How to Decrease Light Pollution and Make the Best Part of Your Landscape Shine
Imagine you can play a part in reducing pollution while also enhancing the look of your landscape…well, you can! Normally, landscaping lights create light pollution that negatively affects nocturnal animals and migratory birds. There’s a concept called “dark sky lighting” that helps to reduce this type of pollution in cities, which is great news because that means you can actually see more stars. Here are our recommendations on how to reduce light pollution right in your own backyard:
- Avoid buying lights and lamp fixtures that point upwards. (You typically see these used to shine light on trees and apartment buildings). Instead, a more efficient and environment-friendly way to light your property is to use downlights. And chances are, you’ll like the effect and shadows the downward light casts much more than those originals.
- Purchase light fixtures that are specifically designed with light pollution in mind. Think fixtures with some type of hood or decorative cutout over the bulb. If you can’t find one you like, then make sure to place your light under an existing porch or trellis, and angle it downwards. You’re probably one step ahead and already doing this at your front or back door.
- Choose lights with lower voltage, and keep in mind how you angle the lights. There’s nothing more annoying than getting blinded by your flood light that just turned on while you’re enjoying a beautiful sunset.
- Speaking of flood light or spotlights, if you have a large deck, courtyard, or backyard, you’re probably already using one. These types of lights are one of those pesky light sources to our feathered friends. Plus, they’re usually intense with a high glare on our eyes as well. Check out your current lights to see if they can be replaced with more wildlife-friendly fixtures, or do an overhaul to determine if you even need light in certain spots. Take a mental note of the spots on your property- like a fountain, your front porch, or your driveway that you’d really like to emphasize and illuminate. Your eyes and the neighborhood birds will thank you.
- Be mindful of your use of lights. Once you’ve figured out how to arrange lighting that works for your landscape, take it a step further by setting each one on a timer or a motion sensor. You’ll use less electricity and eliminate any unnecessary light.
- Stick to warmer, lighter hues when choosing lighting. It’s easier on the eyes than cooler, more fluorescent lighting. Plus, they help to decrease sky glow, so if you’re in an urban area, you’re more likely to be able to gaze up at the stars. If you live by the beach, low-pressure sodium lights are the best to use so that sea turtles and other native animals aren’t disrupted by light pollution.
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