We've all seen insects gathered around a street light, but what happens to more light sensitive creatures, who would normally feed on those insects, when they try to avoid the glare?
The habits of bats and other mammals in well-lit areas has been the subject of many studies in recent years, and several alternatives to white light have now been tested. Found to be most effective in creating a safe space for both people and animals, without interference to local wildlife, has been red light.
Across the globe communities are seeing the introduction of red street lights. In warm, coastal climates red lights have been known to protect sea turtles paths to the ocean and prevent them from nesting in unsafe areas, thus protecting the young and preventing further endangerment of the species. Across Europe red street lights have been introduced to protect bats, a known pollinator extremely important to maintaining our environment, and provide a safe thoroughfare and feeding area. Red lights are also known to provide a more natural environment for other nocturnal animals adverse to the white/blue glare of typical street lighting.
But what is the effect to humans of these wildlife friendly zones? Are we still as safe under red lighting as we would be under the standard cool white we have all come to recognise? The human eye quickly adjusts to the red light, making areas of red light safe not only for animals but also for human travel.
In a world where we are all becoming increasingly aware of our environment and how to protect it, we are certain we will see increasing popularity in initiatives like this one; creating a safe environment and low carbon footprint for the benefit of all.