It’s unnecessary light which creates health hazards for humans and animals, and affects the ecosystem. Ms. Sumaira Abdulali, an activist who has been fighting against noise pollution, is now urging the government to regard light pollution as a serious environmental hazard and frame a regulatory policy to make night-time lighting safer. Learn more about light pollution and what we can do about it here.

What is unnecessary light?

Flashing lights and additional colours in hoardings, halogen lights, car headlights, street lights using blue LED lights of high intensity are a few examples (the International Dark Sky Association recommends using LEDS of 3000 Kelvin or below).

Wrong lighting is also hazardous. For example, street lamps that don’t light up an area uniformly create patches of brightness followed by darkness. If they are not shielded and set on high masts. the light gets projected onto the eyes of residents or they get directed into the sky, causing a sky glow and blotting out the moon and the stars.

Light is necessary, so how can we prevent it from becoming a hazard?

Use light only when needed and in the required amount. Use better lights, not brighter lights. Instead of using very bright lights that light up only particular areas, have lights that light up the room evenly. Switch over from blue light to yellow light. Blue light creates glare impairs vision and brightens the sky more than any other colour. Have shades for lights. Deploy motion sensors instead of leaving lights on all night. Also avoid watching TV or working at the computer at night without lights.

What should the government do?

The government should plan a proper lighting policy with rules regarding what is the right amount of light, what is appropriate light and state the limit for light pollution. It should see that car headlights are checked for colour. intensity and beam angles so that they don’t create temporary blindness in drivers of oncoming cars. pedestrians and people living close to the streets.

It should hold advertisers responsible for light clutter (grouping of lights that cause confusion and distract from obstacles, potentially causing accidents). It should also ensure that street lights are shielded, placed at the right distance from each other and at the right height and angle, so that they project light down onto the street..

What can children do to reduce light pollution?

Children should be taught about light pollution. They could use a single yellow light. that would brighten up the entire room when they want to study or read but at other times, they could make use of low voltage lights. They should also turn off lights when not in use.

Picture Credit : Google 

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