By Galen Gisler and Didier Saumon, Jemez Mountains Night Sky Coalition
In previous articles, we have established that light pollution is undesirable on many fronts. Fortunately, light pollution is easy to prevent and reverse. Unlike many other sources of pollution and environmental degradation, individuals can make a difference with minimal cost and no change in their lifestyle to curb light pollution. What can we do about it?
By Didier Saumon, Jemez Mountains Night Sky Coalition
Buying a light bulb used to be simple. Up until about 15 years ago, nearly all light bulbs on the consumer market were of the incandescent type (with a coiled filament inside), labeled in watts. When we needed a bright light we chose a 100 watt bulb and for applications requiring less light, we chose 40 or 60 watt bulbs.
It’s no longer quite so simple. Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology is rapidly taking over nearly all applications, and there is a much greater variety to choose from. Bulbs and fixtures are now labeled with watts, lumens, and “K,” complemented with terms such as “soft white,” and “daylight.” What does it all mean? This article in our series on light pollution aims to demystify these technical terms to help navigate the purchase of light bulbs and fixtures.
By Kelli Housley, Valles Caldera National Preserve
With contributions from Monique Schoustra and Starr Woods
Humans and animals have always relied on the stars for seasonal awareness, navigation, and understanding. But increases in artificial lighting and light pollution cost us our connection to the past and produce devastating effects on our own health and our environment.
Animals have evolved to use natural cycles of day and night for migration, mating, pollination, and more. But countless species have been adversely affected because of the increase in lighting and light pollution over the years. Artificial light and skyglow have caused disruptions to many species’ natural cycle of life, contributing to reductions in population and even extinction.