The Negative Effects of Artificial Light on Wildlife

The Negative Effects of Artificial Light on Wildlife

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Artificial lighting is everywhere; we use it to brighten our homes, offices and even the streets outside. However we’re not always aware of the negative effect that rising light pollution is having on the environment around us. In 2011, LEDs made up just 9% of the global lighting market in 2011 but it’s predicted that this will rise to 68% by 2020. Of course, this rising demand for LED lighting will not occur without consequence. As we continue to illuminate our homes and communities with artificial lights, we are causing serious disturbances to the wildlife outside our doors.
The majority of wildlife depends on natural lighting to regulate mating and feeding habits, sleeping patterns, pollination and travelling routes. Sources of artificial light interfere with these patterns and routines and is greatly disorientating for many species of wildlife, often with fatal consequences. For example, thousands of birds die from collisions with buildings every year because they divert from their usual flight paths after becoming disorientated by building lights. Darkness at night is necessary for a lot of animals, although we don’t consider this when we accidently leave a light on throughout the night.
If the right actions were taken, the amount of damage caused to wildlife could be greatly reduced. We should be working to protect wildlife by being more considerate when adding lighting to our homes and gardens and there are various ways that we can do this.
This infographic illustrates the extent of rising light pollution as well as the issues it is causing to wildlife across the globe. It also presents some viable solutions to the problem, so that we can continue to enjoy the benefits of modern lighting solutions whilst also being considerate to the needs of the wildlife around us.