Science Projects

Combating and Educating about Light Pollution

What is Light Pollution

Light Pollution can be described as the spill of unwanted light from light fixtures (street lights, floodlights and the like). Light spill (pollution) can be seen either in the night sky, typically as an orange sky glow over our towns and cities, or as glare and unwanted illumination from badly directed or excessively bright lights as seen on other properties.

Although it was astronomers who first 'blew the whistle' on light pollution in the late 1980s, it is now accepted that many people are affected by the detrimental effects of poor quality, badly directed lighting.

Light pollution, frequently complained about by non-astronomers, ranges from floodlighting that spills across one's property and pours into houses and bedrooms at night, to illuminated advertising signs, spoiling night-time views which it is now suggested disturbs the natural rhythms of animals and plants. Details can be found at Herts. Biological Records Centre (Alan Outen) on the subject of wildlife and artificial light.

Such is the concern about the detrimental effects of lighting on our environment that many organisations are now supporting the campaign to rid our night-time environment of the worst excesses of poor quality lighting. These organisations include:

The British Astronomical Association
Burlington House
London W1V AG
020 7734 4145
Campaign for Dark Skies
C/o Bob Mizon
38 The Vineries
Dorset BH21 2PX
01202 887084

Council for the Protection of Rural England
Warwick House
25 Buckingham Palace Road
London SW1W 0PP
020 7976 6433


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