How does LED lighting affect animals?

Light pollution harms animals

Good lighting of streets and squares has always served the safety of us humans. Today, light is also often used in the evening and at night to attract attention. Be it in the form of advertising or to illuminate buildings in a special way.

Excessive lighting has its downsides

All living beings are subject to a natural day-night rhythm that is conditioned by light and darkness. Not only we humans suffer from the lack of darkness, the biorhythm of many animal species is also disturbed by it. This has an impact on their orientation, their communication, their reproductive behavior, their eating behavior and their sleeping behavior.

  • Migratory birds are attracted by the bright light and crash into tall, illuminated buildings.
  • Turtle hatchlings can no longer find their way into the sea due to the lighting on boardwalks and hotels.
  • Thousands of insects burn up when they approach street lamps and similar lighting fixtures.
  • Even the occurrence of different plant species is changing towards light-tolerant species.
  • The observation of the starry sky and the Milky Way is only possible in remote areas.
  • The energy consumption from excessive lighting is enormous.

How can you reduce these negative effects?

  • Use artificial light as briefly as possible only where it is absolutely necessary.
  • The light beam from lamps should always be directed downwards and the lamps should be in a closed housing shielded from above.
  • The surface temperature of luminaires should not be higher than 60C °.
  • Use lamps with a low ultraviolet and blue component in the spectrum.
  • Keep the height of the light points as low as possible and never shine above the horizontal in order to avoid an effect on animals from a distance.
  • Do not illuminate garden ponds, trees or bushes, these are habitats for animals that need their night's rest.

Must be Christmas lights?

Especially in the Christmas season, which should actually be a quiet time, there is often a real competition for the brightest and most radiant Christmas lighting. According to the Upper Austrian Energy Saving Association, energy consumption in Austria in the few weeks around Christmas corresponds to the annual consumption of a city with around 10,000 households.

If you do not want to do without fairy lights and the like, please pay attention to energy-saving LED lamps when buying. In addition, please limit the lighting to the evening hours and turn it off during the night using the timer.


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