In the UK today, less than 10% of the population can open their curtains to a truly dark sky, due to inefficient and bad outdoor lighting plans. Over a century ago, people living in urban areas could see the Milky Way from their gardens! Not only are we being denied access to view the night sky in its natural state, excessive light pollution has proven ramifications on our health, wildlife and energy consumption. The International Dark-Sky Association provides the following video as a short introduction to “Losing the Dark” (alternative language videos can be found on www.darksky.org).
Whilst the Cambrian Mountain’s wealth of Dark Sky Discovery Sites and an International Dark Sky Park provides access for people to enjoy a truly dark sky and also protects its species diversity and richness, everyone can take simple steps to improve their lighting plans, reduce light pollution and in turn, reduce their energy costs.
What you can do to reduce light pollution
When purchasing an exterior light, there are ways to install it to ensure no excess light is shone into the sky:
Make sure your lighting installation is fully shielded (Full cutoff lighting is ideal)
The lighting is not brighter than required and only lights the area needed
Only to be turned on when needed – not only does this reduce local light pollution but reduces your electricity bill!
Minimise blue light emissions by purchasing lights that has a colour temperature of no more than 3000 Kelvins