Light Pollution

Fulking LED lights Xmas 2019

An Environmental Article from the Action Plan Group on Village light pollution

Fulking is a very special place to live, we all know this or we wouldn’t have moved here. However, it seems that some of us do not appreciate all the area has to offer. Many of us have lived in the countryside all of our lives, some of us were born in the Village but all “country people” love what the country side has to offer – wildlife, birdlife, insect life and of course the beautiful scenery. However, things are changing in our Village and it seems that recently people who have moved here from the Towns and Cities have brought their Town/City ideas with them in the form of lights.

Garden lighting seems to be the latest craze with lights on into the early hours, if not all night but for whose enjoyment?

Ponder the following:-

When artificial light is allowed to illuminate or intrude upon areas not intended to be lit it can:-

  • Disturb neighbours
  • Spoil neighbours enjoyment of the nightlife that could be in their property
  • Disrupt the view of the stars
  • Impact on the wildlife of an area affecting behavioural patterns of mammals, birds, insects and even the fish in your pond !

Lights that are left on all night are a total waste of energy, a serious resource problem these days. So ask yourself :-

  • Is this light really necessary, or is it just a total waste of energy and money ? Then remove all unnecessary lights.
  • Does this light need to be on after we are all home and have gone to bed ? If the answer is yes consider making it a more user/friendly light.
  • For security a 9w lamp is more than adequate for a porch light.
  • Use low energy bulbs not excessively bright lights.
  • Make sure any lights are correctly adjusted to only illuminate your area and not that of your neighbour
  • If you have lights that illuminate the sky then fit shields, check that lights are angled downwards and only illuminate the intended area.
  • Do not leave lights on when they are not needed.
  • Fit timers but remember to change them when clocks change and as the lighter/darker evenings change.
  • Fit a security light that only comes on when a person approaches but be sure it is adjusted so that animals do not activate it.

There is no evidence that lights deter criminals. Main Insurers do not offer reductions in premiums for exterior lights; you could be lighting their way !! Burglar alarms are a far better deterrent.

There is evidence that artificial lighting is having an impact on the life cycle of nocturnal insects; moths and glow worms are just two that spring to mind. Before human lighting the life cycle of nocturnal creatures was constantly controlled by the movement of the sun and moon, now we are changing things. Moths are attracted to our lights and many species are dying out because they busy their night away buzzing round our lights, getting burnt, exhausted or eaten by predators who take advantage of this feast. Glow worms are a sad case; the female of the species emits a light after dark to attract her mate, she cannot fly so he has to fly to her but we are confusing things with our bigger brighter lights, thereby affecting mating success and they are dying out fast. Woodlice, snails, beetles, badgers, foxes, owls, nightingales and so the list goes on, all depend on darkness to carry on their normal life cycles.

So think of the environment, your neighbours, the wildlife in your area and change your ideas on lighting your garden. These lovely long summer evenings are the perfect time to sort it out.

Church bells, cockerels and mud (!) are all part of the countryside; lights are not. So come on Villagers, let’s get together on this one and take the Town out of Fulking and put the Countryside back.