Light pollution

"According to research scientists the introduction of high lumen artificial light

probably represents the most drastic change human beings

have made to their environment."

What is Light Pollution?

    For much of Earth’s history, our remarkable universe of stars has been visible in the darkness of the night sky. But increasing urbanization, combined with the excessive and inefficient use of light, has created a kind of pollution that obscures the stars from view and leads to numerous other disturbances.

    Known collectively as “light pollution,” there are three main components: sky glow, light trespass and glare.

  • Sky Glow = brightening of the night sky over inhabited areas.

  • Light Trespass = light that shines where it is not needed or wanted.

  • Glare = excessive brightness that causes visual discomfort

    For humans, and wildlife exposure to bright light at night can interfere with natural circadian rhythm  by suppressing production of melatonin, the chemical that regulates sleep patterns.           

 

    Research has linked this disruption to sleep disorders, depression, obesity, breast cancer and more.  Wildlife and plantlife are also harmed by light pollution.


The decline of lightning bugs, the death of birds during migration, and the fatal disorientation of newly hatched sea turtles are only a few examples.

    Modern bright LED lights are affecting wildlife “as much as the midday sun,” research warns, and disrupts nocturnal activity, interfering with reproduction and reducing populations.

    Nocturnal animals sleep during the day and are active at night.  Light pollution radically alters their nighttime environment by turning night into day.

    Predators use light to hunt, and prey species use darkness as cover.  Prey species often rely on specific light conditions for camouflage or crypsis where artificial night light can render such species detectable by predators. Light pollution can also impact prey behavior including vigilance effectiveness.

    Recently there has been a major uptick in Coyote/Human interactions along Burnt Store Road.  Are they moving into our residential neighborhoods to get farther away from the light pollution along Burnt Store Road?

    Or has their natural circadian rhythm been so affected by light pollution that they have become desensitized to artificial light? 

    Glare from artificial lights can also impact wetland habitats that are home to amphibians such as frogs and toads, whose nighttime croaking is part of the breeding ritual.

   Light pollution from the white and bluish lamps are three times more disruptive to creatures than those with yellow, amber or greenish hues.

    Some creatures, including sea turtles and insects, are especially vulnerable, warn experts.

    Glare from artificial lights can also impact wetland habitats that are home to amphibians such as frogs and toads, whose nighttime croaking is part of the breeding ritual.

"We are only beginning to learn what a drastic effect this has had on nocturnal ecology."

    Light pollution stops migrating birds from having any way of seeing the moon and stars that they need to use to navigate the direction of their migration, therefore not being able to migrate to the correct place.

    Research has found that “Burrow-nesting owls and seabirds are attracted to, and disorientated by artificial lights.

    We need to protect migrating birds and nocturnal animals and whose breeding and predatory behavior is being endangered by LED roadway lights.

"Glare from poorly shielded outdoor lighting is also harmful to your health, because it decreases vision by reducing contrast."

    The fact is that much outdoor lighting used at night is inefficient, overly bright, poorly targeted, improperly shielded, and, in many cases, completely unnecessary.

 

    This light, and the electricity used to create it, is being wasted by spilling it into the sky, rather than focusing it on to the actual roadway where it belongs.

Glare from Bad Lighting is a Safety Hazard

    Glare from poorly shielded outdoor lighting is also harmful to your health, because it decreases vision by reducing contrast.

 

    This limits our ability to see potential dangers at night. Aging eyes are especially affected.

    Glare from nighttime lighting can create hazards ranging from discomfort to frank disability.

    If one want to see an example of responsible roadway lighting all you need to do is head North on Burnt Store Road into Punta Gorda around the Zemel Road area.  The lights are a nice warm yellow color temperature; they are mounted on more realistic sized poles with pole extension arms so the light is focused on the road where it belongs. 

 

    There is no roadway glare, visible light pollution or light trespass, and the fixtures along the Charlotte Harbor Preserve are all shielded to protect the wildlife.  The contrast is staggering.

Examples of responsible roadway lighting - Burnt Store Road Punta Gorda

State Legislation

   

    At least 18 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have laws in place to reduce light pollution. The majority of states that have enacted so-called “Dark Skies” legislation have done so to promote energy conservation, public safety, aesthetic interests and astronomical research capabilities.

 

    Municipalities in a number of states have also been active on this issue, adopting light pollution regulations as part of their zoning codes.  Florida is currently listed as a state that has enacted “dark skies” legislation but apparently it only loosely applies to Sea Turtle hatching grounds.  LCDOT maintains the 4000 degree Kevin is their roadway standard.   

 

    LCDOT and FDOT need to be update their roadway standards to meet current Dark Sky compliant standards.

"The time of being ecologically and ecosystem irresponsible has passed."

2020 by bslighting llc

Light Trespass #4