Chris Ames 06 February 2017

Academics warn LED street lighting could affect wildlife

Academics warn LED street lighting could affect wildlife image

Councils’ use of LED street lighting may need to be managed to reduce its impacts on the environment, according to new research.

A study by the University of Exeter found that predatory spiders and beetles were drawn to grassland patches lit by LED lighting at night, potentially impacting on other species.

However, the number of species affected was significantly reduced when the lights were dimmed by 50% and switched off between midnight and 4am.

Many highways authorities are changing to LED lighting but its increasing use worldwide has led to concerns about its effects on plants and animals.

‘We are making fundamental changes to the way we light the night-time environment, with potentially profound consequences for a range of species,’ said Dr Thomas Davies of Exeter University's Environment and Sustainability Institute.

‘Our research shows that local authorities might be able to manage LED lighting in a way that reduces its environmental impacts. We now need to establish whether this is the case for a greater variety of species.

He added: ‘Without appropriate management, our results suggest that the growing use of LED lighting will have impacts on the abundance of predatory invertebrates, potentially leading to knock on effects for other species in grassland food-webs.’

The researchers compared the ecological impacts of a range of lighting strategies being used by councils to save money and cut CO2 emissions, including changing the spectrum of colours produced by the lights, dimming them and switching them off from midnight to 4am.

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Neighbourhood Services Divisional Manager

Northumberland County Council
£60,253
You will provide professional and technical advice on all Neighbourhood Services functions. As an effective leader you will coordinate and manage... Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Children's Supervising Social Workers and Senior Supervising Social Workers

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£35,246 - £42,710
We look for people with a 'can do' attitude, who are prepared to be accountable for achieving the best possible outcomes. London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Strategic Business and Transformation Manager

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£50,555 - £53,722 per annum
This position is on a fixed term contract basis for 12 months from the start date. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Qualified Social Worker - Family Support & Protection

Essex County Council
Up to £207 per day + Umbrella rate
The Role Family Operations delivers direct provision of services relating to vulnerable children, young people and complex families. England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Programme Leader

Brent Council
£37,944 to £40,177 p.a. Inc.
Seeking a highly effective manager and leader for mathematics courses with understanding and demonstrable experience of... Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how public sector organisations can unlock the hidden value in their land, and why a new approach to construction could help boost the outcomes of the Government’s One Public Estate programme.

The December issue also considers why learnings from ancient cities could provide the key to promoting wellbeing in the modern built environment. It also contains a case study on how the London Borough of Westminster has provided high quality care for the elderly alongside a block of luxury apartments.

Register for your free digital issue