Welcome to the section of Light pollution

In this part of our project we focus on a modern global problem

What is light pollution?

The occurrence of light pollution has become common in most countries today. Yet most people are not aware of it and consequently do not take an action.

Light pollution is artificial light in places where there is no need for it or even in places where it causes damage. Characteristic examples of harmful lighting are empty areas, over-illuminated trees, monuments or undesirable light from street lamps shining into windows.

Studies have shown that harmful lighting causes isomnia and other health problems, and can even cause car accidents. This is not just an isolated issue of several incorrectly placed light sources. It is an issue which affects a great part of the developed world.

In addition to outdoor light pollution, we face harmful light coming from our mobile devices. Many are unaware of the dangers they are exposed to by excessive use of screens. For this reason we have decided to raise awareness of indoor and outdoor light pollution.

How to reduce light pollution:

  • Light up only the spots and objects, where lighting is necessary
  • Shine light only into the lower half-space
  • Opt for lamps of adequate intensity
  • Use a light source of appropriate color temperature (sources under 2700 K are safe)

What do we do?

  • We consult the issue with professionals and experts in the appropriate fields
  • We cooperate with representatives of the judicial and legislative branch of government
  • We gather and process information about the issue
  • We map the public lighting in Opava and its impact on light pollution
  • We measure and record parameters of mobile devices
  • We cooperate with elementary schools in the fields of physics, chemistry and legislation
  • We educate and inform the general public about the issue of light pollution

How to measure light pollution

  • We map individual areas of the city and record the types of lamps found in this particular area.
  • Using the luxmeter and spectrometer we measure the intensity and color range of the light source. We record data and take pictures.
  • Finally, we compile the information and add it to a map of light pollution.

Types of street lamps:

  • Sodium-vapor lamps with a flat bottom cover
  • Sodium-vapor lamps with a rounded bottom cover
  • Rounded sodium-vapor lamps
  • Cool LED lighting
  • Warm LED lighting
  • Fluorescent lamps
  • Gas-discharge lamps

Further information

The emitted-light intensity is measured on the ground by the foot of the lamp (recording the maximum value) and between the lamps (recording the minimum value). Color temperature is measured by a spectrometer. Every graph is saved for a possible further examination.

You can help us by sending us pictures of harmful lighting to the email provided in Contacts.

We also measure other light sources, for example billboards.

Articles and photos from our measuring trips can be found on Twitter and Instagram.