Artificial Lighting – Light Pollution

22 10 2008

Throughout our last lecture about lighting I realized I had never really thought about lighting, artificial lighting to be more specific into much depth before. There are many types of artificial lighting used for various different reasons:

a. Incandescent Lighting
b. Fluorescent Lighting
c. HID Lamps
d. Electroluminescent Lamps

Something that should be considered in design is Light Pollution. A design that sticks out in my mind is the numerous Canad Inns Hotels that have the large beams of light to try and attract customers to their hotels. 

Example of Light Beams

In my mind there are easier ways or less light pollution related ways to attract people to your business. Coming from a mid-sized city and moving into a much larger city, it is hard to see the stars when there is so much light being thrust into the atmosphere. The sky isn’t even the natural sky anymore. You have to drive out of the city far enough to get away from the lights in order to see what it actually looks like. I find that very depressing that we are almost living in an alternate reality. Light pollution disrupts ecosystems, can cause adverse health effects and also interferes with astronomical observatories. 

Earth at Night

So if this is a problem and people know it is a problem, why are people still designing and building with excessive use of light? How can we solve this problem? Here are a few possible solutions to help the problem:

a. use timers to make sure lights used for nighttime safety aren’t used during the day and vice versa for day lights being used at night
b. Use lights with proper levels for the task required
c. Integrate sensor lights in areas where not a constant supply of light is needed such as the washroom because light pollution isn’t just outside but also inside

Lighting is responsible for one-fourth of all energy consumption worldwide and much of that lighting is not beneficial to any one party. I believe that lighting is an essential part of design but it can be used in a more constructive way in order to save on energy and save our skies. 

– Kayla Schlosser

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