Light pollution

Light pollution is recognised as a growing global problem that can have very serious consequences

Today, light pollution of the environment is a global issue to which economic, astronomic, safety and health problems are attributed that affect humans and cause numerous undesired health effects. Unlike water, soil or air pollution, light pollution is a relatively new term for the general public.

Light pollution is the change of the level of natural light in night conditions caused by light emissions from artificial light sources that adversely affect human health and jeopardize traffic safety due to glare, by direct or indirect illumination of the sky that interferes with the life and/or migration of birds, bats, insects and other animals, disrupts plant growth, threatens the natural balance in protected areas, interferes with professional and/or amateur astronomical observations of the sky, consumes unnecessary energy and disrupts the night landscape.

The most recognisable side effect of light pollution is increased night sky brightness, which is caused by excessive lighting intensity and occurs due to dispersion of visible and invisible light (ultraviolet and infra-red light) of natural or artificial origin on environmental components and atmosphere, resulting in adverse consequences for humans and their environment.

Adverse consequences

Light pollution has many adverse consequences: 
  • disruption of natural day and night cycles affects human health and normal functioning of most living creatures, while excessive artificial light at night poses a serious threat to the survival of species in some ecosystems
  • uncovered light causes glare and can be a serious threat to road safety
  • increased sky brightness interferes with astronomic observations
  • causes unnecessary energy consumption, resulting in carbon dioxide emissions that are harmful to the environment.

Since a certain level of disrupting the natural darkness by artificial lighting of streets, roads, public places and monuments is a prerequisite for an urban way of life, the term “light pollution” refers primarily to any unnecessary light emissions outside the zone which needs to be illuminated.

Protection from light pollution

Protection against light pollution ensures protection of human health, integrated conservation of the environmental quality, conservation of biological and landscape diversity, preservation of ecological stability, protection of flora and fauna, rational use of natural resources and energy in a way that is most favourable to the environment, as a basic precondition for public health and a basis for the concept of sustainable development.

Protection against light pollution includes measures for protection against unnecessary and harmful light emissions inside and outside the zone which needs to be illuminated, and measures for protection of the night sky, natural water bodies and protected sites from artificial lighting, taking into account health, biological, economic, cultural, legal, safety, astronomical and other requirements and needs.
For additional information on light pollution, you can contact the Director for protection of air, soil and from light pollution of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development by calling the number: 01/3717-204