Simply reducing and removing unnecessary lighting saves money and energy, often at minimal expense. Over-lighting the night neither improves visibility nor increases nighttime safety, utility, security, or ambiance.

Urban sky glow

light_pollution 02.jpgWhile it sounds kind of poetic, the brightening of the night sky over inhabited areas is actually responsible for the disappearance of the Milky Way and stars from many areas. As IYA2009 points out, “increasingly, the most important equipment needed to enjoy the wonders of the night sky is an automobile with a full tank of gas and a map.”

Light trespass

light pollution 01Noise complaints aren’t uncommon, but how about light complaints? This might happen with light trespass, when unwanted light enters private property, be it from a neighbor, passing headlights, or street lamps.

Over-illumination

light pollution 03This often overlaps with urban sky glow and occurs when excessive light is used to bring attention to an important building. Landmarks, historic buildings and attention-seeking skyscrapers come to mind.

Glare

VillageHill_IMG_2238_small (1).jpgWhen unshielded light from one source spills into the sky and elsewhere; glare can reduce visibility and can be blinding.

Light clutter

light pollution 04Excessive groupings of light that are bright and confusing, commonly found in over-lit cities and inhabited areas. The proliferation of clutter contributes to urban sky glow, trespass, and glare.

The impacts of lighting pollution on environment and our living space

Video credit: National Geographic

Credit: Tree Hugger