Night Sky Friendly

Night Sky Friendly

Save the starry night sky

Less than 100 years ago, everyone could look up and see a spectacular starry night sky. Now, millions of children across the globe will never experience the Milky Way where they live.

Light pollution is a side effect of industrial civilization. Its sources include building exterior and interior lighting, advertising, commercial properties, offices, factories, streetlights, and illuminated sporting venues.

We are familiar with air, water, and land pollution, but, increasingly the world is becoming aware that light can also be a pollutant. Components of light pollution include:

  • Glare – excessive brightness that causes visual discomfort
  • Skyglow – brightening of the night sky over inhabited areas
  • Light trespass – light falling where it is not intended or needed
  • Clutter – bright, confusing and excessive groupings of light sources

Most outdoor lighting is inefficient, overly bright, poorly targeted, improperly shielded, and in many cases, completely unnecessary. This light, and the electricity used to create it, is wasted by spilling into the sky, and not focused on to the actual objects and areas people want illuminated.

Effects of light pollution

For three billion years, life on Earth existed in a rhythm of light and dark that was created solely by the illumination of the Sun, Moon and stars. Now, artificial lights overpower the darkness and our cities glow at night, disrupting the natural day-night pattern and shifting the delicate balance of our environment with a growing body of evidence links the brightening night sky directly to measurable negative impacts.

There are four specific areas of concern:

  1. Light pollution interferes with wildlife migratory and breeding patterns.
  2. Unnecessary outdoor lighting wastes energy and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.
  3. Glare from bad lighting leads to unsafe driving conditions, particularly for older motorists.
  4. Constant exposure to artificial lighting may interfere with human metabolism and sleep.

The good news is that it can be easily fixed by:

  • Installing quality outdoor lighting
  • Installing warm-coloured globes (yellow, orange and red)
  • Using only lighting that is required outdoors
  • Fully shielding outdoor lights and directing down
  • Turning off unnecessary indoor lighting such as that in empty office buildings at night.