This is a hot topic in Somerset, with a lot of complaints about the light produced by intensive farming methods used to force soft fruit for year round crops.
At Greengage we love installing lighting and watching it transform a garden, often bringing a magical atmosphere. It can transform dingy areas, highlight favourite features or simply make it easier and safer to move around your garden. It is also a useful security tool. However as with many modern ‘improvements’ it comes with environmental consequences. We want to continue using light to enhance gardens and want to share some ways of reducing the pollution it can cause.
What is light pollution?
There are four major types of light pollution.
Glare – excessive brightness.
Skyglow – artificial skyglow is created (particularly over densely populated areas) from light sources.
Light trespass – light where it’s not needed.
Clutter – excessive groupings of lights.
Key sources of light pollution
Commercial properties and offices
Interior and exterior lighting
Floodlights for sports pitches
Impact of light pollution
Artificial lighting can interfere with body clocks of nocturnal animals. This can interfere with feeding, breeding and health. It can also affect navigation as moths and birds become disorientated. Light pollution is also a waste of energy and money.
How to reduce light pollution
Timers and sensors.
Reduce bulb brightness.
Point lights downwards to angles of below 70 degrees.
Use glare guards.
LEDs with warm light to minimize blue emission.
Can you substitute lighting with fencing for security?
Keep your blinds and curtains drawn to keep light inside.
As is often the case, the best answer is often the simplest – if at all possible, turn the lights off.
Words: Jennie Eastick, Amateur gardener and Office Manager