Light pollution refers to the excessive or misdirected artificial light that brightens the night sky, leading to decreased visibility of stars and celestial objects, disrupting ecosystems, and affecting human health and well-being.
There are several types of light pollution:
1. Skyglow: This is the brightening of the night sky over populated areas due to scattered artificial light, reducing our ability to observe stars and other celestial objects.
2. Glare: Intense, unshielded, or poorly directed lights that cause discomfort and decrease visibility for drivers, pedestrians, and nearby residents.
3. Light trespass: When artificial light spills over into areas where it's not needed or wanted, such as into neighboring properties or protected wildlife habitats.
4. Clutter: Excessive or confusing light sources in urban areas, making it difficult to distinguish individual objects or landmarks.
5. Urban sky glow domes: Concentrated light pollution over urban centers that obstruct views of the natural night sky for nearby and even distant regions.
6. Over-illumination: Using more light than necessary for a specific task, wasting energy and contributing to light pollution.
All these types of light pollution can have negative effects on the environment, wildlife, and human health.
Direct light where it's needed, shielding lights saves energy.
Use only the wattage you need. When lights are fully shielded the light is stronger because and it's not wasted lighting the sky.
When looking straight at the light you should not be able to see the light bulb.
Tnere's no reason for holiday or landscape lighting to be on all night.
Using bulbs of 2700 Kelvin is less disruptive to wildlife and humans.
Sky brightness is the amount light pollution which blocks our view off the stars. Becoming a Dark Sky Community is an ongoing project with a goal of reducing sky brightness. We need people in various parts of town to participate in order to get average readings over a period of time.
The only way to track the data over time. One way to track it is low tech and has step-by-step instructions. Participating in the Globe at Night citizen science campaign is a great way to help our understanding of skyglow and its impact. No special tools are required and observations can easily be reported by smartphone, tablet, or computer.