Update, Dec 27th, 2017 – Unfortunately this Walmart recently replaced all the parking lot lights with brighter, higher Kelvin (much whiter, appears to be 5000K) LEDs. The contractor appears to not have had any background in light emissions and the environment. This means that this Walmart location has increased its light emissions at night and is contributing more to skyglow and light pollution. There actually was no need to increase the brightness or the colour temperature from 4000K to 5000K, adding more blue light to our night time. The previous lights functioned properly and provided good visibility and safety obviously since they were in use for more than 7 years. The only redeeming quality is that they appear to still be turning off the majority of parking lot lights over night. Perhaps if the Manager of this location reads this, she could get in contact with me and we could discuss fixing this? The Hydro One transformation station situated near this Walmart changed their 5000K LEDs to 3000K after some discussion I initiated. This not only is better for the environment but also is inline with the Region wide street light conversion to 3000K LED. Maybe Walmart at The Boardwalk can do the same?

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?

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