My name is Locke Sleutaris; and I’m 14 years old and homeschooling. This past year, I attended Doug Tallamy’s lecture on biodiversity at the Media Upper Providence Public Library, and became aware of the problem of light pollution. I live on Third St. and had previously noticed the very bright lights shining from two local private businesses into my and my neighbors’ yards as well as Glen Providence Park, but I didn’t realize that this was actually causing harm to the wildlife living in and around the park until I heard Doug Tallamy speak about it. I was inspired to do a research project on light pollution and gain understanding about how it impacts living things and what can be done to reduce it. I learned that light pollution has serious consequences for both humans and wildlife. In humans, light pollution confuses perceptions of day and night, leading to and causing sleep deprivation, fatigue, headaches, stress, anxiety, and both breast and prostate cancers. In animals, light pollution reduces the time perceived as night, thus lessening the time that nocturnal animals have to find food, shelter, and mates, which negatively impacts reproduction. It also has significant negative affects on plant growth, bird migration, and insect habits, too numerous to explain here.
Fortunately, there are things every person can do to reduce light pollution:
- At night, close blinds, shades, and curtains to keep indoor light inside.
- Invest in shielded outdoor light fixtures that direct light towards the ground and away from the sky.
- Use outdoor lights sparingly, only when and where they’re needed.
- Use only LED amber light bulbs in outdoor light fixtures and avoid blue white and bright white lighting.
- Install dimmers, motion sensors, and timers when possible.
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To purchase amber light bulbs visit here.