When it comes to determining the different types of pollution it easy to spot the usual suspects like air and water; however, it is all, but guaranteed that most people would never name light as a source. Contrary to public opinion, excessive or inadequate use of outdoor lighting fixtures and lamps can lead to significant amounts of pollution. Continue reading to learn how you can have beautiful landscape lighting without light pollution.
What is Light Pollution?
In short, light pollution is excessive, obtrusive or misdirected artificial light. Light pollution can be caused by both natural causes where the introduction of lights disrupt the outdoor environment or by humans where excessive amounts of artificial light are emitted into the environment. While light pollution may not appear to pose any real consequences, it has been known to disrupt animal and plant ecosystem by throwing off lifecycles and can cause adverse health effects. Essentially, light pollution can be derived from sporting stadiums to highly populated cities to streetlights. For an example of light pollution, imagine the skyline of New York City at night.
How to Combat Light Pollution:
Because outdoor lighting is an essential landscaping element to many home’s it is important that we understand how to minimize pollution while maximizing the benefits of outdoor lights. Consider using timers or motion sensors for your outdoor lights that will only turn on when absolutely necessary. Furthermore, the addition of a dimmer switch allows the homeowner to control the brightness of the lights depending on the time of day. Furthermore, invest in light shields for all outdoor fixtures to prevent the flow of light from emitting upwards. Instead, these shields will only shine the lights in the areas that it is needed. For many homeowners, outdoor lights are as much about aesthetics as they are about safety and security. However, many people make the common misconception that the more lights used the less likely it is that an intruder will be able to break-in. Unfortunately, the exact opposite can occur because too many lights may blind you from spotting an intruder.
With so many different sources of pollution in today’s world it can be a challenge to do anything without harming the environment. Even though light pollution is a virtual unknown, it can still have a debilitating impact on our planet’s ecosystem. Consequently, designing a beautiful outdoor lighting landscape means taking time to understand the impacts of light pollution. Luckily, every home can have a beautiful exterior without harming the environment by following the aforementioned tips.