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Dark Sky Lighting

Dark sky lighting benefits the environment because they protect natural systems and reduce pollution by using less electricity.

Light pollution is detrimental to the environment in a number of ways. Many species of animals are impacted by street lights including migrating birds that use stars for guidance and newborn sea turtles that confuse urban lights with moonlight shining on the sea towards which they are instinctually attracted.

dark sky
A good example of light pollution, the light energy shines everywhere, including upwards, opposed to only where it is needed.

Why

All light that shines towards the sky is energy that is unused and therefore was electricity that wasted fossil fuels for naught.

Our internal body clocks are also impacted by night lighting. Many people discover a vibrancy and general healthier feeling when camping outdoors because they rise and sleep in tune with the sun which works on our biology and emotions.

Solution

In a theater you can see the path even though the path lights are small.  This is because they shine puddles of light using low wattage bulbs directed towards the ground and do not shine in your eyes.  As long as light does not shine into your eyes, less light is needed to illuminate the surroundings.  Therefore energy efficient lights shine only downward are as low to the ground as possible.

light puddles
On Lotan, puddles of light in the EcoCampus guide our Green Apprenticeship students at night.

By installing low, down facing lighting in your yard, you can enjoy being outdoors at night while reducing the level of light pollution and opening up the starry night sky. Enjoy!

Resources:

 


Contact Lotan Center for Creative Ecology
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Creative Commons License
This work by Center for Creative Ecology, Kibbutz Lotan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.kibbutzlotan.com.