Clear Thinking, Dark Nights: Why Stopping Light Pollution Matters

Vincent Lang
Research Manager

There’s plenty of good reasons to minimise light pollution and protect dark night skies. There are practical ones: less light saves on energy.
Moral ones: it also protects the natural rhythms of fauna and flora.
There are legal ones: France, for example, has strict new laws on outdoor lighting regulating levels, glare and timings.
And then there are philosophical ones: since the dawn of time, the starlit sky has inspired humans to create, write and invent.

Innovation is central to everything we do at Schréder, and street lighting has always been at the forefront of protecting the sky.
Light pollution often originates from badly-lit car parks and industrial sites, lit hastily without consulting experts. Professional advice would not only protect the glittering night sky for everyone to enjoy, but also cut energy bills.

We specialise in urban lighting solutions that are designed to minimise light pollution. Our products offer specific photometric distribution options for roads, streets and pedestrianised areas, with a 0° tilt option ensure there is no upward light spill.

Snowy Nights, Starry Skies

In the Pyrenees Mountains, the ski resort of La Mongie’s lighting situation had gone downhill badly. Outdated streetlights were bathing the slopes in an orange glow and obscuring the night sky. It was also affecting the astronomers working at the Pic du Midi observatory - 45% of the light pollution was coming from the ski station. 

Schréder delivered a lighting solution with zero ULOR to protect sky for the Pic du Midi observatory in La Mongie

The local authorities wanted lighting that used less energy, worked well in snowy conditions and wouldn’t disrupt the scientists’ valuable research. We worked with them to develop a system with a colour temperature of 2700K, which limited the blue light interfering with observations of the night sky.

The real-time Schréder EXEDRA system means the lighting can be adjusted according to ski season requirements, weather and snow cover. It also cut energy use by 40%, and, thanks to the real-time management system, means that everyone can enjoy starry nights on the slopes and bright streets for the apres-ski.

Pure Night, Pure Genius

Building on this strong foundation, we’ve developed the next weapon in the battle against light pollution: Pure Night. This system creates safe cities while respecting biodiversity and complying with the highest regulatory standards. We start, as ever, by listening to customers’ needs: a team of specialists will work with you on photometric studies to calculate precise requirements and develop a bespoke solution.

Pure Night includes innovative luminaires that, like many of us, look their best after dark. Because compliance is a big part of lighting urban spaces now, you can certify your luminaires on our PURE software, to make sure they’re fully in line with local regulations. After that, it’s just a case of watching citizens enjoy these spaces as night falls.

A staggering 99% of the EU’s population lives in areas where the night sky is polluted. To address the issue, which harms people, animals and plants, we can also fit systems with sensors to automatically respond to the amount of available natural light. That means dramatically reduced energy wastage and zero excess illumination.

Put simply, our lighting solutions give optimum visibility, while safeguarding our starry nights: get in touch to see why sometimes, the brightest thing we can do for our customers is leave them in the dark.

About the writer
Vincent joined Schréder in 1997 and brings over 22 years’ experience in photometry. He was instrumental in successfully developing the LensoFlex® LED light engines for our street and road lighting luminaires. His insights and ideas have helped to pioneer new lighting technologies to ensure successful market launches for all our product ranges.

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