Light Pollution…

  • SumoMe

1000054_light_pollution.jpgAir pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, soil contamination are the terms I am sure you might be familiar with but do you know the term photopollution or luminous pollution??? Well these are different names for light pollution which refers to multiple problems, all of which are caused by inefficient, unappealing, or unnecessary use of artificial light.It also causes damage to the environment and health, as do other forms of pollution. It is excess or obtrusive light created by humans. It disrupts ecosystems, can cause adverse health effects, obscures the stars for city dwellers, interferes with astronomical observatories, and wastes energy. It is a side effect of industrial civilization. Its sources include building exterior and interior lighting, advertising, commercial properties, offices, factories, streetlights, and illuminated sporting venues.The case against light pollution is strengthened by a range of studies on health effects, suggesting that excess light may induce loss in visual acuity, hypertension, headaches and increased incidence of carcinoma (Cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover body organs). Since not everyone is irritated by the same lighting sources, it is common for one person’s light “pollution” to be light that is desirable for another. Disputes are still common when deciding appropriate action, and differences in opinion over what light is considered reasonable, and who should be responsible, mean that negotiation must sometimes take place between parties. Authorities have also taken a variety of measures for dealing with light pollution, depending on the interests, beliefs and understandings of the society involved. Measures range from doing nothing at all, to implementing strict laws and regulations about how lights may be installed and used.Light trespass, over-illumination, glare, clutter, and sky glow are specific categories of light pollution.· LIGHT TRESPASS occurs when unwanted light enters one’s property. A common light trespass problem occurs when a strong light enters the window of one’s home from outside, causing problems such as sleep deprivation or the blocking of an evening view.· OVER – ILLUMINATION is the excessive use of light. stems from several factors such as not using timers, occupancy sensors or other controls to extinguish lighting when not needed, Incomplete training of building managers and occupants to use lighting systems efficiently, inadequate lighting maintenance resulting in increased stray light and energy costs.· GLARE is the result of excessive contrast between bright and dark areas in the field of view. Light shining into the eyes of pedestrians and drivers can obscure night vision for up to an hour after exposure. Caused by high contrast between light and dark areas, glare can also make it difficult for the human eye to adjust to the differences in brightness.· CLUTTER refers to excessive groupings of lights. Groupings of lights may generate confusion, distract from obstacles, and potentially cause accidents. Clutter is particularly noticeable on roads where the street lights are badly designed, or where brightly lit advertising surrounds the roadways.· SKY GLOW refers to the “glow” effect that can be seen over populated areas. It is the combination of light reflected from what it has illuminated and from all of the badly directed light in that area, being refracted in the surrounding atmosphere. This refraction is strongly related to the wavelength of the light.Life existed with natural patterns of light and dark, so disruption of those patterns influences many aspects of animal behavior. Light pollution can confuse animal navigation, alter competitive interactions, change predator-prey relations, and influence animal physiology. It is generally agreed that many people require light to feel safe at night, but campaigners for the reduction of light pollution often claim that badly or inappropriately installed lighting can lead to a reduction in safety if measured objectively, and that at the very least, it is wrong to assume that simply increasing light at night will lead to improved safety. The specific effects of outdoor lighting on safety are still a topic of debate, and formal research in the area is not well established.Reducing light pollution implies many things, such as reducing sky glow, reducing glare, reducing light trespass, and reducing clutter. The method for best reducing light pollution, therefore, depends on exactly what the problem is in any given instance. Possible solutions include:· Utilizing light sources of minimum intensity necessary to accomplish the light’s purpose.· Turning lights off using a timer or occupancy sensor or manually when not needed.· Improving lighting fixtures, so that they direct their light more accurately towards where it is needed, and with less side effects.· Adjusting the type of lights used, so that the light waves emitted are those that are less likely to cause severe light pollution problems.· Evaluating existing lighting plans, and re-designing some or all of the plans depending on whether existing light is actually needed.Several different types of light sources exist, each having different properties that determine their appropriateness for certain tasks, particularly efficiency and spectral power distribution. It is often the case that inappropriate light sources have been selected for a task, either due to ignorance or because more sophisticated light sources were unavailable at the time of installation. Therefore, badly chosen light sources often contribute to light pollution unnecessarily. By re-assessing and changing the light sources used, it is often possible to reduce pollutive effects of light.Thus light pollution has adverse effects on the environment, which remain unnoticed by the world, but in times to come, it may prove to be fatal. It is time to realize the consequences that may arise if light pollution is not adequately monitored and work towards controlling the situation before it goes out of hand.Aastha Khurana

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