What is it? Why does it Matter?
How you Can Make a Difference?
You Can Make Sustainable Choices to Reduce Light Pollution!
Choose the Right Fixtures and Accessories to Reduce Light Pollution.
What is Light Pollution?
Light Pollution is...
- Unwanted or harmful manmade light
How Can Light be Harmful
- When outside light shines into our homes at night, it may create problems by...
- Interfering with our body clocks
- Interfering with our sleep patterns
- Fading our belongings
- When light shines into the night sky, it creates problems by...
- Hiding the beauty of the night sky
- Interfering with wildlife
- Light pollution wastes energy!
How is Wasting Energy Harmful?
- Light pollution wastes $2.2 billion in the United States alone
- Light pollution uses up resources, yet serves no useful purpose
- Almost 2/3 of the electricity used in the United States comes from non-renewable fossil fuels
- The process of generating electricity contributes to air pollution
Reducing the energy we waste as light pollution can make a difference!
How Can we Reduce Light Pollution?
Modify Existing Lighting Fixtures
- There are simple and inexpensive ways to reduce light pollution!
- When possible, add accessories like shields, visors, or hoods to lighting fixtures
- Make sure lights are aimed properly and are not shining directly into windows or into the sky
- Eliminate unnecessary lighting
Install New Lighting Fixtures
- If old lighting fixtures cannot be modified to prevent light pollution, consider replacing
them with full cut-off or dark-sky friendly fixtures
- Full cut-off lighting fixtures are shielded, so that their light is "cut-off' at a certain point; this makes sure that the light shines only where it is useful
- Dark-sky refers to a night sky that allows us to see the stars clearly and is free of artificial glow from lighting fixtures
- Dark-sky friendly lighting fixtures direct light onto walkways or streets, not into the sky
Light and Community
- Some communities have established lighting ordinances and curfews, in order to conserve electricity, reduce unneeded or unwanted light, and preserve the beauty of the night sky
Light and Health
- In 2019, the American Medical Association (AMA) resolved to support light pollution reduction efforts
- When replacing old fixtures, consult with an electrician who can advise you about
planning and provide installation
- Not all lighting fixtures are designed to accept accessories
- Read all lighting fixture and accessory instructions carefully
- When purchasing new fixtures, consider fixtures from reputable manufacturers that
bear the International Dark-Sky Association's (IDA) Fixture Seal of Approval logo
- The logo means that a fixture that has been evaluated and approved by third party certification as minimizing light pollution
American Medical Association. Resolution 516(A-09): Advocating and support for light pollution control efforts and glare reduction for both public safety and energy savings. Retrieved November 23, 3009
International Dark-Sky Association. (n.d.). Light pollution.
International Dark-Sky Association. (2010, April). Fixture Seal of Approval program.
Mizon, B. (2002). Light pollution: Responses and remedies. New York: Springer.
Narisada, K., & Schreuder, D. (2004). Light pollution handbook. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.
Rea, M.S. (Ed.). (200). The IESNA lighting handbook: Reference and application (Ninth ed.). New York, NY: Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.
U.S. Department of Energy. (n.d.). Fossil fuels. Retrieved from http://www.energy.gov/energysources/fossilfuels.htm.
U.S. Energy Information Administration. (2010, December.) Frequently asked questions: Energy. Retrieved from http://www.eia.doe.gov/ask/electricity_lighting.
Paulette Heber, Ph.D.
Design, Housing, & Merchandising
Gina Peek, Ph. D.
Assistant Professor, Extension Specialist
Housing & Consumer
Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service
Parent Child Connections
Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service
Claudette Reichel, Ph.D.
Louisiana State University