The rapid adoption of electric lighting throughout the 20th century has not only brought cities to life at night, greatly impacted the circadian rhythms of both humans and the rest of the animal kingdom. Astronomers first raised the alarm and established the International Dark Sky Association to combat light pollution – environmental agencies have now recognised that vulnerable wildlife, such as sea turtles who migrate to coastal areas, also need to be protected.
The incorrect lighting at beach front developments can prevent sea turtles from nesting or baby turtles from safely reaching the ocean. Highlighting the importance of turtle friendly lighting in these areas to help improve the survival rate of sea turtles.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) have developed a series of guidelines and recommendations to assist lighting designers and engineers, make informed decisions when specifying light fittings for impacted developments.
The complete document is available here: https://myfwc.com/media/18511/seaturtle-lightingguidelines.pdf
As it is not practical to eliminate artificial lighting completely, the FWC have determined that in order to best protect the night time environment, lighting to beach front adjacent developments follow three key criteria:
Keep it LOW: mount the fixture as low as possible and use the lowest wattage necessary for the needed purpose
Keep it LONG: use long wavelength (greater than 560 nm) light sources such as amber, orange, and red LEDs
Keep it SHIELDED: use fixtures that meet or exceed full cutoff that shield lamps or glowing lenses from being directly visible
In LIGMAN’s ongoing commitment to reducing the impact of artificial lighting on the natural environment, select luminaires are available with the option of long wavelength light sources.
This is designated with the TURTLE FRIENDLY symbol shown on this page and appears next to products when this option is available.
All TURTLE FRIENDLY luminaires in the LIGMAN catalogue are certified to have light sources that only produce light above 560nm in the visible spectrum wavelength in accordance with the FWC guidelines.
Unfortunately there are no off-the-shelf solutions when it comes to meeting the FWC guidelines, or any situation that requires the input of specialists and professionals. However you can be assured that LIGMAN approved TURTLE FRIENDLY fittings do fulfil the requirement of long wavelength light sources.
It is therefore important to follow local lighting recommendations for standard compliance requirements, in addition to the FWC Sea Turtle Lighting Guidelines, to ensure that lighting to coastal developments in protected areas does not detrimentally impact the local ecosystem.