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Light Pollution Solutions

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Light pollution is harming our environment, wildlife habitats, and our quality of life.

Every Being Needs the dark.

All around us this unintended pollutant is taking a silent toll. Each year, thousands of migrating and shorebirds are killed because of unnecessary artificial light at night. Light pollution threatens aquatic ecosystems by increasing the risk of harmful algae blooms. It also impacts our quality of life by eradicating our access to the wonder of beautiful night skies.

Help us Turn on the Night.

The good news is, the solution is as easy as screwing in a lightbulb. Light pollution is something we can all help erase, in our homes and backyards, the parks that we play in, and the cities we call home.

Below is a list of tactics and actions you can take to immediately help. We hope you’ll join us as we tackle this major problem that gets minimal coverage.

  1. LEDs and compact fluorescents (CFLs) can help reduce energy use and protect the environment, but only warm-colored bulbs should be used.
  2. Dimmers, motion sensors and timers can help to reduce average illumination levels and save even more energy.
  3. Outdoor lighting fixtures that shield the light source to minimize glare and light trespass help prevent light pollution. Illustrated guide to the acceptable vs unacceptable types of light fixtures: https://imgur.com/a/x84vq
  4. Switching to LED lighting allows for reduced illuminance without compromising visibility.
  5. Turn off unnecessary indoor lighting – particularly in empty office buildings at night.
  6. Avoid blue lights at night
      • Blue-rich white light sources are also known to increase glare and compromise human vision, especially in the aging eye. These lights create potential road safety problems for motorists and pedestrians alike. In natural settings, blue light at night has been shown to adversely affect wildlife behavior and reproduction. This particularly true in cities, which are often stopover points for migratory species.
      • Outdoor lighting with strong blue content is likely to worsen skyglow because it has a significantly larger geographic reach than lighting consisting of less blue.
      • IDA recommends that only warm light sources be used for outdoor lighting. This includes Low-pressure Sodium (LPS), High-pressure Sodium (HPS) and low-color-temperature LEDs.
      • Use “warm” or filtered LEDs (CCT < 3,000 K; S/P ratio < 1.2) to minimize blue emission

IDA’s Fixture Seal of Approval program certifies environmentally-friendly lighting products. Our searchable database makes it easy for you to find IDA-Approved Dark Sky Friendly lights – these are fixtures that are fully shielded and have low color temperature.

Take a few moments to inspect your property for inefficient, poorly installed and unnecessary outdoor lighting. Learn how by visiting IDA’s Residential/Business Lighting page.

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