June 30, 2016: At a time when various reports have raised fingers against LED lighting saying that they are harmful to the environment and contribute heavily towards light pollution, scientists are now saying that LED streetlights can actually help to deal with light pollution, a global issue that needs to be controlled at the earliest.
The ongoing threats
Spending excessive time under artificial lights during night time may hamper your health, according to a recent research. Do you know that 99% of Europeans can neither view the stars or the Milky Way due to light pollution?
Not only this, a study also showed that such pollution affects animals, plants as well as insects, that can be confused by the artificial lighting. However, majority of the people are now becoming conscious of light pollution and its harmful effects on human, plant and animal health. In addition, the American Medical Association (AMA) has issued guidelines to reduce the harmful effects of night lighting.
How can LED streetlights help fight light pollution?
LED street lighting can help fight light pollution, according to the Council on Science and Public Health. Since the LEDs have enhanced light spectrum, they do not imitate the sunshine. Dating back to the ancient times, humans used fire as their source of light with no dependency on artificial lights, the experts pointed out.
Furthermore, the experts said that we tend to changeover to night time physiology at sunset. This method decreases hunger intensity and manipulates the body to reduce its temperature. Additionally, we start to feel the requirement to rest and sleep, while the blood melatonin concentrations increase.
However, when we are exposed to artificial lighting for a long period of time, this natural method gets disturbed. As a result, our sleep patterns get hampered and we also tend to munch on unhealthy snacks. All such disturbances make us prone to various diseases like insomnia, diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart conditions.
Richard Stevens, a medicine professor from Connecticut University said that melatonin prevents the growth of cancer tumors and also influences the need to sleep.
Humans only require firelight, starlight and moonlight to live a healthy life. However, invention of the electric bulb has brought along various consequences that disturb our sleep patterns.
Experts suggest that you should be exposed to white daylight only a couple of hours per day. And, LEDs are regarded to be less harmful than other sources of artificial light since they do not imitate the white daylight.