Keeping lights on at night is causing havoc on the balance of nature. Dozens of species of birds and insects are in danger because of this type of pollution. The company Ignialight has designed a new lighting technology that besides being low energy is fully respectful with the fauna and insects. It is the LED PC-Ambar.
It is no secret that LED lighting is one of the most sustainable, most efficient and most adaptable technologies to all types of lighting requirements as well as it providing significant energy savings, but if it also protects areas of great natural and astronomical interest and maximum protection zones classified under E1 and E2, it becomes the starring technology. That is now possible thanks to research conducted by the team of engineers at Ignialight, the company headquartered in Sant Jaume de Llierca, Girona.
Artificial lighting in spaces of natural and astronomical interest must comply with highly stringent lighting requirements that until now could only be met by the sodium vapor lamps. With the LED PC-Ambar technology, “we were the pioneers in an energy-efficient and environmentally friendly lighting system” says to EnergyNews Jordi Moncanut responsible lighting division of the brand Ignialight at SACOPA S.A.U. Our team of engineers in collaboration with leading agencies with proven expertise in preventing impacts of artificial light on the environment, the IAC (Astrophysical Institute of the Canaries), UM (University of Murcia), , CEI (Spanish Lighting Committee) and IREC (Institut de Recerca d’Enginyeria de Catalunya), have designed a product for street lighting with the technology that protects the night environment.
The main benefits of the technology to illuminate high natural interest and highly protected environments are based on:
– The elimination of the emission spectrum around 440 Nm, the main cause of the impact on wildlife.
-A Color Rendering Index, CRI of about 40, which means an improvement of 60% compared to high pressure sodium vapor lamps with a value of 25, usually installed in protection zones E1, E2 and areas of special astronomical interest.
Artificial lighting in areas of high natural and astronomical interest is not easy; it requires compliance with very stringent requirements that were previously only met by sodium vapor lamps although they had no dimming capacity and had more limited photometry.
Fauna and specifically insects are adapted to live in the nocturnal world. It is in darkness where they hide from predators, where they feed, hunt and breed. These species are also more sensitive to radiation of the blue light, while the red light is invisible to them and does not disrupt their life cycles. With the LED PC-Ambar, its orange tone results in the insects not feeling attracted to the light and not coming by the source of light, thus preventing the reproductive cycle of these insects being affected.
By using the LED PC-Ambar a new door opens-up to an illumination that is fully respectful with wildlife and insects.
Ignialight’s LED PC-Ambar luminaires are installed in “the area around the Astronomical Observatory of Canary” where it is mandatory to use a special lighting system “and this technology makes it possible” continues Moncanut. “We are also installing it in other parts of the country as in the case of a bridge near Girona on the Ter River, an area of special protection for its biodiversity.”
Not only in protected areas
Although it is not generally demanded for the residential segment, there are some municipalities that have built this technology in their street lighting. It is the case of the town of Santa Pau in the Garrotxa or the city of Banyoles, though certainly this is likely to respond to the location near protection areas of natural interest in which they are located.
The selection of the artificial light type should be a very careful work that should assess the impact on animal species to avoid the negative effects of it. Improper use can cause damage to the nocturnal fauna and therefore to biodiversity and human health.