Light pollution in the United States and across the world has been gaining much attention from the public. Light pollution is defined by the United States based non-profit organization International Dark-Sky Association, as any negative effects caused by artificial lighting, that either wastes energy or decreases visibility at night by glare, light clutter or sky glow. Man made sources of light alters the light levels of the outdoor environment so much that natural sources of light cannot be seen, or appreciated.
In England for example, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, is demanding greater control and the reduction of the amount of street lights and neon signs. Many people both in rural England and America are affected in a negative way from light pollution. A survey conducted by the British Astronomical Association found that 83% of the people surveyed in the UK have been negatively affected by light pollution caused by artificial lighting. They claim that artificial light has prevented them from viewing the night sky, and 50% of those survived say that their sleep had also been disrupted.
According to the International Dark-Sky Association, unnecessary lighting costs businesses, households and governments over $1.6 billion every year in the US alone. Wasted lighting not only goes into the night sky as light pollution, but unnecessary lights also release 38 million tons of carbon dioxide into the air annually.
By simply reducing unnecessary lighting, millions of tons of carbon emissions can be reduced and over a billion dollars can be saved annually. Reducing light pollution must take place at all levels of government, business and community. Outdoor lighting ideas such as dark sky lighting street lights, will help to reduce light pollution into the night sky, led lighting and solar lighting can save city governments from high energy bills, lower carbon emissions and save taxpayers money.
The cost of not acting to reduce light pollution by finding outdoor lighting ideas that will reduce unnecessary high energy bills and lower carbon emissions is too high. Each individual, business owner and government agency must be responsible and take measures to lower light pollution.