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Dark Sky, Bright Lights: Protecting the Night Sky
Venture outside the city and you’ll see how beautifully dark the sky can get. But in metropolitan areas, the starry night sky is overpowered by the lights we use to illuminate our roads and pathways.
Light that stretches beyond its intended area creates an inefficient use of energy. It also confuses animals with their migration and breeding habits, causing a ripple effect in the ecosystem. Harsh night light can even affect night vision and sleeping patterns in humans.
The International Dark Sky Association (IDA) is a nonprofit whose mission is to preserve and protect the nighttime environment. They contacted Vice President of Environmental Innovation at The Home Depot, Ron Jarvis to see if they would help provide options for healthier, eco-friendly outdoor lighting.
“We truly believe that we are in a unique position because of the industries that we are in to help reduce their impact on their environment. We looked at this category and decided, yes, we could make a difference,” Jarvis explains.
The Home Depot is the only home improvement retailer partnered with IDA, and looks to educate consumers on making better choices with their outdoor lighting.
To minimize light pollution, lighting should:
Only be on when needed
Only light the area that needs it
Be no brighter than necessary
Minimize blue light emissions
Be fully shielded (pointing downward)