Lighting industry position on light at night and biological factors forthcoming

Lighting industry position on light at night and biological factors forthcoming

The NEMA Lighting Systems Division is concerned over numerous recent efforts to raise awareness of light at night and potentially related effects on biological processes.  While many of these are well-intended, they often fall short of being credible, and could do more harm than good.  There are many instances where lighting at night is favored and desired for safety and aesthetics, and ultimately NEMA lighting manufacturers wouldn't sell products if they weren't in demand.  The proper application of light during times of darkness is a path of continual discovery, and NEMA as much as any other Standards developer is involved and working in this area. 

As scientists at heart, the members of the Lighting Systems Division call for scientifically based arguments based on carefully gathered, repeatable findings.  This adherence to the scientific process also preclude the precautionary approach being encouraged by some agencies in favor of proven connections between stimulus and response.  However well-intended, precautionary approaches and conclusions can find themselves based too much on guesswork, with the resultant conclusions based more on opinion than fact.  This is why the NEMA Lighting Systems Division urges credible, repeatable scientific study. 

A quote from the paper's introduction, "NEMA’s Lighting Systems Division members have a significant concern with papers and other publications that seek to portray some or all types of outdoor lighting as threatening technologies.  These publications all too often appear to be aimed at sensationalism rather than a fully-informed public discourse about outdoor lighting.  The views of the Lighting Systems Division manufacturers are shaped by the cardinal principle that, regardless of the issue, public policy that relates to technical issues should always be based on sound scientific evidence and not built upon hearsay or conjecture." 

Look for the paper to be published in its entirety later this month on the NEMA website:

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