Dark Sky

A Look At Ecofriendly Lighting In Honor of World Sea Turtle Day

The effects of air, land, and water pollution are well known, but the fallout from light pollution garners significantly less attention. And it’s not simply that ever-increasing light pollution impairs our ability to see the star-studded night sky. There are other real and measurable consequences for humans, wildlife, and the environment. For humans, light pollution alters our circadian rhythms and melatonin production, which can lead to various health concerns. In the animal kingdom, the night light disrupts vital eating, nesting, and migratory patterns, creating harmful ripple effects, impacting both climate and the environment.

Sea turtles, for example, are disproportionately affected by the overabundance of man-made nocturnal light, which can disorient female turtles, who return to shore between March and October to lay their eggs, and prevent them from nesting. If the turtles do manage to nest, the tiny hatchlings, who are instinctively drawn to the moonlight reflecting off the ocean, may turn inland toward artificial light instead, putting the future population at risk. In honor of World Sea Turtle Day (June 16), we are taking a look at our Dark Sky and Wildlife Friendly Lighting collections.

“We are proud to produce exterior lighting solutions that are not only safe for the environment but also safe for the wildlife that inhabits our planet,” says Corbin Philhower, Director of Design Development for Visual Comfort & Co. With more than a dozen thoughtfully designed Dark Sky friendly fixtures across a variety of styles (barn lights, sconces, outdoor cylinders) as well as aesthetics, this versatile collection works especially well along the coast but in a range of other locales, too, including many western states. “When designing these pieces, we truly tried to think about the end user and how [these fixtures] will fulfill their needs,” Philhower says. “This includes style and context as well as application.”

Each elegant outdoor light fixture is designed with a shield that directs light downward, fulfilling one of the key tenets of dark sky-friendly lighting. When you’re making exterior lighting decisions, though, dark sky experts offer a few additional tips:

  • Be judicious with your lighting and only illuminate areas that truly need it.
  • Swap out conventional bulbs for more energy efficient LED options.
  • Make your lights only as bright as you need them to be—no more.
  • Mount smart. Exterior lights should be hung no more than eight feet from the floor, and should not be used above the first habitable floor of a home, especially in beachside homes.