The amount of energy used in modern life is quite high. If people don’t find ways to save energy or at least minimize their energy consumption, they and future generations will have to deal with some very serious issues. Energy production alone causes a variety of environmental issues. The environmental effects of energy generation include the creation of greenhouse gases, air, water, and land pollution, to name just a few. While many people may be aware of these environmental effects, only a small number of people are aware of or have heard of light pollution.
Does light pollution have an impact on life?
People frequently ignore light pollution, which is a problem. Even when it is observed, it is frequently disregarded. But such pollution has a negative impact on both humans and other species! Let’s learn more about this important issue.
Describe light pollution
Simply put, light pollution occurs when there is too much artificial light present at night.
Urban locations are where it frequently happens, both in developed and developing nations. Visit the NASA website at https://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/earthday/gall earth night.html to view a real-world photograph of the earth at night. You can easily see which portions of the image are more affected by light pollution by looking at it. The rich and emerging nations alike, including the US, Europe, India, Eastern China, South Korea, Japan, and a number of others, all produce excessive light pollution.
The presence of the traditional street lighting system is the primary cause of the excessive light pollution in these areas. Although the urban populace depends on street lights to illuminate the dark alleys at night, they are also the main cause of light pollution.
The constant burning of the current street lights frequently increases the damaging CO2 emissions as well as light pollutions. The existing street lighting system is designed to illuminate the streets throughout the night, even when it is unnecessary, that is, when no one is around to use it. Otherwise, light pollution will continue to be produced by the outdated conventional street lighting system.
Light pollution’s effects
According to medical study, light pollutions may have a number of harmful consequences on one’s health. Increased anxiety, physiological stress, exhaustion, and headaches may result from this. The alertness and temperament of a person may also be impacted by excessive light exposure.
Sleep deprivation can result from light trespass, a type of light pollution that happens when unwelcome light penetrates your space. Lack of sleep can contribute to additional health issues and a decline in living quality.
Unsafe driving conditions can result from glare, another type of light pollution brought on by inadequate outdoor illumination. Glare frequently causes partial blindness in pedestrians or driving, which contributes to accidents.
Artificial light has an impact on not just humans but also other living things and ecosystems. It can affect predator-prey relationships, disrupt navigation, and impair physiological processes. Additionally, light pollution encourages the growth of algae, which can harm lake plants and worsen water quality.
Let’s not overlook the carbon emissions as a final point. Globally, there are more than 317 million streetlights, and by 2027, that figure will increase to 363 million! All of them utilise power produced from the combustion of fossil fuels. In 2017, there were 32.5 gigatons of carbon emissions, the majority of which came from burning fossil fuels, and based on projected future energy demand, they will only continue to increase unless immediate action is taken. An increase in carbon emissions causes the earth’s surface temperature to rise, which has a negative impact on the ecosystems, biodiversity, and our way of life on the planet.
How might light pollution be lessened?
Upgrading the current street lighting infrastructure to intelligent street lighting infrastructure is the only workable approach at this time. Making streetlights smart is a logical idea since they are the main source of light pollution.
The brightness of streetlights is adjusted by intelligent street lighting in response to the motion of vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians. City administration, municipalities, or light operators can easily control the public illumination as per the individual needs with the aid of smart street light controllers and gateways coupled with a street light management software. This implies that streetlights can be set to burn at low brightness levels when there is a minimal demand for lighting, such as between the hours of midnight and five in the morning when few people are around. It can significantly lessen light pollution, boost energy efficiency, and stop CO2 emissions.
Some sensor-based street lighting solutions, including those from Yibai LED Lighting, are available. This sensor-based, intelligent street lighting system dims the lights when no one is present but raises the brightness to a set level when people are found. Thus, this cutting-edge approach to street lighting drastically cuts energy use, lowers CO2 emissions, and eliminates light pollution, all the while putting the safety and satisfaction of citizens first.
Additional advantages of smart street lighting
Intelligent street lighting minimizes maintenance costs for the infrastructure used for public lighting, in addition to minimizing light pollution, boosting energy efficiency, and lowering CO2 emissions. Every streetlight is connected in an intelligent street lighting system, and when a failure is discovered, alarms with the exact fail-point are automatically delivered to the repair team. Due to the elimination of periodic and false alarm truck rolls, maintenance expenses are greatly decreased.
Putting a solid foundation for a smart city on solid ground is another advantage of upgrading to intelligent street lighting. A citywide network of existing streetlights already exists. The standard city-wide network will be transformed into a smart city-wide network by the addition of light sensors, controllers, and gateways! Imagine the potential if present and future IoT (Internet of Things) devices like CCTV cameras, noise detectors, traffic density sensors, air pollution sensors, and EV charging stations were added to the smart city-wide network. A single platform, many options.
The negative environmental effects of energy production are growing along with the world’s need for and consumption of energy. Light pollution is one of the many serious environmental effects that frequently goes unnoticed. Even if it doesn’t sound all that bad, light pollution has serious negative effects on both people and animals.
The greatest source of light pollution, streetlights, must be addressed if light pollution is to be reduced. Even when nobody is nearby, conventional streetlights continue to operate throughout the night, causing light pollution, growing energy costs, and rising carbon emissions. However, the drawbacks of traditional streetlights can be avoided by implementing smart street lighting solutions.
Intelligent street lighting solutions, which mainly include streetlight sensors, controllers, gateways, and management software (to manage streetlights), cut CO2 emissions, regulate light pollution, conserve energy, and curb energy consumption—all without compromising public safety or satisfaction. They also provide the ideal foundation for potential IoT and smart city applications.
Citizens should therefore push their local government to provide intelligent street lighting in order to reduce negative environmental effects and to maintain a safe, healthy, and enjoyable urban lifestyle.