Obtrusive artificial outdoor lighting disrupts wildlife and ecosystems and has adverse human health effects. In disrupting ecosystems, light pollution poses a serious threat to nocturnal wildlife, having negative impacts on plant and animal physiology. Lights attract mosquitos & predators, keep fireflies away, confuse migratory patterns of animals and diminish the important role of nocturnal pollinators such as moths & predators such as bats. With respect to adverse health effects, humans are dependent on natural body cycles called circadian rhythms and the production of melatonin, which are regulated by light & dark - day & night. If we are exposed to intrusive light during the night, melatonin production is suppressed. This can lead to sleep disorders, headaches and fatigue. Of greatest concern is bluish light. Blue means day, which tells the brain that we are supposed to be up. What you can do:
* Do not use white, blue or LED lights (often found in poke in the ground sets).
* Resist overkill with the linear airport runway look.
* Do wildlife a good turn by eliminating all lighting adjacent natural areas.
* If you need security lighting, use sensors or timers, otherwise skip the lights.
There are a handful of communities with lighting bylaws across Canada, but municipalities could do more . Or we could wait for another blackout to enjoy the fireflies, stars & night sky. Photo of fireflies in our header National Geographic blog
Photo below of Toronto blackout before & after by Todd Carlson