Instead of solving the Light Pollution Problem, LED Made Things Worse
LED lights were supposed to resolve the pollution issue but on the other hand, it just made the things worse. Artificial light is found to be growing brighter and becoming more extensive every year, as the world’s nights are slowly being lost.
What is Light Pollution?
Light pollution is the excessive and inappropriate usage of artificial light. The phenomenon disrupts the sleep cycle of humans, resulting in metabolic disorders and affecting health. It can also affect the migration and reproduction patterns of animals such as birds and fish, and was found to have brought spring in some countries a week in advance.
According to the researchers from Germany, they studied satellite observations for five consecutive years, and discovered that the artificially lit outdoor area of the Earth increased by 2 percent every year from 2012 to 2016.
However, researchers pointed out that the light pollution problem is actually worse than that. This is because the imaging sensor on the weather satellites that took the images are not able to detect the blue that is generated by LED lights, which means some light is missed. “Honestly, I had thought and assumed and hoped that with LEDs we were turning the corner. There’s also a lot more awareness of light pollution,” said Christopher Kyba of the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences. “It is quite disappointing.”
LED lights offer the advantage of lower energy consumption, making the switch to using the technology an easy decision. However, instead of LED lights leading to energy savings and decreased levels of outdoor lighting, the technology has backfired. Due to the energy savings, there are now even more lights outdoors, contributing to the light pollution problem instead of helping solve it.
How to solve the issue?
The International Dark-Sky Association, an organization that looks to address light pollution, recommended families to switch to energy efficient bulbs and to keep their blinds and curtains drawn at night. The IDA also urges people to only use outdoor lighting when necessary, including installing motion detector lights so that they would only activate when needed.
Perhaps the most effective way of solving the light pollution problem, however, is to spread awareness. Light pollution is not a widely discussed topic, but if more people talk about it and understand the negative effects, then there may be bigger initiatives in fighting back against it.