light only when and where it is needed. So that workers can operate safely while at the same time giving nighttime creatures their untouched environment back. By embracing and advancing sustainable lighting technologies and practices, the industry can lead the charge in preserving the night sky, protecting both wildlife and human health.

More safety and no light pollution with the innovative railpuck luminaire

Credits header image: ESO/P. Horálek, M. Wallner

What is light pollution?

Light pollution is often still ignored or neglected in debates on environmental conservation despite the serious impact on nature and our nighttime environment. This phenomenon, resulting from excessive and misdirected artificial light, affects not only the beauty of the starlit heavens but also has profound consequences on wildlife and human health. Understanding light pollution and addressing it effectively requires concerted efforts, especially from the lighting industry, to illuminate our cities, infrastructure, and homes responsibly.

light pollution: what is it and how can the lighting industry help

The negative impact of light pollution

The adverse effects of light pollution extend across various facets of life and the environment. For wildlife, especially nocturnal species, artificial light interferes with natural behaviors such as migration, reproduction, and feeding patterns. Sea turtles, for instance, struggle to find the sea after hatching on beaches lit by bright lights, leading to increased mortality rates. Similarly, migratory birds can become disoriented by urban lighting, resulting in fatal collisions with buildings. Even the smallest creatures are affected by the big impact of overly lit skies. A recent Dutch study found that moths and night butterflies are seriously affected by light pollution: the overdose of light affects migration, reproduction and forms barriers between natural areas leading to a splintering of populations. Humans are not immune to the impacts of light pollution. Excessive nighttime lighting affects our circadian rhythms and stress hormones while simultaneously also creating more artificial distance between us and nature.

Research on light pollution:

$

Artificially lit surface of Earth at night increasing in radiance and extent

$

Darwin and the street lamp: why it is good that the street lights go out more often

$

Missing the dark: health effects of light pollution

$

Light pollution is fixable. Can researchers and policymakers work together to dim the lights?

Solutions to light pollution from the lighting Industry

The lighting industry holds a pivotal role in combating light pollution through innovation and sustainable practices. Recent advances in lighting technology offer promising solutions. LEDs, for example, have been engineered to emit less blue light, reducing their impact on human health and the environment. Additionally, the development of smart lighting systems, which adjust brightness and color temperature based on the time of day and human activity, can significantly decrease unnecessary light output. Moreover, the industry is increasingly advocating for and adopting lighting design principles that prioritize the reduction of light pollution. This includes designing outdoor lighting fixtures that direct light downward, minimizing skyglow and glare. By implementing these measures, the lighting industry not only contributes to reducing light pollution but also promotes energy efficiency and cost savings.

RAILLIGHTING’s commitment to combat light pollution

Since its inception RAILLIGHTING has promoted an industry stance against unnecessary light pollution and it’s negative impact on environments and people. We take our responsibility toward nature seriously as producers of outdoor luminaires. Our luminaires are equipped with shielding, motion sensors and LED optimization to ensure our railway luminaires give light only when and where it is needed. So that workers can operate safely while at the same time giving nighttime creatures their untouched environment back. By embracing and advancing sustainable lighting technologies and practices, the industry can lead the charge in preserving the night sky, protecting both wildlife and human health.

More safety and no light pollution with the innovative railpuck luminaire

Credits header image: ESO/P. Horálek, M. Wallner