While we don’t always think about it, outdoor LED lighting can have an impact on more than just the beauty or functionality of a space. It can also impact the local wildlife. So when the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission opened up their certification program to allow lighting manufacturers to get their products checked and certified, we at Garden Light LED jumped at the opportunity.
Light pollution from populated areas can have a significant impact on all types of fish and wildlife, but especially on sea turtles. These creatures can get confused by artificial lighting, and that, in turn, can impact their ability to lay their eggs and return to the sea. And when those eggs hatch, it can have a severe impact on the ability of the baby turtles to find their way out of the nest and into the ocean.
To meet the criteria of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s certification program, a light fixture must be able to satisfy all three of these requirements:
- Keep it Low. The fixtures must be mounted — or able to be mounted — as low as possible while still providing the needed functionality for the space. They must also accept bulbs with the lowest possible lumens necessary to light the specific area.
- Keep it Shielded. The fixture must be capable of being shielded entirely from a beach, wildlife corridor or protected area. This means no light can escape to illuminate areas beyond the immediate paths they are lighting. For turtles, especially, it is critical to have fixtures that are pointed at the ground.
- Keep it Long. The fixture must accept bulbs that produce a longer wavelength — 560 nm or longer — which tend to fall in the amber or red colors.
We submitted seven of our lights to the commission, and after a year-long process, all seven were approved turtle-safe last August! We are incredibly proud to now not only offer our customers some of the best outdoor LED lighting products in the market, but also provide them with options that are certified as safe for the local wildlife. Responsible lighting doesn’t have to come at the expense of beauty or functionality.