The industrial age transformed cities, setting them aglow with light. In the late 1800s, as part of a revitalization of Paris, urban planner Georges-Eugène Haussmann had 20,000 gas lamps installed along its streets.
He reportedly followed the motto “light before all else.” Since then, the City of Light moniker has stuck for Paris—and two dozen others have claimed it as well, such as turn-of-the-century Buffalo, New York, with its newly illuminated avenues.
Changing technologies have made cities ever brighter, as lights have gone from whale oil to gas to electric to LED. But those advances came with a consequence—light pollution. About 80% of us live in an area that’s bathed in artificial light at night. In North America and Western Europe, that number shoots up to 99%. Light pollution impacts both nature and humans, affecting our sleep cycles and even the hunting patterns of nocturnal animals.
As cities around the world convert to LEDs, which use significantly less electricity than conventional incandescent bulbs, that’s also led to a discovery. One recent study suggests that LEDs used in streetlights exacerbate the disruptive effects of glare with their high-intensity blue light.
*This content is not real and for Demo purpose only