Astronomers where among the first to determine the negative impact of light pollution on the galaxy, on our environment and its population (human and wildlife). The truth is that research has shown that excessive artificial lighting impacts our well-being, our wildlife population and contribute to climate change.  

Light can interfere with our circadian rhythms. Our organism is guided by light to determine a normal 24-hour pattern and helps restore our energy, launch repair mechanisms and more. Picture this, excessive artificial lighting is like being in the same time frame throughout the day. Almost like a continuous jetlag, but your body needs a variation of light and absence of it in order to function properly.

Our wildlife also needs different lighting cycles. Because of our population extending to newer environments, parks and other wildlife surroundings, roads and amenities have been built very close to them. And well, all of the lighting that is required to power these spaces and make them secure during night time hours. Light pollution confuses animals and insects and harms them by changing migration behaviours, disrupting their diurnal/nocturnal cycles and their reproductive behaviour impacting their population and even putting it at risk.

There are guidelines established by the International dark-sky association (IDA) that help reduce the impact of artificial lighting for all. In fact, they monitor and certify lighting fixtures for outdoor applications. Although there are cities and municipalities taking steps to greener solutions, many residential homes are not up to speed. So, this is what you can do:

  1. Use fully enclosed fixtures that hides the lamps and limits the light output downwards only. This helps prevent the lighting escaping and light unnecessary spaces (like the sky), but also makes you save money.
  2. Use warm white color temperature (3000K) for your outdoor lamps and fixtures. Warm white lights contain less blue light emissions, it doesn’t harm insects and may even help keep them at bay!
  3. Use dimmable lighting and lighting controls. You may want to light your front yard entrance and drive way during at night for security purposes. But you don’t need to have it shine at full intensity. By using dimmers and lighting controls, you can set your lighting preferences and reduce their intensity without having to manually change the settings. While some traditional lighting can be graduated, LED lights are the most popular for dimming because they do not flicker, are noise-free and work best in hot and cold temperatures.

All of these efforts will definitely help reduce climate change – whether you are a believer or not – but one thing is for sure: By limiting your consumption, it will make great energy savings in your electricity bill.

When was the last time you saw a clear starry sky?