Light Pollution: The Dark Side of Artificial Lighting

A presentation for History 28: People and Pollution on 3/10/2009

Composite Satellite View of the Earth at NightLight Pollution PresentationLight Pollution Presentation (PDF)

“With lights and ever more lights, we drive the holiness and beauty of night back to the forests and the sea.”

 — Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod (1928)



  1. Demonstration of light pollution; effect on natural beauty.
  2. Effects on astronomy.
  3. Effects on health and the environment:
    1. Human and animal physiology and behavior.
    2. Plant seasonal variations.
  4. Mitigating light pollution:
    1. Lighting efficiency: science and history.
    2. Laws
  5. Other forms of electromagnetic pollution:
    1. Intense radio and microwave radiation.
    2. Ionizing radiation.