Light Pollution on streets

I searched “Night” + “Singapore” on Google images, and what came out were photos that look like this — dazzling with lights. I guess these image are almost like a symbol of modernity and progress,  a 24-hour global city. For instance, in recent years we see the Singapore Tourism Board promoting events such as F1 Night Race in Singapore. I hope that this will be a starting point for this blog post.

Few of my previous blog posts have mostly touched on air pollution, and I thought I would focus on something different this time round.

In this ABC Online article, “darkness” was described as an “endangered resource” — we are cutting ourselves away from the night sky, which is a “source of inspiration, meditation and reflection”. Not only are we disrupting ecosystems and wildlife, scientists have found that artificial light at night contributes to sleep disorders, which are in turn tied to many different diseases.

Light pollution, it seems, includes not just monetary costs (inefficient energy usage) but also environmental and health costs.

Some solutions proposed includes smart lighting technology (by Amsterdam-based company Tvilight), which aims to create lighting systems that responds to the amount of traffic and pedestrians in the area so as to reduce light pollution. In order words, providing what that is needed without wasting excess and necessary lights.

Is this something that we should consider? Or are we too fearful of the dark (after all, darkness is often associated with danger too) or that we will lose the vibrancy of the city?

To end off, here is a video of Earth from the International Space Station (just for fun! and for us to get a sense of how much light are we emitting from Earth).

Source:

Funnel, A. (2015). The Dark Side of Light. ABC Online. [Online]. Retrieved from: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/futuretense/the-dark-side-of-light/6295412 [Last accessed: 11 March 2015]

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