Artificial Light at Night … ALAN, and Smart Lighting.
Light pollution, the brightening of the night sky caused by artificial light, is a form of environmental pollution that can have a negative impact on human health, wildlife, and the environment.
- Obscuring the night sky and making it difficult to see stars.
- Disrupting the natural rhythms of plants and animals
- Increasing energy consumption and net carbon
- Causing light trespass and glare
Benefits of Smart Lighting
- Reducing energy consumption:
- Smart lighting can be programmed to turn on and off automatically or to dim when they are not needed. This can save a significant amount of energy, which can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Improving visibility:
- Smart lighting can be programmed to direct light where it is needed and to avoid spilling light into the night sky. This can improve visibility and safety, without increasing light pollution.
- Reducing light trespass and glare:
- Smart lighting can be programmed to direct light away from neighbouring properties and windows. This can reduce light trespass and glare, which can improve the quality of life for residents and businesses.
Smart Lighting solutions to reduce light pollution:
- Motion sensors can be used to turn on lights only when they are needed, such as when someone is walking down a path or sidewalk. This can help to reduce light pollution by preventing lights from staying on when they are not needed.
- Timers can be used to turn lights on and off automatically at certain times of the day or night. This can help to reduce light pollution by preventing lights from staying on all night long.
- Downlights are lights that point down, rather than up. This helps to direct light where it is needed and to avoid light pollution.
- Full-cut-off fixtures are fixtures that block all light from escaping above the horizontal plane. This helps to reduce light pollution by preventing light from being scattered into the night sky.
- The use of multi-spectrum lighting may be less intrusive to wildlife.
A few examples of how smart lighting can be used to reduce light pollution. As smart lighting technology continues to develop, it is likely that we will see even more innovative ways to use smart lighting to protect the night sky.
- La Mongie, France, smart lighting was used to reduce energy use by 40% and light pollution by 60%.
- Austin, Texas, smart lighting was used to reduce light pollution by 50%.
- San Diego, California, smart lighting was used to reduce light pollution by 30%.