The stark fact is that we are living in a world that expects to be lit up 24/7. Inefficient lighting wastes £1billion a year in the UK alone [CfDS] and it also blights the view of the night sky and may also cause body clock havoc for birds, insects and small wild animals.
This thermal image map of the UK shows how widespread light pollution is with the dark blue areas having the least light pollution. Some think we should have legislation like the kind that bans dumping rubbish, for dumping light. Attention is being given to the angle of the beam of light so that it beams below and not above too. There have certainly been “lights out” initiatives in the US – over 17 cities have participated but what about the UK?
|Thermal image of UK|
My partner was so keen to see a really dark sky not remembered since childhood and when we travelled to New Zealand last year we sat in open countryside until after midnight watching the sky and drinking in the novelty that was laid out there for us.
Campaigners have warned that the UK’s night skies are still “saturated” with light pollution, after a survey suggested half of the population are unable to see many stars. Councils across Britain have attempted to improve the situation by testing schemes to switch off or dim street lights. Of course cutting down on public lighting saves money too so we are starting to see initiatives to reduce street light hours in some areas.
|light saver notice|
This is a sign on a street lamp 20 feet from my house in a local park.
More information from the CfDS which has a handbook, ”Blinded by the Light”, available from its website