Turtle Lights – Solution for Light Pollution

In a previous blog, I discussed my love for turtles and a new LED streetlight prototype that could be the solution for light pollution. But what else can we do to protect the lives of innocent sea turtles?

Sea turtle hatchlings instinctively move towards the moonlight reflecting off the ocean. In coastal locations, excessive artificial light from waterfront properties causes sea turtles to wander inland instead of out to sea where they die from numerous causes. I, Dr. Bulb, am NOT okay with this issue!

To solve the problem, there are several things you can do. As the obvious solution, turn off unnecessary lights. Use motion detectors and set them to be on for the shortest time setting. If possible, face lights away from the beach. Replace fixtures that scatter light everywhere with directional lights. Plant vegetation between the light source and the beach. And finally, move indoor fixtures away from the windows.

Luckily, many coastal locations also have minimum standards that require turtle-friendly lighting during sea turtle nesting season. But…what is turtle-friendly lighting, exactly? Candlelight? Flashlights? Nope—the best choice is LED.

Before the newest advances in lighting technology, yellow “bug” lights or compact fluorescents (CFLs) were used instead of incandescent lamps. Today, amber LED light sources, like amber LED bollards, are ideal for sea turtle-friendly lighting. The turtle lights, also known as wildlife lights, have a wavelength of 590 nm. Fortunately, turtles can’t see this wavelength—but humans can! PERFECT!

And of course, LEDs also have an average life of 50,000 hours, are energy efficient, and require little maintenance.

Click here for a list of fixtures and bulbs approved through the Wildlife Lighting Certification Process.

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