Lights out! Embrace the dark sky | SDSN Northern Europe
The lights in the darkness of Europe affect e.g. owls, moths and bats.
Light pollution has a vast effects on biodiversity with consequences that we don't fully understand yet. Even though the problem is multifaceted, there are quite simple actions to help embrace the dark sky.
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Lights out! Embrace the dark sky

Light pollution poses a multifaceted challenge with far-reaching consequences for the environment, human health, and astronomical observation. But there are easy actions to take if you become aware of them.

Light pollution is not just about excessive brightness at night; it poses a multifaceted challenge with far-reaching consequences for the environment, human health, and astronomical observation.

Take Action!

Mitigating light pollution requires concerted efforts at all levels, from individuals to communities and institutions. Here are some actionable steps:

  • Reduce unnecessary lighting: Eliminate excessive or unnecessary outdoor lighting.
  • Create dark corridors: Designate areas with minimal lighting to preserve natural darkness.
  • Shield and direct light: Ensure that light fixtures are shielded and directed downward to minimize light spillage.
  • Opt for warm-colored lights: Choose warm-colored lights over white or blue ones, which have a lesser impact on wildlife.
  • Implement timers and sensors: Use technology to regulate lighting based on need and time, reducing overall energy consumption.

We know, for example, that light pollution has severe effects in springtime, before tree foliation, and this coincide with the reproductive season for many animals. However, crucial knowledge about light pollution and its effect in different environments, under different weather conditions etc., is missing and further research is needed to take the right actions against the problem.

Learn more about light pollution

Dark Sky International

DarkSky is a recognised worldwide authority combatting light pollution. On their website you will find all sorts of resources, including education and outreach material.

Visit Dark Sky International

What can universities do?

Universities, often located in the city centre of urban areas, can take specific actions to address light pollution and serve as role models locally by leading by example. This can be done in many ways:

  • Conduct audits of outdoor lighting fixtures.
  • Retrofit existing fixtures with energy-efficient bulbs.
  • Collaborate with municipal authorities to advocate for responsible lighting policies.
  • Showcase the university's commitment to dark sky preservation through educational initiatives and campus events.
  • Support research and innovation.

Through these efforts, universities can inspire positive behavior change and contribute to the creation of more livable urban environments.