1. Minimise blue light emissions
Any light at night can suppress our body’s secretion of melatonin, but blue light at night is more harmful for humans and animals. While LED lighting has a reputation for energy efficiency, it often contains high levels of harsh blue light in its spectrum and produces more omnidirectional blue light. Replacing LED bulbs with narrow-spectrum low-colour options and sticking with warm and amber coloured lighting helps to minimise detrimental effects – the best is to stay within colour temperatures below 3,000 Kelvin
2. Embrace the natural rhythm of sunlight and moonlight patterns
Following more natural rhythms with our use of artificial light can help to protect our ecosystems and health. Using human-centric lighting techniques and designing around human needs, such as using warmer coloured lighting in the evenings, can help to bring us back to our natural circadian rhythms. For example, Red Sea Global is implementing outdoor lighting that changes depending on the season and the height of the sun.
3. Use lights with COntrolled Topics
All lighting and project designers have a responsibility and capability to use their knowledge to suggest new ways to use light in projects for all kinds of purposes such as entertainment, streetlights, façade lighting and landscapes. Now we have the knowledge and awareness of the effects of light pollution, and we know about more beneficial solutions, there is no need for us to use omnidirectional lights when we can use lights with controlled optics to protect our skies.
4. Encourage manufacturers and project teams to prioritise dark sky friendly products
While there is a slower process of development when it comes to circular economy lighting, and manufacturers providing more dark sky friendly products, designers and clients can use their influence to request more of this and encourage the process. We should be aiming to use products that are more dark sky friendly in terms of colour temperature and energy efficiency, involving accessories to shield the light and influence light distribution and direction.
5. Challenge lighting standards
Environmental and sustainability regulators such as LEED, IESNA, Estidama and ASHRAE have already specifically addressed strategies to protect dark skies, however there are some components that are considered, but not fully applied. The codes lose importance once the project is running and additional elements that also play an important role like advertisements, signage, street lighting, and façade displays are ignored. These are factors that lighting designers cannot control in a project, so it is worth considering the way lighting is used for these elements until the regulators for lighting standards take a more holistic approach and ensure they remain relevant over time.
6. minimise the use of light
Some simple solutions to begin with include controlling the timings that lights are used to allow flexibility. We only need lights to be on when necessary, we can control the direction and distribution of the lighting to only light the areas in which it is required, and we can control the amount of light used so that we are not excessively using light and greatening the impact it has.
7. avoid the impact of light trespassing during designing
It is important during the design stages to consider the potential for light trespass and the impacts. It is possible to plan steps towards avoiding this by following the mentioned guidance, but by considering this early on from the design stages, the process and results will be more efficient and effective.
8. Ensure lighting strategies are Future Ready
WSP’s key focus is future proofing projects to make sure they are designed sustainably with the future in mind, and are adaptable to changes. When it comes to lighting design, different areas should be treated differently. Lighting strategies should allow for multiple scenarios, such as for everyday use, entertainment, and special events, and should be able to adapt for further additional uses in a flexible manner. This will achieve longevity of the project and be more sustainable long term both economically and environmentally.