Image by Klemen Vrankar

What is light pollution?

Light pollution is the presence of artificial light in our night environment. It is exacerbated by excessive, misdirected or obtrusive use of light and is a major side effect of urbanisation.

 Components of light pollution include:

  • Glare – excessive brightness that causes visual discomfort

  • Skyglow – brightening of the night sky over inhabited areas

  • Light trespass – light falling where it is not intended or needed

  • Clutter – bright, confusing and excessive groupings of light sources

The increased and widespread use of artificial light at night is not only impairing our view of the universe, it is adversely affecting our environment, our safety, our energy consumption and our health.

Why are dark skies important? 

Protection of the natural night sky is essential for:


Preservation of the ecological integrity of natural environments.

The full enjoyment of a wilderness experience.

Appreciating the integrity, character and beauty of rural landscapes.

Protection of the commemorative integrity (authenticity) of cultural sites.

Energy efficiency.Improvement of personal security through non-glare lighting in urban areas

Preservation of traditions that relate to celestial mythologies, navigation and other cultural aspects.

Protection of human health, both medical and psychological.

Science and amateur astronomy and the right to enjoy the night sky.

Losing the dark

Starry skies are a vanishing treasure because light pollution is washing away our view of the cosmos. It not only threatens astronomy, it disrupts wildlife, and affects human health. The yellow glows over cities and towns — seen so clearly from space — are testament to the billions spent in wasted energy from lighting up the sky.

To help raise public awareness of some of the issues pertaining to light pollution, Loch Ness Productions in collaboration with the International Dark-Sky Association has created a 6.5-minute "public service announcement" called Losing the Dark. It introduces and illustrates some of the issues regarding light pollution, and suggests three simple actions people can take to help mitigate it. Losing the Dark was initially created in fulldome video format for digital planetarium use. It also has been made as a conventional flat screen video, for use in classrooms, kiosks, museum theaters, and advocate multimedia presentations. 

Click here to watch the video on Youtube:

Click here to download the video: