02 May

Early Bloomers: How Light Pollution Can Damage Seasonal Cycles


Light pollution and overnight lighting have had measurable impacts on fauna across the world, from sea turtle nesting to the migration patterns of birds. A new study from the United Kingdom has shed some light on how unnatural illumination is affecting the world’s plants as well. 

In data gathered from 1999 to 2011, a number of tree species exposed to artificial lighting were found to bud five to seven days earlier than their counterparts not exposed to artificial lights.

05 Mar

Light Pollution is Preventing Some Clownfish from Hatching


Light pollution causes more harm than simply ruining the view during a starry night. A new study has found that clownfish can’t raise any young when exposed to artificial light. 

The study observed 10 pairs of clownfish, with each pair in their own tank. Half of the clownfish couples experienced light as they would in a natural coral reef, with 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. 

The other half of the clownfish were exposed to a low level of artificial light at night to mimic the light pollution from an average coastal town. 

30 Jul

Light Pollution Harms Bird Migration


Twice a year more than 5 million birds from at least 250 different species fly through the city of Chicago alone as they head toward Canada in the spring and return south toward Central and South America in the fall. Though beautiful, the Windy City’s skyline can prove fatal to a number of birds who collide with glass-covered or illuminated buildings. 

Studies have estimated at least 100 million bird deaths related to light pollution in cities throughout the United States per year, and some estimates put that number closer to one billion deaths per year. 

30 Jun

Mauna Kea Observatories and Light Pollution


Mauna Kea is one of the most important locations in the astronomy world. Located on the main island of Hawaii, Mauna Kea is a million-year-old dormant volcano. With its peak reaching 13,803 feet above sea level, Mauna Kea is the world’s tallest volcano, making it the perfect spot to host some of the greatest telescope and astronomical observatories ever created. 

09 Jun

Light Pollution Harms Bird Migration


Twice a year more than 5 million birds from at least 250 different species fly through the city of Chicago alone as they head toward Canada in the spring and return south toward Central and South America in the fall. Though beautiful, the Windy City’s skyline can prove fatal to a number of birds who collide with glass-covered or illuminated buildings. 

Studies have estimated at least 100 million bird deaths related to light pollution in cities throughout the United States per year, and some estimates put that number closer to one billion deaths per year. 

18 Mar

How Does Blue Light Impact Humans?


Although the use of blue light is an excellent solution to provide environmentally friendly lighting, it also poses a large number of health risks and disadvantages for humans. Before the creation of artificial lighting, overexposure to blue light was never an issue. Now, thanks to newer lighting technologies, our evenings and nights are flooded with illumination. As a result, excessive quantities of blue light and poor lighting, in general, can pose threats such as: 

21 Feb

The European Ban on Halogen Light Bulbs


If you don’t actively stay up-to-date with developments in the lighting industry or international news, you may have missed the recent ban on halogen lighting in Europe. On September 1st, 2018, the use of halogen light bulbs was banned by the European Union. All halogen light bulbs are now prohibited and will be substituted with environmentally-conservative, energy-efficient light-emitting diode technology and compact fluorescent bulbs.

05 Feb

Environmental Impacts of Light Pollution


Through the incessant growth of both infrastructure and global human population, use of outdoor and city lighting has exploded. While most cities have prioritized effective lighting above all else, they have neglected the harmful impacts associated with light pollution. The most notable of these impacts: the encroached natural environment. We hope to go over what light pollution is, how it harms humanity, as well as which environments and animals are most affected. 

09 Dec

The Necessity for Observatory-Friendly LEDs and SSLs


In October 2018, the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) Street and Area Lighting Conference (SALC) convened in Orlando, Florida, to discuss the most recent developments in lighting solutions and energy efficiency. In contrast to previous SALC’s, this conference emphasized the challenges LEDs face when trying to simultaneously provide safe environments, meet the expectations of constituents, and remain observatory-friendly. Below is a summary of the event and a few thoughts from ourselves here at CWES.