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Nature Check: LED Streetlights Can Have An Impact On Wildlife, Researchers Warn

First Posted: Feb 08, 2017 03:59 AM EST
Streetlight With LED Fixtures
Researcher warned that the increase in demand of LED streetlights can have an impact on wildlife.
(Photo : Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Protecting the environment is one of the missions researchers are trying to resolve. Thus, a new study by researchers at the University of Exeter has found that LED street lighting can be customized to reduce its impact on the environment.

The study that is based in the U.K. has found that beetles and predatory spiders were drawn at the grassland patches because of the LED lighting at night. However, the number of species that are rarely being affected was reduced when the lights were dimmed by 50 percent and between midnight and 4 a.m. when the lights were switched off.

In 2011, the LEDs are just 95 of the global lighting market. But the estimated amount suggests that it will rise by 69 percent in the year 2020.

As follows, Phys.org reported that it brought some concerns about LEDs' effect on plants and animals. The scientists at Exeter said that research is needed to understand how to best prevent the unforeseen effect ecologically.

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

In addition, he said that the growth of LED lighting is a global issue concern. The number of documented impacts on the environment is rapidly growing.

Thus, their research shows that the local authorities might be able to manage the LED lighting in a way that the impact that it causes to the environment will be reduced. Thus, the researchers now need to establish whether it is a case for a greater variation of species.

As follows, Dr. Davies also mentioned that "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 researcher then compared the impacts ecologically on a range of strategies with lighting that is being used by local authorities to save money and cut down CO2 emissions.

Therefore, Dr. Davies said that the approaches helped the reduction of the number on the beetle and the ground-dwelling spiders that are being affected by the LED lighting to different degrees. Also, the study revealed that avoiding the impacts may require the avoiding of use with these LEDs and nighttime lighting more generally, according to EurekAlert.

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