Green Office. University of Murcia

Light pollution

“The sky has always been and still is an inspiration for mankind. However, its
contemplation has become increasingly difficult and, even, for the young generations is
beginning to be unknown. An essential element of our Civilization and culture is getting
lost quickly, and this loss will affect all the Countries in the world “

Declaration from the IAU/ICSU/UNESCO  about the Reduction of Environmental Adverse
impacts on Astronomy. Paris, 2nd July 1992.



It is the illumination of night sky caused by dispersion of artificial light sources on
the air particles and gases. Its originated by an inefficient and bad designed street
illumination which shines the night sky.


Economic Effects.

· Unjustified energetic waste which implies a great economic cost and a bad use of
national taxes.

Social Effects.

· Light intrusion.
· Increases sky glow and glares. It deteriorates civil and vial safety.
· Loss of our cultural heritage which is starry sky  observation. It prevents astronomic
research (professional or amateur).
· Violates article 45 from the Spanish Constitution.

Environmental Effects.

· Overwaste of natural resources.
· It generates nuclear residues, CO2 and other gas emissions , green house effect, ...
· Production of other types of residues: Mercury.
· Damage night ecosystems with diverse affections to animals, plants and insects:
Desorientation of migratory birds

Milky way                                                                                          Pleyades


·  Light should be directed downwards wherever possible to illuminate its target, not
upwards. If there is no alternative to up-lighting, then the use of shields and baffles
will help reduce spill light to a minimum.
· It´s preferred the use of sodium steam lamps of low pressure and its power should be
adecuated to use.
· Lights should be switched off after midnight in monuments and publicity walls.
· Laser / light cannons should be banned. This applies to any light projector which
directs light to the sky.
· Use asimetric projectors with anti-glare grids or facing the ground (sports lighting
· Reduce the light waste at night in less activity hours , at dawn, by the selective
switching off of lights and the lowing of public street lights



· Spreading the light pollution problem, its effects and solution.
· Associating.
· Denouncing any irrational use of the public resources.

Town Halls.

· Including the concept of Light Pollution in municipal laws concerning environment.
· Applying basic measures which grant an adecuated night illumination.
· Adapting the laws in order to avoid any type of light pollution.
· Remodellating polluting facilities.

Autonomous Community.

· Regulating the light pollution withing the general frame of an atmosphere protection


· CELFOSC-Asociación contra la Contaminación Lumínica:
· International Dark-Sky Association:
· Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias:

Light pollution and health:                       

Could visible light contribute to the
development of leukaemia and other
cancers in
children?       (pdf)

Health disorders of shift workers

Light, timing of biological rhythms, and chronodisruption in man

Health in a 24-h society
( pdf)

Environmental Effects.         

Effects of Coastal Lighting on
Foraging Behavior
of Beach Mice  

La problemática de la Contaminación
lumínica en la conservación de la Biodiversidad
( pdf)  
Incidences de l'eclairage artificiel des infrastructures routières sur les milieux naturels 

Ecological light pollution

Light pollution and astronomy

Light pollution at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory      (pdf)

Light pollution in Europe

« Pollution lumineuse »
Eurorégion / Groupe III
Impacts écologiques
 et socio-économiques

de l’éclairage nocturne...    

The situation of ligth pollution
in Germany   (pdf)