Light Pollution

Lights off overnight at Kitchener Walmart to help reduce light pollution

It’s lights off at this Kitchener Walmart located in the south end of The Boardwalk shopping centre.

For many years now, this Walmart has been turning off the unnecessary parking lot lights during the over night hours, when the store is closed.

Walmart in Kitchener at The Boardwalk turns off parking lot lights over night to save energy and reduce light pollution

There are of course a few lights left on, at the entrances for over night staff coming and going. Walmart has recognized though, that it is a waste of energy and damaging to our night environment to leave all of its parking lot lights on, when customers are at home sleeping and 99% of the lot is not being used.

Turning off the majority of parking lot lights also helps to reduce to light pollution; the brightnening of our night time.

The increasing levels of artificial light brightening our night has been linked to many problems including:

  • sleep disruption for people
  • increased risk of cancer in people
  • negative impacts on wildlife (disrupting predator/prey scenarios)
  • creating foraging competition between nocturnal and diurnal species
  • Increased insect populations
  • Poorer air quality over cities

Helping to reduce light pollution in your city or neighbourhood is as easy as a flick of a switch!

If you’re a business have a looked at how you can adjust your light emission footprint at night. Are there lights you can turn off, that are not needed? Are you using warm white LED (<2700K) and not the harmful white (4000K, 5000K+) LED lighting?

Home owners can also help to stop the damage to our night environment by making sure they also use warm white LED, and using fixtures that are full cut off that shield the light, directing it down to the ground instead of up into the sky. Turn off lights over night. You wouldn’t leave your garden hose running water all night would you?

You can read more about what light pollution is here.

Can you help protect our night environment and reduce light pollution?

Shawn Nielsen

My story began nearly 40 years ago looking up at the Moon with a small collapsible telescope my Father had. Encouraged by my parents, who bought me my very own telescope, a 4.5" reflector, I began to explore the night sky from my family home backyard. Today I do astrophotography from my home in Kitchener, Ontario and also with remote telescopes located in New Mexico and Australia. Some of my images have won awards and have been featured online and in magazines.

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