Lighting Pollution– Part 1

Many studies have shown that poorly designed artificial lighting has adverse effects on the environment. Whether it be reducing the visibility of the night sky (SkyGlow), contributing to climate change or just glary and uncontrolled lights, the impacts are increasingly becoming a worldwide issue.

According to the 2016 ground-breaking “World Atlas of Artificial Night Sky Brightness,” 80 percent of the world’s population lives under skyglow. In the United States and Europe 99 percent of the public can’t experience a natural night! 

Many countries now have advocacy organizations such as International Dark-Sky that educate on the effects that artificial light has on the environment.

There are many Australian Lighting Standards that need to be adhered to when designing lighting for the external environment, but simply ensuring your design is compliant does not guarantee your design will not adversely impact the environment. Take a look at the below ‘LIGHT TO PROTECT THE NIGHT’ for the five key principles for responsible outdoor lighting.

As a landscape architect, it is you that can reduce the impact of artificial light on the environment. By following the 5 key principles above, you can ensure the selected luminaire is fit for purpose and time is taken during the design process to provide an outcome that will enhance the environment at night and minimise impacts of artificial light on the environment.

Using luminaires that have undergone independent testing to ensure they are Dark-Sky friendly is always a good starting point, International Dark-Sky Association has a program that provides a seal of approval that certifies outdoor luminaires are Dark-Sky friendly.   https://www.darksky.org/our-work/lighting/lighting-for-industry/fsa/fsa-products/#!/~/search/keyword=ligman

Not all luminaires are the same, aesthetically two luminaires may appear to be the same, but the efficiency, beam control and quality of construction could be completely different. When you have taken the time to ensure your design meets all standards, and have considered the environmental impacts, the last thing the project and client needs is for a contractor to say, “I have a similar luminaire at half the cost”. How many times have you heard this?

Don’t compromise on quality in the external environment, short term cost saving can sometimes turn into long term issues, your clients have engaged you for your professional recommendations, stand your ground and ensure the project is not compromised.

For assistance with your next design and to ensure you are selecting fit for purpose luminaires, contact our office and our staff will be happy to help you.

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