Light Pollution of a Private to Public Space

Project Submitted By:

Rita David

Haim Braha

Asaf Menn

Project Facilitators:

Dr. Ze’ev Vaisman – Head of the Electricity and Electronics Engineering Department.

Dr. Gabriella Dorfman Forman – Incoming Head of the Electricity and Electronics Engineering Department and Lighting Coordinator.

Architect Hanan Peretz – Peretz Architecture, Professor and Lighting Consultant.

A. Light Pollution – The City and the Light

In this section I will focus on general information on the subject, I will explain the different types and related outcomes. In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of environmental protection. Preserving the environment has many aspects. In the past, it was customary to focus mainly on animal and plant protection and air pollution, while in recent years additional aspects have been added such as: marine pollution, radiation damage, water and liquid waste pollution, noise hazards, etc. In addition, great emphasis is placed on the intelligent use of electricity. Electricity is perceived by many as an environmental pollutant in terms of air pollution, but it also derives from an equally important aspect of pollution. A type of pollution that is less known, but bothers us all in our daily lives. This pollution is called "light pollution".

Image 2: Glow from street light

Image 2.1: View of a city with glow from light pollution

Light pollution is the set of negative effects of man-made artificial lighting. It usually includes illumination at an inappropriate intensity, time and place for people, and also illumination on ecosystems that interfere with natural lighting patterns. The light effect can be caused by a direct effect of artificial illumination or as a result of the sky glow. The effect of the light refers to the scattering of lighting by molecules or aerosols [1] in the atmosphere, which are distributed upwards.

Light pollution is usually caused when the artificial lighting is not focused on the purpose for which it is intended to serve and causes unnecessary light to be dissipated. We encounter light pollution in home lighting, office and factory lighting, industrial areas, street lighting, sports field lighting, etc. Prominent light pollution is seen mainly in the urban areas of Israel and around the world. Light pollution includes three main phenomena: glowing skies, overexposure and glare, and I will address them here.

Glowing Skies

The main effect of light pollution is in the creation of a sky glow mask, which causes celestial bodies such as galaxies and stars to be hidden above and around urban concentrations and in reality causes only a few very bright stars to appear. According to a logical standard of energy conservation, reducing light pollution first and foremost involves changing society's habits. Habits related to placing lighting systems in population concentrations such as placing projected lighting at a target, rather than having spherical symmetry, and energy waste.


The meaning is the excessive use of light. Overexposure is most often caused by administrative failures, which can be a result of the use of bulbs with a very high light intensity for the desired use, the use of too many light fixtures for the desired purpose, or the use of lamps with a wide light scattering that are not focused on a given area. Another administrative failure can be simply poor design, especially in work environments. This failure can result from relying on an architect who is not sufficiently proficient in lighting or is not qualified for the specific project and even various practitioners that advise workplaces about the phenomenon itself leading to overexposure (with its own potential negative consequences, in particular for light-sensitive workers) and energy waste

Another failure stems from ignorance among the public. I will note that the treatment of overexposure is not expensive, and involves replacing the lighting with a lower, focused and regulating light intensity.


The dazzle can be formed when the lighting is built so that a direct line of sight is created to the light source or the light source is strong enough and is within the field of view at an angle that causes dazzle (e.g.: sports field lighting near the road that is not properly tuned may dazzle drivers). Another mode of dazzle is a transition from a dark area to a bright area or turning on artificial lighting after a prolonged stay in a darkened state (e.g. when screening a film). In such a situation too strong lighting will lead to dazzle. Also light reflection from bright surfaces or from surfaces that reflect light, such as a mirror, leads to glare[2].

2.3: The view of Tel Aviv without stars in the sky

B. Presenting the Problem

In this part of the work, we will investigate the issue of light pollution penetrating from a private area to another private area. Penetration of light from a private area into another private area focuses on lighting balconies, yard lighting, light poles, etc. First we will explain the issue and its problems, second we will review the laws, regulations and restrictions on the subject, if any, third we will check if there is awareness of the issue, and finally we will try to bring solutions and prevention methods.

The terminology that is appropriate for the subject is descriptive border trespassing, i.e. a situation in which street light or from a neighbor's house "trespasses" a dwelling house and thus knowingly causes the occupants of the house various problems, such as discomfort (or increased existing discomfort), insomnia (insomnia) Of different types. This sometimes causes neighbor conflicts that would not have taken place if the light engineering in the illuminating house had been done in a trusted fashion.

There is no doubt that every person has the right to do as much as they please inside their home, but if there is lighting from their home that penetrates outside and is a nuisance to their neighbors, there is a problem. The aim of our study is to find the "balance between" good "light and the threshold at which light becomes a nuisance in order to try to anchor the issue as a bill as the issue of standardization in noise pollution[3].

i. Consequences

The aim of the project is to focus on explaining the problems with conventional lighting in most parts of the country and understanding its damage in order to promote energy savings in outdoor lighting, improve its quality and reduce the damage to citizens and nature caused by light pollution.

