There is no doubt that artificial lighting has its place in our world and is invaluable to our businesses, homes, roads and recreation.

However, when used inappropriately or excessively, artificial lighting can cause light pollution. Many of us are not aware that light pollution has adverse effects on the environment, our health, wildlife, and climate (through energy waste).

Light Pollution GuidelinesDark Sky Friendly Infographic

Components of Light Pollution

Components of light pollution include:

Glare – excessive brightness that causes visual discomfort.

Skyglow – brightening of the night sky over inhabited areas, often an orange hue.

Light trespass – light falling where it is not intended or needed.

Clutter – bright, confusing and excessive groupings of light.

Simple steps to avoid causing light pollution

Fortunately light pollution can be resolved easily and quickly. Here are some simple steps we can all take to avoid causing light pollution:

  • Consider the area you intend to light only and do not fit unnecessary lights.
  • Do not use excessively bright lights, 300 or 500 watt bulbs are too powerful for domestic security lighting – 150 watt is more appropriate, saving money and energy.
  • When using LED lights, ensure the colour temperature (kelvin) does not exceed 3,000 as this has negative implications for wildlife and health matters.
  • Do not leave lights on when they are not needed, consider well fitted and directed sensors.
  • When aiming floodlights make sure you only light the area needed.
  • Consider using lights with hoods or shields to avoid any unnecessary “uplight”.
  • Take care not to shine light onto other people’s properties or into windows – this can be very upsetting and a trigger complaints.
  • Check your own lighting at night periodically – is it lighting only what is intended?
  • By protecting areas of natural darkness and producing guidelines to reduce light pollution, we are helping ecosystems and wildlife, attracting off-season tourism, and reducing our carbon footprint.

What to do if light pollution affects you?

If you are concerned about light pollution coming from a neighbour, commercial premises or public building, often the best way to deal with the problem is to go straight to the source. People are often unaware that their lighting may be causing a disturbance.

For More information

Guidelines for managing light pollution are available – click here for leaflet. Our community group “Friends of Mayo Dark Skies” is also happy to help with queries on lighting or monitoring areas of light pollution.

For information on dark skies and work carried out by the International Dark-Sky Association

To view light pollution map – click here