Lighting Pollution – Pollution is not a new topic for us, and most of us are familiar to the water, air and sound pollution. Now, we are going to talk about light pollution. The term, light pollution indicates the inappropriate, invasive and misdirected artificial lighting. This mismanaged artificial lighting has its effect on the color-contrast of the nighttime sky and natural starlight. It can cause a negative impact on the circadian rhythms, energy resources, astronomical research and lots of other things.

Light Pollution Definition

Also known as photo pollution, this light pollution prevails on the planet for the past fifty years. You know that most of the urbanized and affluent countries make high use of outdoor lighting. That is why light pollution has started spreading all over the city and rural areas. You can find this pollution in Europe, Asia and North America.

Mostly, the outdoor lighting is responsible for luminous pollution. Some of us install outdoor lights without any necessary. The improperly designed industrial, residential and commercial outdoor lights can cause light pollution. The light fixtures, having no shield, emit over 50% of the light rays sideways and skyward. The wasted lighting can result in the wastage of electricity and emission of carbon dioxide.

Light Pollution Map

Light Pollution Map – Source: http://lightpollutionmap.info, 2019

Common types of light pollution

 

The light pollution is of different types, and we are going to give you detailed information about them.

 

  • Light Trespass

The spill light or light trespass turns up while the light fixture is casting the light rays beyond any property boundary. However, in this case, we have not found any guidelines on the amount of light, needed for the property. For instance, a streetlight that comes through the window can illuminate your bedroom. Security light that shines over your fence illuminates other parts of the property.

 

  • Glare

It refers to the visual sensation that we feel while the stray light is more intense than the light rays to which we are adapted. When the lighting results in the irritation or annoyance, it causes discomfort glare. Another type of glare is the veiling glare, and it can affect the color perception capacity and contrast.

 

  • Light clutter

When we group several bright lights, it causes light clutter. You can mostly find it on the roads, and it causes an unsafe environment for pilots and drivers. The drivers cannot get the navigation signals rightly. The brightly lit advertisements at the outdoor sites.

 

  • Sky glow
Sky GLow

Sky GLow

Both artificial and natural sources are the major factors, causing this light pollution. The direct emission of lights into the atmosphere is the reason behind this pollution. The gas molecules and dust scatter the light rays.

In different parts of the city, there are glow domes of varied sizes. The bigger ones and the over-illuminated ones are the major sources of this light pollution.

Thus, these are the common ways, in which light pollution can affect us.

Light pollution effects

Light pollution can cause risk to the planet in a range of ways. It affects the human safety and quality of our life. 

Its effect on the environment

 

Too much use of nighttime lighting causes the emission of carbon dioxide. The wasted light produces this greenhouse gas. This pollution also affects the radicals, occurring naturally. Although the artificial lights are dimmer than the natural sunlight, they affect the nitrate radical. Moreover, artificial lights also raise the level of chemicals, causing pollution to the ozone layer.

 

Its impact on energy

 

The wastage of energy is the result of wasted light. A good amount of light rays, emitted from the outdoor lighting system. Thus, it is essential to reduce the wastage of electrical energy every year.

 

Its impact on Wildlife

 

For the over-illumination, the mammals would face problem in searching for the foods. The sources of artificial lights, overwhelming the natural lights, causes a deviation to the migration route of the birds.

The amphibians, like the toads, frogs and salamanders have an effect from the sky glow. The orange rays can confuse them and reduce mating and feeding rates.

 

Its effect on the astronomical research 

 

The sky glow and light spill can cause interference with the astronomical tools. The oldest science, like astronomy has a role to play in the society and economy of any country. To research on the astronomy, the astronomers need a dark sky. That is why light pollution is the reason behind the disturbance of their research.

 

Its effect on humans

 

The circadian rhythm controls the humans, and this circadian clock deals with the physiological activities, including hormonal production, cell regulation and brain wave patterns. For instance, light pollution affects melatonin, the hormone, regulating the sleep or wake cycle of our body.

Thus, light pollution is causing a negative effect on the overall ecosystem. It is essential to reduce this pollution level and save the Earth.

 

 

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