This raises some questions:

· Is lighting really required and if so what is the purpose of the lighting?

· How to define a nuisance (according to which criteria)?

· From what level of illumination should the tenant be restricted?

· How can the tenant know that he is deviating from the standard to be determined?

· How will installation be monitored (what equipment)?

· Who will be the body responsible for enforcing the regulation (authorities, Ministry of the Environment, Nature and Parks Authority)?

· What sanctions will be imposed on tenants who exceed the level of illumination?

· Image 2.4 Balcony light at a new neighborhood in Rosh Haayin Is there a problem of light invading unintentional, unwanted or unnecessary places?

Lighting in the Private Space – A Dark and Narrow Field

"Man's house is his fortress," said our sages. The sentence means that every person is entitled to feel safe and secure in their home and can determine in their home what goes in and out of their home. On the one hand, as a result of this sentence, everyone is entitled to do in their house whatever they please within the walls of the house and in the yard. On the other hand, our fortress may be hurt without our will and knowledge. A good example to illustrate the subject is music. Who among us has not thought of calling the police to a neighbor who has decided to do a karaoke or party until the middle of the night? There is no doubt that in such a situation our fortress got hurt without our will and knowledge. The same goes for lighting. Lighting can invade places where it is unnecessary and even harmful. It can continue to operate powerfully, is not vision-friendly and can even be harmful by penetrating our homes and the nature around us. It is a situation in which light from the street or from a neighbor's house "trespasses" to a residential house and thus knowingly or unknowingly causes the occupants of the house various problems or inconveniences. This can sometimes lead to neighbor disputes that would not exist if there was an orderly law / standard / procedures for determining home lighting, as there are clear laws on noise limitation in residential neighborhoods. When we are in our home and we are exposed to light from an external source there is a quiet threat to our health especially at night. Psychologically light pollution can have a negative impact on both the personal and interpersonal levels. Lateral and domestic light sources, such as a traffic light or a yard spotlight that are on during the night, can be a nuisance to those living near them, as seen in Figures 2.5 and 2.6 below.

Figure 2.5: Unadjusted light fixture, dazzling the environment and missing the target

Figure 2.6: Spotlight from a construction site illuminating the apartments in front

C. Measuring Light Pollution

Light has two main features that are important for measurement in the context of light pollution. The first is the intensity of light and the second is the spectral composition, i.e. color or light colors expressed in different wavelengths. There are a number of ways and number of conventional units for measuring light intensity, luminous flux and light output. The photometric units measure light according to the visual ability of the human eye. That is, each color is measured according to the sensitivity of the eye to the same color. In contrast, light energy can be measured across the entire spectrum emitted from the light source (radiometric units) without giving different weights to different colors.

Illumination flux – photometric units of measure for measuring light intensity. Lumen is derived from the system of international units, and is used for measurements of the intensity of light absorbed by a human eye.

Measurement of light pollution can be done by determining illumination levels (illumination) at a given location. Illumination is the amount of light per unit area, and is the most common unit of measurement. Nevertheless, the frequency of measurements in Lux – a unit of measurement that expresses the brightness of light as it is observed in a person's eye. In terms of light composition, the Lux unit mainly measures the wavelengths that the human eye notices, and is less sensitive to wavelengths that the human eye does not notice.

Lighting designers are not interested in the composition of the spectral light but in the amount of light in the visible range. In contrast, ecologists are concerned about some of the wavelengths that affect ecological phenomena and animals. Ecologists make measurements of illumination levels, and may examine other measuring phenomena in the field, such as: sudden change in illumination, percentages of change in illumination, reference to illumination levels and light distribution – lamination – from light sources that different organisms can detect[4].

D. Overview of the Number of Centers with the Existing Situation

Below are photos that I took from the porch in my area to illustrate the depth of the problem. All photos were taken at 12am. Pictures 2.7-2.10 show evening lighting of public buildings, a school, a parking lot and a playground with LED lighting in which they are lit at high intensity. Here we see the phenomenon that I spoke about in the introduction – over-lighting, i.e. excessive use of light without justification. Picture 2.9-2.10 shows balcony lighting with a 30 meters distance. Even in this case, these pictures illustrate the serious problem: the strong lighting intensities emanating from the balconies and windows.

Image 2.7: Holmes Place parking lot in Rosh Ha'Ayin

Image 2.8: A playground behind a building complex in the new neighborhood of Rosh Ha'Ayin

Image 2.9: Balcony lighting in the new neighborhood in Rosh Ha'Ayin

Image 2.10: School lighting in the evening in the new neighborh