Reports & Studies


Research on the effects of light pollution

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Artificial Light at Night (ALAN) Research Literature Database


General Overview



The Dark Side of Light: A Transdisciplinary Research Agenda for Light Pollution Policy

Hölker Franz, Timothy Moss, Barbara Griefahn, Werner Kloas, Christian C. Voigt,
Dietrich Henckel, Andreas Hänel, Peter M. Kappeler, Stephan Völker, Axel Schwope,
Steffen Franke, Dirk Uhrlandt, Jürgen Fischer, Reinhard Klenke, Christian Wolter, and
Klement Tockner.
The Dark Side of Light: A Transdisciplinary Research Agenda for Light Pollution Policy
Ecology and Society 15(4): 13. Resilience Alliance, 2010


Astronomy & Sky Brightness  



Status of the Vatican Observatory/IDA Night Sky Brightness Monitor (NSBM)

McKenna, D. October, 2008.  Read report >>


Night Sky Brightness Atlas

Cinzano, P., F. Falchi, and C.D. Elvidge.
The First World Atlas of the Artificial Night Sky Brightness.  Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomy Society. 328: 689-707. 2001

Photo Credit: P. Cinzano, F. Falchi (University of Padova), C. D. Elvidge (NOAA National Geophysical Data Center, Boulder). Copyright Royal Astronomical Society. Reproduced from the Monthly Notices of the RAS by permission of Blackwell Science


Dark Sky Assessment of Pima County, AZ

Davis, D.R., C.B. Luginbuhl, P. Boley, D. Miller, and D.L. Crawford.
An Assessment of the Impact of Growth on the Dark Skies of Pima County
Prepared for Pima County, Arizona, USA. 2006








A Review of the Impact of Artificial Light on Invertebrates

Bruce-White, Charlotte and Matt Shardlow. A Review of the Impact of Artificial Light on Invertebrates. Buglife- The Invertebrate Conservation Trust, March 2011.

Report Summary, Read about Buglife

Related Articles:

Galloway Dark Sky Park 'helps insects' Buglife reports
BBC News South Scotland, 25 May 2011
Like moths to a flame
By Matt Walker, BBC Nature, 26 May 2011

Bats and Lighting Research Project

Emma Stone of Bristol University has performed a number of studies regarding the effects of light pollution on bats in the United Kingdom. Her Web site provides comprehensive bat research: Bats and Lighting Research Project


Green Light for Nocturnally Migrating Birds

Poot, H., B. J. Ens, H. de Vries, M. A. H. Donners, M. R. Wernand, and J. M. Marquenie.  Green light for nocturnally migrating birds. Ecology and Society 13(2): 47, 2008.



Artificial Night Lighting Affects Dawn Song, Extra-pair Siring Success and Lay Date in Songbirds

Bart Kempenaers, Pernilla Borgström, Peter Loës, Emmi Schlicht and Mihai Valcu.
Light is the Friend of Lovers: Artificial night lightin affects songbird behaviour and reproduction.
Current Biology, Published online 16 Sepember 2010.


Communication Towers, Lights Birds: Successful Methods of Reducing the Frequency of Avian Collisions

Gehring, J. P. Kerlinger, and A. Manville March 2009.
Updated report on the frequency of avian collisions depending on the type of lighting on a communication tower
Ecological Applications, 19(2), 2009, pp. 505–514 @ 2009 by the Ecological Society of America.



Avian Collisions and Communication Towers

Gehring, J. and P. Kerlinger 
Avian collisions at communication towers: II. The role of Federal Aviation Administration obstruction lighting systems.  
Prepared by Curry & Kerlinger, LLC with assistance from the Michigan Natural Features Inventory for the State of Michigan, March 2007.


Environmental Effects of Light at Night--Sea Turtles

Blackburn, Michele, Curtis Burney, and Louis Fisher.
Management of Hatchling Misorientation on Urban Beaches of Broward County, Florida: Effects of Lighting Ordinances and Decreased Nest Relocation. For the Broward County Board of County Commissioners, Environmental Protection Department. 2007.



Ecology and Environment



Artificial Light in the Environment

United Kingdom Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, November 2009

The report addresses two issues – the effect of artificial light on amenity and the possibility of nuisance being caused by badly designed or inappropriate lighting, and the possible effects of artificial light on nature and ecosystems.

Read summary or download report >>

See also: English National Parks and the Broads: UK Government Vision and Circular 2010

  This UK report on protected land areas includes a section devoted to “protecting and restoring the night sky” (pgs 27-28)




Environmental Effects of Light at Night

Morgan-Taylor, Martin. RCEP Consultation on Artificial Light in the Environment. Presented to the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution's study of Artificial Light in the Environment. 2008.



Human Health

  The American Medical Association's report on light pollution June 18, 2012. Read the executive summary and the full report here >>

In a study of 1679 women, Exposure to Light at Night (LAN) in the “Sleeping Habitat” is Significantly Associated with Breast Cancer Risk

Itai Kloog, Boris A. Portnov, Hedy S. Rennert, and Abraham Haim

Does the Modern Urbanized Sleeping Habitat Pose a Breast Cancer Risk?Chronobiology International,  Feb. 2011, Vol. 28, No. 1 , Pages 76-80

Abstract: Due to its disruptive effects on circadian rhythms and sleep deprivation at night, shiftworking is currently recognized as a risk factor for breast cancer (BC). As revealed by the present analysis based on a comparative case-control study of 1679 women, exposure to light-at-night (LAN) in the “sleeping habitat” is significantly associated with BC risk (odds ratio [OR]=1.220, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.118–1.311; p<.001), controlling for education, ethnicity, fertility, and alcohol consumption. The novelty of the present research is that, to the best of the authors' knowledge, it is the first study to have identified an unequivocal positive association between bedroom-light intensity and BC risk. Thus, according to the results of the present study, not only should artificial light exposure in the working environment be considered as a potential risk factor for BC, but also LAN in the “sleeping habitat.”



