Rise in energy-saving LED lighting has increased light pollution

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The increase of artificial light is produced nearly everywhere on the globe, with regions of low informed previously where the luminescence is significantly more important, leading Christopher Kyba, a researcher at the Centre GFZ research of geophysics at Potsdam in Germany, the main author.

There are two separate factors to be considered when looking at light pollution - the total outdoor area that is artificially lit, and the brightness of those lit areas. Light pollution is not a widely discussed topic, but if more people talk about it and understand the negative effects, then there may be bigger initiatives in fighting back against it. "We'll light something that we didn't light before, like a bicycle path though a park or a section of highway leading outside of town that in the past wasn't lit", said physicist and lead author Chris Kyba.

To be exact, this owes to what the researchers call a "rebound effect".

The VIIRS is mounted on the a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite named Suomi NPP, which has been orbiting Earth since October 2011. Of course, these numbers go up and up in developed metropolises, while in war-torn zones like Yemen and Syria actually show a plunge in illuminated communities. These included some of the world's brightest such as Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the United States, although the researchers said the satellite sensor's "blindness" to some LED light may mask an actual increase.

The new research was based on data gathered over a period of four years, between 2012 and 2016. However, the problem isn't with the lights themselves - but the fact that the world is getting brighter because LEDs are illuminating places we didn't bother to light before. White LED light is rich in blue colors, and so it partially escaped detection.

The researchers behind the study suggest this increase in artificial lighting is due to a "rebound effect" - increased use of light in response to the lower cost of using it.

"We can say with fairly high confidence even though we didn't measure in the satellite an increase in these countries, they are almost certainly increasing in brightness in terms of how human beings would perceive the light", Kyba said.

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Ecologist Franz Holker of Germany's Leibniz-Institute for Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) said light pollution has ecological consequences, with natural light cycles disrupted by artificial light introduced into the nighttime environment.

"Not just the economic cost, but also the cost that you have to pay from an ecological, environmental perspective".

Longcore, who was not involved in the study, described the 2.2 percent annual growth rate as "unsustainable".

Solutions include using lower intensity lights, turning lights off when people leave an area, and choosing LED lights that are amber instead of blue or violet, since these tend to be the most harmful to animals and humans, experts say.

The Earth is more and more flooded with artificial light, a phenomenon exacerbated by the new technology of lamps, diode light emitting (LED), shows an analysis of observations of a satellite, confirming that a light pollution increasingly affects the health of humans, animals and plants.

It also makes it harder for people to sleep by upsetting their body clocks. "In fact, there is some evidence that shows that additional lights increase crime because criminals can see what they are doing", he added.