A new study says lighting may be a greater threat to the environment than we previously thought.
“It may be that people are just looking at it differently,” said the study’s lead author, Prof. David Aitken.
“They are looking at a light that is a lot brighter and they are thinking, ‘Is this really dangerous?’
That’s not really how light behaves.”
The researchers examined lighting trends in the US between 2004 and 2013.
The data was compiled by researchers at Columbia University and New York University.
The research was published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.
“In my opinion, we have made the case for this hypothesis and now we need to see if it can be supported by the data,” Prof. Aitking said.
“I think the evidence is compelling.”
The study used data from a wide range of different sources.
It looked at lighting sources including LED bulbs, CFLs, LED lights, streetlights and traffic lights.
Prof. Robert Mathers, a senior scientist at the Center for Research on the Environment at the University of New Mexico, called the new research “an impressive and important paper.”
The findings may provide more insight into the health impacts of light pollution, said Prof. Mather, who was not involved in the research.
“This paper is a great contribution to the field, and it’s very important to our understanding of light-pollution impacts.”
Prof. John H. Wigglesworth, director of the University Centre for Environment and Technology in Australia, called lighting pollution a “very important environmental issue.”
“We know the impacts of the building industry are very high on climate change, and we know the health impact of that is very high,” Prof Wiggesworth said.
Prof Wiglesworth said the researchers “tried to do something different.”
Prof Wigsworth said that, while the study looked at light pollution from one source, it was possible other sources could have played a role. “
So, if you want to understand the impacts, look at different light-emitting sources.”
Prof Wigsworth said that, while the study looked at light pollution from one source, it was possible other sources could have played a role.
“Light-polluting sources, including LEDs, are also contributing to a lot of the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change,” he said.
He said there was no single explanation for light pollution.
“We don’t know what it is.
We know there are many different sources that can have different impacts,” he told CBC News.
“The research that’s done so far has been very limited, and the way it’s done is that it’s all done on the basis of what’s in the light.”
Prof Aitked said his team had done a lot more work to refine the study.
He hopes that the results will encourage researchers to work on a wider range of light sources.
“What we have found is that different sources are contributing to different impacts and this is what’s important,” Prof Aifkens said.
The paper will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Environmental Research Letters.