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What Is Light Pollution?
Nov 22, 2018

What is light pollution?

Light pollution Definition

Light pollution is a special form of pollution that includes pollution from visible light, lasers, infrared light, and ultraviolet light. Visible light pollution is more common in glare. Light pollution is an unwanted consequence of outdoor lighting and includes such effects as sky glow, light trespass, and glare.

light pollution image

Light pollution is a new environmental pollution source after pollution such as waste gas, waste water, waste residue and noise, mainly including white light pollution, artificial chalk pollution and color light pollution. Light pollution is threatening people's health.

Types of Light Pollution

Light pollution is excessive and inappropriate artificial light. The four components of light pollution are often combined and may overlap:

*Urban Sky Glow—the brightening of the night sky over inhabited areas.

*Light Trespass—light falling where it is not intended, wanted, or needed.

*Glare—excessive brightness which causes visual discomfort. High levels of glare can decrease visibility.

*Clutter—bright, confusing, and excessive groupings of light sources, commonly found in over-lit urban areas. The proliferation of clutter contributes to urban sky glow, trespass, and glare.

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What is Light Pollution Caused By?

Luminous pollution is caused by using outdoor lights when and where they are not necessary. Poorly designed residential, commercial, and industrial outdoor lights also contribute significantly to light pollution. Unshielded light fixtures emit more than 50% of their light skyward or sideways. In many instances, only 40% of the light emitted actually illuminates the ground.

It is estimated that nearly 30% of outdoor lighting is wasted due to this poor design. In the United States alone, wasted lighting accounts for 1.7 million tons of carbon dioxide and $2.2 billion in wasted electricity each year.

Effects of Light Pollution

For three billion years, life on Earth existed in a rhythm of light and dark that was created solely by the illumination of the Sun, Moon and stars. Now, artificial lights overpower the darkness and our cities glow at night, disrupting the natural day-night pattern and shifting the delicate balance of our environment. The negative effects of the loss of this inspirational natural resource might seem intangible. But a growing body of evidence links the brightening night sky directly to measurable negative impacts including

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*Increasing energy consumption

*Disrupting the ecosystem and wildlife

*Harming human health

*Effecting crime and safety

Light pollution affects every citizen. Fortunately, concern about light pollution is rising dramatically. A growing number of scientists, homeowners, environmental groups and civic leaders are taking action to restore the natural night. Each of us can implement practical solutions to combat light pollution locally, nationally and internationally.

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