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Healthy Shorelines for Healthy Lakes

Lighting and Light Pollution

Lights on earth

When placing lights on your property, remember that they may also be shining on your neighbours’ property as well as on the surface of the water. Light bounces off the water, which can severely limit the night vision of boaters. Excessive light also affects wildlife by changing foraging, mating, hibernation and migration patterns.

Five Easy Steps to Responsible Lighting

1.    Determine what lighting is needed to illuminate targeted areas. Determine if you need light for safety, as a marker (such as low-voltage garden path lights) or for aesthetic reasons.
2.    Use the right amount of light. More light is usually not better. Too much light reduces visibility by creating glare and forming dark shadows. It also wastes energy. Your eyes will adjust more easily where there are smooth transitions from light to dark areas.
3.    Avoid letting the light shine sideways or upwards. Use full cut-off, shielded fixtures and aim light to the area where you need it.
4.    Use infrared and motion detectors that turn lights on and off as needed. This improves security and reduces electricity consumption. Use timers to control when lights come on.
5.    Use efficient lamps. Remember that shielded fixtures with good reflectors waste little light, so you can use lower wattage bulbs.

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