Lighting responsibly is not about turning off all of your lights and plunging into darkness and chaos. Instead, it is about using the lights you have in the most effective way possible. There are a few easy steps you can take to light responsibly; helping to protect the nighttime environment, our own health and well-being, as well as opening up the sky for the stars to shine through.
First, put t...he light where it gets used. Put covers or shields on the top of lights so that all of the light goes down on the ground where it is useful rather than shining it up into the sky. This will also cut glare and make it easier for your eyes to see in the dark (after all, our eyes are meant to function perfectly well with the light equivalent to a full moon).
Second, because you’re aiming all of the light down on the ground there’s that much more light where you need it. Since it is now brighter on the ground you can actually use a lower wattage light bulb and achieve the same brightness you had when the light was being wasted in other directions. This saves energy and helps the environment!
Third, use light that wildlife is not attracted to, such as red or orange light. If you’ve ever looked at a bright white light you’ll see many insects around the light because they’re drawn to it. Most insects and animals are drawn to red or orange light much less than bright white light. This light can disturb their sleep patterns, mating, eating, and even reveal them to predators more than normal.
Using these three easy steps you can provide a lit environment that isn’t wasting light or hurting the nighttime environment. Using timers, dimmers, and motion sensors can also be a great help to lighting only when you need it, where you need it. Help us bring about a darker, yet more ‘enlightened’ world by using light responsibly. You won’t regret the view.
Via International Dark-Sky Association