To: Tipperary County Council

BioDiversity Impact of light Pollution- Submission to Tipperary County Council

BioDiversity Impact of light Pollution- Submission to Tipperary County Council

To: Tipperary County Council

We are writing to you as the Cloughjordan Dark Sky Group, based in Cloughjordan village.
We are aware that new street lighting is soon to be installed on Main Street Cloughjordan to replace the old sodium lights there. We would ask that you install the best lighting option for everyone in the village.

Sometimes, the lighting installed in public spaces is much stronger and brighter than needed, which leads to light pollution and problems for human and ecological health. We have outlined some of those issues later in this letter.

We would therefore ask that your lighting engineers in the Council consider the following two basic requests for the lighting due to being installed on Main Street:

Install lighting which reduces glare and light pollution by installing lighting of a warm (amber instead of white) colour temperature with an upper limit of (no more than) 2700 kelvin.

Shield or hood the lighting to be installed so that the light is targeted onto the ground where it is needed, thereby reducing glare and so improving visual perception, thereby improving safety.

We believe the above requests are reasonable, achievable and will still meet the community expectations around safety, security and visibility. Most importantly, they will also relieve the community of the ongoing glare related problems on Main Street where the existing, too bright street lighting shines directly into their houses and bedrooms.

We are including a community petition signed by local people in support of the above lighting requests.

We would also like to request a meeting with the Council or to be granted the opportunity to open a discussion on further possibilities, such as:

Installing motion sensor lights at night, where the lights will turn on when there is a movement, thus reducing overall energy consumption and adding more safety to all.

Despite our name, we are not against the concept of street lighting! In fact, lighting in itself is not the issue: rather, if the lighting is installed without proper shielding and appropriate brightness levels, this can cause the problems that are now being seen among human populations and the ecosystem.

We greatly appreciate your time and attention and look forward to your response on this matter.

Yours Faithfully,
The Cloughjordan DarkSky Group

Why is this important?

We need your support: Please sign the petition below!

Finding it hard to sleep at night with light glare from street lighting coming into your bedroom? The County Council are going to be upgrading the current street lights in Cloughjordan village and will soon consult with the local community on the type of new lighting arrangements to install. This is your chance to have the kind of lighting you really want installed in your village.

We aim to submit a letter to the County Council on behalf of people in the local community, to request that the Council:

- Install lights with a warm (Amber) colour temperature with an upper limit of (no more than) 2700 kelvin.

- Install light shields or hooded lights with more focused lighting, (thereby improving security by reducing glare through targeted lighting and reducing the impact of light pollution).

Why are we making the above request?

There is an opportunity here for Cloughjordan village to get smart, modern, high standard, well-designed lighting installed that reduces glare into our houses and bedrooms and yet still keeps our streets safe at night. The right kind of well-designed lighting can help reduce light pollution, helping to protect our health and that of the environment.

The upper brightness limit we are asking for will be similar to the existing brightness level of the current sodium lighting on the main street but will have a softer effect as the new lighting will be LED, where 2700 kelvin is on the warmer scale of lighting. Also, if the lights are shielded, as we are requesting, the light is targeted to the ground where it is needed, and doesn’t get wasted in glare. This has been shown to improve security by eliminating the excessive glare that often ‘blinds’ people looking into overly bright street lighting.

The truth is that better design equals better and safer lighting.

Why be concerned about light pollution?

Light pollution is Harmful for our health:
Current scientific studies suggest that artificial light at night negatively affects human health by increasing our risks for sleep disorders, depression, diabetes and more. It is proven that artificial lights directly interrupt our circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythms are 24-hour cycles that are part of the body’s internal clock, running in the background to carry out essential functions whilst we sleep: the sleep-wake cycle. Some of these processes include brain wave patterns, hormone production, cell regulation, and other biologic activities. Disruption of the circadian clock is known to have a significant correlation to several medical disorders in humans including depression, insomnia, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

Light pollution is harmful to nature:

Plants and Animals depend on earth’s daily light and dark cycle to govern life-sustaining behaviours. For hundreds of millions of years, the web of life on earth has been dependent on day and night, light and dark. Research shows that artificial light at night has adverse and even deadly effects on many species.
Researchers have already identified harmful impacts on a huge array of species including bats, insects, plants, fish, turtles, marine corals and even primates.

Overlighting wastes energy we can’t afford to waste:
It is estimated that at least 20% of light is wasted by unshielded and/or poorly aimed outdoor lighting which is about 3 billion euros per years’ worth of energy lost in sky glow. As much as 50% of outdoor lighting globally is wasted, which increases greenhouse gas emissions, contributes to climate change, and renders us all energy-dependent. To offset all that carbon dioxide, we’d have to plant about 875 million trees annually!

Cloghjordanpark, Tipperary, Ireland

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