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A Comprehensive Guide for Light Pollution


As a lighting designer, I am well aware of the adverse effects of light pollution on the environment and human health.

In this article, I will detail the effects, causes and led lighting solutions of light pollution, as well as the effects of pollution on light.

Light pollution effect and its causes

Light pollution is a phenomenon in which man-made light sources negatively affect the natural environment. It can lead to many ecological problems such as reduction of biodiversity, suppression of plant growth, and disturbance of animal migrations.

In addition, light pollution can have serious effects on human health, such as sleep disorders, eye health problems, and increased risk of cancer associated with light pollution at night. Light pollution also can affect astronomical observations and lead to energy waste. The main root cause of these problems is excessive lighting and light pollution for a variety of reasons.

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Main causes of light pollution

The design and use of streetlights and street lamps, the design and use of exterior lighting systems for homes and commercial buildings, the design and use of vehicle headlights and billboards, and the design and use of industrial lighting systems are the major causes of light pollution.

Streetlights and retail store lighting are one of the most significant causes of light pollution. There are many cities that use these lamps extensively at night, making the city’s nights covered with bright lights. Unnecessary lighting, as well as excessive lighting intensity and upward scattering of light, is one of the main factors in light pollution from streetlights and street lamps.

Exterior lighting systems in homes and commercial buildings are also a major cause of light pollution. These lighting systems lack proper planning and design and have high lighting intensities, while not using the correct light shields and reflective materials to control light upward scattering. The design and use of vehicle headlights and billboards can also contribute to light pollution problems.

Industrial lighting systems are also a major cause of light pollution. The lack of proper light shields and reflective materials in these systems, along with the failure to use lamps that can adjust light intensity, leads to excessive lighting intensity, which in turn causes light pollution problems.

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The effect of pollution on light

Color temperature, illuminance and brightness and color reproduction index are the three aspects of the effect of light pollution on light.

  • Color temperature

Color temperature is the color quality of the light emitted by the light source, usually measured in Kelvin (K). Low color temperature light source is warm, high color temperature light source is cool. Color temperature has a significant impact on human health and mood. At night, too high a proportion of blue light can affect people’s sleep, so you should choose the appropriate color temperature for lighting. In order to reduce eye irritation, you should choose the appropriate color temperature for lighting.

  • Illuminance and brightness

Illuminance is the intensity of light from a light source onto a surface, measured in lux (lx). Luminance refers to the intensity of light emitted from the surface of an object. Both illuminance and luminance have some effect on the human eye. High illuminance and brightness can lead to problems such as eye fatigue and visual impairment, while low illuminance and brightness may lead to vision loss. Therefore, you should choose the appropriate illuminance and brightness for lighting.

  • Color reproduction index

Color reproduction index refers to the light emitted by the light source compared to natural light, the ability to reproduce the color of the object. The higher the color reproduction index, the better the ability of the light source to restore the color of the object. A light source with a high color reproduction index can reproduce the color of objects more realistically, making people more comfortable and satisfied.

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Solutions for light pollution

In order to reduce light pollution, we need to adopt appropriate light design, use appropriate lighting technology and carry out luminaire regulation control.

  1. Appropriate light design

For street lights and retail store lighting, we need to use these lighting devices when necessary and avoid over-illumination. Proper lighting intensity and proper light downward diffusion are also important. For home and commercial building exterior lighting systems, we need to plan wisely and use appropriate light shields and reflective materials to reduce light pollution. The design of vehicle headlights and billboards also needs to be planned properly. Industrial lighting systems require the use of appropriate photomasks and reflective materials to reduce light pollution.

  1. Use of appropriate lighting technology

LED lighting systems are one of the most widely used energy-saving lighting technologies. Compared with traditional lighting technologies, LED lighting systems have many advantages, such as energy saving, long life, and color control. In addition, the use of technologies such as photomask, reflective materials and anti-glare design can also reduce the problem of light pollution.

  1. Luminaire regulation control

Luminaire regulation control is one of the important means to reduce light pollution. Timing adjustment, light sensor adjustment, remote control and intelligent system can realize the adjustment control of luminaires. Through luminaire regulation control, we can reduce unnecessary lighting and avoid excessive lighting intensity, thus reducing light pollution.

Light pollution is a serious problem in modern cities and has many negative impacts on the environment and human health. The key to solving this problem is the design and use of appropriate lighting systems. Proper light design, use of appropriate lighting technologies, luminaire regulation control and reasonable light pollution management policies can reduce the impact of light pollution and provide a more comfortable, healthier and safer living environment for people.

The above is a brief discussion of light pollution knowledge, I hope this article can help readers better understand the light pollution problem and provide some useful information for us to create a cleaner, healthier and better environment.

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