  Total Urban Light at Night Levels and Cancer

Kloog, Itai, Richard G. Stevens, Abraham Haim, Boris A. Portnov.

Nighttime Light Level Co-distributes with Breast Cancer Incidence Worldwide. Cancer Causes Control. DOI 10.1007/s10552-010-9624-4. Published 03 August 2010.

Companion: "Light at Night and Breast Cancer Risk Worldwide"
By Angela Spivey, Environmental Health Perspectives, 118:a525-a525. doi:10.1289/ehp.118-a525 Online: 01 December 2010
"Several studies over the last decade have suggested that the modern practice of keeping our bodies exposed to artificial light at night, or LAN, increases cancer risk, especially for cancers (such as breast and prostate cancers) that require hormones to grow. Women who work night shifts have shown higher rates of breast cancer,1 whereas blind women, who are not likely to be exposed to or perceive LAN, have shown decreased risks.2 In 2007, the International Agency for Cancer Research declared shiftwork a probable human carcinogen.3 Now a large study of 164 countries adds another piece of evidence, implicating overall light pollution."


 Shift Work and Cancer

  Kloog, Itai,  Abraham Haim, Richard G. Stevens, Micha Barchana, Boris A. Portnov.
Light at Night Co-distributes with Incident Breast But Not Lung Cancer in the Female Population of Israel. Chronobiology International. 25-1: 65-81. 2008.



Environmental Lighting and Circadian Disruption in Cancer and Other Diseases

Stevens, R.G., D.E. Blask, G.C. Brainard, J. Hansen, S.W. Lockley, I. Provencio, M.S. Rea, and L.. Reinlib.
Meeting Report: The Role of Environmental Lighting and Circadian Disruption in Cancer and Other Diseases. Environmental Health Perspectives. Sept; 115(9): 1357-62. 2007.


Circadian Disruption and Breast Cancer

Stevens, Richard G.
Artificial Lighting in the Industrialized World: Circadian Disruption and Breast Cancer. Cancer Causes and Control. 17: 501-507. 2006.


Light at Night and Depression

Avoiding depression: Sleeping in dark room may help
By Rachael Rettner, My Health News Daily - USA, 17 November 2010
Exposure to a dim light at night, such as the glow of a TV screen, may prompt changes in the brain that lead to mood disorders, including depression, according to a new study in hamsters...

Study text pending


Light at Night and Obesity

US-Israel study: Light at night can cause obesity
By Judy Siegel-Itzkovich, The Jerusalem Post, 12 October 2010 Persistent exposure to light at night may cause weight gain – even without changing physical activity or eating more food – according to research on animals by scientists at Ohio State University.

Study text pending


Light at Night and Insect Bourne Disease

Barghini, A and BAS de Medeiros. 2010. Artificial lighting as a vector attractant and cause of disease diffusion. Environmental Health Perspectives

Synopsis: Light at night brings insects, disease
(by Thea Edwards - 05 October 2010): Use of artificial lighting at night can change human and insect behaviors, increasing the risk of insect-borne disease. 





Maine Legislative Report on Dark Skies, LD 11

A Report to the Business, Research, and Economic Committee of the 124th Session of the Maine LegislatureJanuary 14, 2010.

Department of Transportation Rankings for Streetlighting by State

Top 5 US State DOTs. International Dark-Sky Association Report 2007




Safety & Security 

Crime Prevention Concepts


Sherman, Lawrence W., Denise Gottfredson, Doris MacKenzie, John Eck, Peter Reuter, and Shawn Bushway.
Preventing Crime: What Works, What Doesn't, What's Promising. A Report to the United States Congress.  Prepared for the National Institute of Justice. 1997.




Outdoor Lighting Design & Control

The Fight for Darker Skies: Towards a 21st Century Solution to a 20th Century Problem?

Bob Mizon and IDA board member Martin Morgan Taylor review the history of dark sky legislation in the October issue of the Lighting Journal. Read more >> (Article available courtesy of the Institute of Lighting Engineers) 

Practical Guide for Lighting to Reduce Light Pollution and Save Energy

Practical Guide, ASTROLab du Mont-Megantic. 2008




Skyglow Monitoring and Measurement

Baddiley, C. Towards understanding Skyglow. Published by the Institute of Lighting Engineers, U.K. 2007.  This document is available for purchase from the ILE Web site.




Glare Measurement

Craine, Erin M. Preliminary Report: Using a Digital Camera to Measure Commercial Light Sources. Report, International Dark-Sky Association, 2007.
photopic and circadian sensitivity

Visibility, Environmental, and Astronomical Issues Associated with Blue-Rich White Outdoor Lighting  

International Dark-Sky Association,  Visibility, Environmental, and Astronomical Issues Associated with Blue-Rich White Outdoor Lighting. Report, International Dark-Sky Association, 2010.

Questions sur la visibilité, l’environnement naturel et astronomique liées à l’éclairage extérieur blanc avec une forte composante bleue, 2010