Light Pollution: The Dark Side of Outdoor Lighting

3064 WordsJul 14, 201813 Pages
As many homeowners, you are taking steps to reduce your carbon footprint at home. You dutifully recycle glass, metal, paper, and plastic waste each week. You replace all the incandescent light bulbs in your home with energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. However, you may be unwittingly contributing to carbon emissions and interfering with delicate ecosystems through light pollution. Light pollution, unlike other forms of contamination and waste, remains largely overlooked and unregulated in industrialized countries. Learn more about the cause, different types, and effects of light pollution, and how adjusting your use of outdoor lighting can help reduce this form of pollution. What is Light…show more content…
A glare occurs in the following three forms: Glare Pollution Discomfort Glare – Discomfort glare is also known as psychological glare, and is the most common type of glare. Psychological glare occurs when lighting causes annoyance or irritation, but does not decrease visual performance and any physical discomfort is short term. Disability Glare – Disability glare, also known as veiling glare, occurs when stray light scatters in the eye, producing a veil over the retina that affects visual performance. Veiling glare reduces contrast as well as color and spatial perception, which can lead to unsafe driving conditions. Older drivers are more prone to experience disability glare while driving. Blinding Glare – Blinding glare, also known as absolute glare or dazzle, occurs when a light source impairs the field of vision, preventing the eye from seeing any objects but the light source. Visual performance may remain affected well after the incident. 3. Sky Glow Sky glow originates from natural and man-made sources; however, poorly designed artificial lights are the main cause of sky glow. Sky glow occurs when light is emitted directly into the atmosphere, accidently or purposefully, where it is scattered by dust and gas molecules, creating a dome-like orange glow that covers the night sky. The glow reduces the contrast between the stars and the galaxies in the sky, making celestial objects difficult to see even with a

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