Numerous projects have been launched at home and abroad in support of efficient and eco-friendly outdoor lighting or with a focus on the mitigation of light pollution and the impacts of artificial light.
Loss of the Night Network (LoNNe)
COST program http://www.cost.eu
LoNNe is investigating the impacts of light pollution in an interdisciplinary way.
LoNNe is collecting existing and generating new knowledge about light pollution. Different actors from science, health care, public authorities and industry are cooperating. One big aim is creating guidelines for lighting concepts that are ecologically, socially, and economically sustainable.
Loss of the Night
German title: Verlust der Nacht
Organiser: Leibnitz Gemeinschaft e.V.
The objective is to use the results of research to develop solutions for modern lighting systems and sustainable technologies.
Loss of the Night is an interdisciplinary research group.
Light and light pollution are studied in individual projects covering all relevant disciplines, including cultural history, ecology, astronomy, health, social economics and light engineering.
Attraction of modern light sources for nocturnal insects
German title: Anlockwirkung moderner Leuchtmittel auf nachtaktive Insekten Organiser: Tyrolean State Museums, Tyrolean Environmental Ombudsman
The purpose of the study is to identify the most insect-friendly light sources and investigate their photometric properties.
In July and August 2010, six light sources used for public lighting systems were tested in Völs for their power to attract nocturnal insects.
The most insect-friendly light sources were found to be the two LED lamps tested, followed by the high-pressure sodium lamp. All three metal-halide lamps in the test (with UV filters!) had a very great attraction for insects.
There are plans to continue the research, with improvements to the lighting engineering to be implemented with the help of Bartenbach LichtLabor and extended LED testing.
Artificial light and insects
German title: Künstliches Licht und Insekten
Project initiator: Dr. Gerhard Eisenbeis, University of Mainz
The objective is to study the attraction of street light for insects.
In the 1997 Rheinhessen Project and the 2008 Fleher Deich Project in Dusseldorf, Dr. Gerhard Eisenbeis studied total insect attraction over a complete summer flight period.
It was found that light sources with a high ultraviolet, blue or violet proportion of light have a strong attraction for insects.
The light sources that attracted most insects were mercury vapour lamps, followed by metal-halide lamps and high-pressure sodium lamps.
Low-pressure sodium lamps and light-emitting diodes had less power of attraction for insects. These results are applicable to the large majority of insects (Eisenbeis in Posch, Freyhoff & Uhlmann, 2010).
Life at Night
Project initiator: Dr. Mojca Stojan-Dolar
The objective of this Life+ project is to minimise or optimise the illumination of historical buildings and so protect nocturnal animals like moths and bats.
Floodlighting for historical buildings like churches is a common use of artificial light in rural areas, especially in the Alps.
The project serves to develop a technical code for energy-efficient and eco-friendly lighting for listed buildings and to develop public awareness for the subject. The code is intended for use throughout the European Union.
A prototype of an ideal floodlighting system is also being developed and tested on 21 selected churches.
Lighting Check-up for Tyrolean Municipalities
Organisers: Energie Tirol, Tyrolean Regional Authority, Tyrolean Environmental Ombudsman
The Lighting Check-up is designed to promote energy-efficient and eco-friendly lighting in the municipalities of the Tyrol.
In many municipalities, obsolete lighting systems mean high electricity bills, rising maintenance costs and damage to nature and the environment.
Five lighting engineers drew up an inventory of the street lighting and building illumination systems in use in twenty Tyrolean municipalities and assessed the potential for improvements in terms of energy consumption and costs. Refurbishment of the lighting systems is expected to generate an average of 30 percent energy savings, corresponding to about 440,000 kWh.
Forty Tyrolean municipalities have now received counselling on the basis of street lighting checks-ups, with more to follow.
Night sky Linz
Organiser: Dr. Dietmar Hager
This website is deigned to permit comparisons to be drawn between exemplary and problematical urban lighting situations.
The objective is to provide a striking picture of problematical lighting situations for decision- and policy-makers and the general public, and to contrast them with examples of good lighting practice.
An aerial photograph of Linz is marked with red, green and yellow dots to indicate the various lighting situations presented on the website. Green stands for positive examples of eco-friendly, energy-efficient and healthy lighting; yellow means there is room for improvement, and red is the symbol for lighting installations that produce excessive illuminance or glare or are generally inefficient.
Users are invited to send in their own photos for assessment and possible inclusion in the website.
Light Meter Network
Organiser: Thüringer Landessterwarte Tautenburg, Kuffner Observatory Vienna
The project initiators hope that as many light meters will be deployed in as many locations worldwide as possible so that enough data can be analysed to produce a meaningful picture of the state of illumination of the night sky.
Light meters can be used to provide a record of long-term developments in light pollution.
The light meter is an inexpensive device that is easy to install, using a USB cable to connect with a PC.
The data are being compiled and evaluated by the Thüringer Landessternwarte and the Kuffner Observatory.
A prototype of the light meter has been in use since 2006. Today several dozen light meters are deployed to provide continuous monitoring of the light in the night.
How many stars?
Organiser: Kuffner Observatory Vienna
This skywatching campaign serves public awareness building for the subject of light pollution and astronomy, and provides an assessment of the level of illumination of the night sky.
An average of 450 stars can be seen in the night sky over Austria. As a result of light pollution, however, only ten percent of the self-luminous celestial bodies can be seen in urban areas.
At the beginning of 2009, the Kuffner Observatory Association in Vienna launched its second "How many stars?" campaign. This is a skywatching project in which everyone can participate and monitor the view of the night sky from where they live, using Ursa Minor and Orion as the point of departure.
For the instructions and ready-made star maps, go to the website below, where you can also enter your results.