Saving Sea Turtles From Extinction: Turtle Friendly Outdoor Lighting Solutions
Improper outdoor lighting is one of the greatest issues affecting sea turtles – Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Let’s face it… light pollution and sea turtles just don’t go together. Many species are on the verge of extinction… and improper outdoor lighting is a major cause. Not quite sure how this can be? Let’s look into this a little further…
Female turtles return to the same area to nest each year. If they return and find bright outdoor lighting, one of two things happens.
1) The female will simply swim on by… essentially removing herself from the breeding population.
2) She lays her eggs, and then several weeks later the hatchlings emerge under cover of darkness and begin their journey to the sea. They’ve evolved through millions of years to seek out the brightest horizon. This is generally the ocean… with crashing surf and moon and star light reflecting on the water. Unfortunately, if bright lights were installed along with some recent development, the hatchlings emerge and crawl towards the bright lights… and away from the ocean and a chance at survival. These then get run over by cars as they cross streets, wander till exhausted and are eaten by predators or simply roast in their own shells in the heat of the sun. In excess of 80% of hatchlings can die on light polluted beaches.
Many communities have enacted outdoor lighting regulations designed to come to the aid of declining sea turtle populations. These generally require the use of full cutoff fixtures. Full cutoff fixtures simply control the output of light… forcing it down towards the ground where its needed… and preventing it from shining up into the night sky… or horizontally when it can cross property lines… and illuminate turtle nesting beaches.
Starry Night Lights has a greatly expanded selection of turtle friendly outdoor lighting solutions. Working with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, they’ve combined the largest selection of full cutoff outdoor lights with “monochromatic” turtle safe lights to offer a number of solutions to communities that border sea turtle nesting areas. They offer bollards, wall packs and pole mounted solutions for businesses and municipalities as well as a huge selection of fixtures for homeowners and condo associations. The combination of full cutoff fixtures and monochromatic lights has been found to be least disruptive to sea turtle hatchlings.