Expert GD Moderators Group Discussion

Light Pollution

Light pollution has undesirable consequences for outdoor lighting, including effects such as glow, the incidence of light, and glare. Like noise pollution, light pollution is a form of energy waste that can have negative effects and affect the quality of the environment.    

Light pollution is strongest in urban environments, where light glare has a pronounced ecological impact and can affect the circadian rhythm of humans. Light affects the environment because it disturbs natural light cycles and species stimuli.    

This can take many forms, including glare (excessive brightness of the sky), glow (drowning the night sky in urban areas), and intensity of light (scattered light falling where it does not need to, confusing and confusing a group of bright light sources). In recent years man-made light pollution has surpassed the disturbances caused by the bright full moon and its effects are felt by many outside the astronomical community. There is growing evidence that lighting can have negative effects on human health.    

Melatonin is a hormone that regulates human sleep patterns and is expressed in light. Since melatonin is an antioxidant that removes free radicals, disturbing melatonin expression by artificial light can increase the risk of cancer.    

Light pollution is the excessive or inappropriate use of artificial light outdoors, which can affect human health, animal behavior and our ability to observe stars and other celestial objects. Light pollution affects both professional and amateur astronomers, as well as occasional observers of the night sky, as it reduces star visibility. The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), a non-profit that promotes awareness of light pollution, estimates that excessive night lighting releases into the atmosphere more than 12 million tons of carbon dioxide, a serious greenhouse gas, each year.    

The good news is that light pollution can be reduced by shielding light by using only the light where it needs to be used, the amount of energy needed to use energy-efficient light bulbs and light bulbs with the appropriate spectral power distribution for the task at hand. Light pollution can also be reduced by using well-designed luminaires, modern optical control and direct light using the minimum wattage for the illuminated area.    

Light pollution solutions for homeowners, city managers and other infrastructure managers can help reduce light pollution, reduce energy consumption and protect human and animal health through recommendations from the International Dark-Sky Association and other experts. Learn how biologists are looking for alternatives to light to save sea turtles that have fallen victim to artificial lighting, and learn about light pollution and its impact on nature. If you want to find out how bad the light pollution is in your area, use the interactive map created by World Atlas using data from NASA Blue Marble Navigator to get a bird's-eye view of the lights in your city.   

Excessive and intrusive light is generated by people at night from artificial power sources, houses, offices, streetlights, billboards and car headlights. It is not so much the light itself, but the kind of light produced.   

Artificial night light disrupts in destructive ways the cycles of nocturnal creatures from newly hatched sea turtles to migratory birds, fish, frogs, salamanders, and flash beetles. Today, as more and more people live on Earth, there is a corresponding increase in inappropriate, unshielded outdoor lighting, leading to light pollution and the brightening of the night sky, wiping out stars and much of the Earth's population. 

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