What Is Light Pollution?
Most people understand water and land pollution, but did you know that light can be a pollutant too?
When man-made light is either used too much or not used correctly, it can effect our personal health, as well as the health of wildlife and the environment.
Light pollution includes:
- Glare – Extreme brightness, causing visual discomfort
- Light Trespass – Light shining where it is not wanted or is unneeded
- Sky Glow – The bright light shining in the night sky from city lights, not natural light such as the sun or the moon
- Clutter – Bright, confusing or unneeded light
Interior and exterior lighting from buildings, factories, offices, street lights and sporting arenas are all sources of light pollution.
Probably, most nighttime lighting is either too bright, not useful or completely unneeded. Both light and electricity are flowing into the sky instead of being directed to the real places that need to be brightened.
How Bad Is Light Pollution?
Light pollution is a worldwide issue. 80% of the world’s population live with evening skies lit too bright. For people living in Europe or America, 99% of the population can’t experience all natural evening sky!
If you would like to learn more about light pollution where you live, NASA has created a ‘Blue Marble Navigator’ to provide a bird’s eye view of the light polluting from your city.
What Are Effects of Light Pollution?
For billions of years, the earth existed in a cycle of light and darkness made by the light from the sun, moon and the stars.
Now, man-made light overpowers the natural balance, creating a loss of natural resources, raising energy use, harming the health of humans, the environment and influencing crime and safety.
Thankfully, more people know about light polluting and scientists, homeowners and environmental leaders are beginning to take action.
What are Light Pollution Solutions?
Are you ready to reduce light pollution in and around your home? Here are 5 ways you can support your health and the environment:
1. First of all, turn lights off when you don’t need them, or you’re not at home
2. Consider replacing outdoor lights with low glare lights
3. Place motion sensors on outdoor lamps to reduce unneeded light
4. Enjoy the darkness! Spend more time outside of the city and look at the natural skylight
Our next article explains the detailed solutions, for more information please read “Light Pollution Solution”.