Urban Light Pollution

Final project at Shenkar by Rita David, Haim Braha, Asaf Menn


In this work, we will try to understand how much light we really need and where the line goes between "good" light and "bad" light, which becomes a nuisance and causes discomfort.

The issue of light pollution is a topic that has been extensively researched in recent years with the development of LED technology.

Light pollution is a set of adverse effects of artificial lighting, which goes beyond its intended purpose, for example: illumination of a road that invades homes and the sky. Light pollution can also be incorrect hue or high illuminance. This is a huge energy waste.

It turns out that light pollution is a large-scale pollution compared to other environmental pollutants and increases with the rate of urban development and population growth. Many studies deal with the damage of blue light and the disruption of biological rhythms, and despite all this, there is no legislation or regulation in the country regarding light pollution.

The purpose of our work is to bring about recommendations that can be established on a regulatory basis.

Image 1.3: Menachem Begin – Yitzhak Modai – Shoham – HaRakon Intersection in Ramat Gan

At the same time, we moved to new neighborhoods (Haim – in the new neighborhood in Rosh HaAyin, Rita - in the green Yavneh) and discovered that the level of light in the new neighborhoods is higher than the old neighborhoods that we used to live in.

In addition, there is over-illumination in open public space. In some playgrounds, the light is on all night, in others it goes out in the small hours of the night.

1.4: Garden between buildings on Shaike Ofir in Rosh Haayin

The picture was taken after midnight


0.1. What is light pollution?

Lighting is required for every aspect of our daily lives, and it enables our life to exist in its present nature. However, with poor and inaccurate planning, lighting can turn from a resource into a nuisance. Existing lighting systems are designed or installed, in many cases, in a defective manner – both in terms of human health and satisfaction of needs and in terms of limiting adverse environmental impacts.

In addition to light pollution, excessive use of light causes a waste of energy. About 19% of world electricity production is used for electric lighting. The energy required for lighting annually produces 1,900 megatons of carbon dioxide out of about 40000 megatons, and involves an annual cost of 360 billion dollars.[1] There are recent articles from the Corona era discussing that nocturnal light pollution affects the nightlife of mammals and birds and in humans nocturnal light pollution weakens the immune system due to a disruption in melatonin secretion, known for its ability to increase viral resistance and regulate the immune response[2].


0.2. What is light pollution?

We want to raise public awareness about the issue of light pollution in the urban space.

We will try to make it clear that when there is poor and inaccurate planning, lighting can turn from a resource into a nuisance. Existing lighting systems are designed or installed, in many cases, in a defective manner – both in terms of human health and satisfaction of needs and in terms of limiting adverse environmental impacts.

This becomes a nuisance and creates negative effects that exceed the advantages and this is basically a definition for light pollution.

We would like to reach a list of recommendations for guidelines for limiting illumination so that regulations can be enshrined in the law that will set a maximum threshold of permissible illumination similar to the regulations on noise pollution.

· Recognition of urban light pollution as an environmental hazard that requires the legislation and enactment of restrictions (regulation).

· Raising public awareness of the issue of urban light pollution.

· Anchoring in a regulated law or by-laws of lighting planning authorities during the planning stages of neighborhoods, streets, buildings, and commercial centers.

· Updating of Standard 13201, to the renewed technology respective to the period (today we are in the LED era). To the field in the maximum illumination standard (currently there is only a minimum delimitation).

· When planning lighting, measures must be taken to ensure that the light shines in the appropriate place and time and for the purpose for which it is intended. With respect to glare, luminosity, scattering and illuminance.


0.3. Process

Our work is divided into three topics where each of the presenters will research one topic and at the end of the process, we will bring recommendations that will be incorporated into laws or regulations.

Topic 1: Enlightenment resulting from both static and dynamic advertising screens – Assaf Mann.

Topic 2: Illumination that invades private areas: sun terraces, courtyards of houses, kiosks, shops, buildings, etc., outside the private area and creates light pollution – Haim Bracha.

Topic 3: Illumination of residential streets and floodplains – Rita David.

Each submitter will review the topic of his work with respect to an existing situation, existing standards, make measurements to the extent possible and present recommendations and challenges.

In the work process, we will go out into the field and perform lighting measurements when we consider the following parameters:

LUMEN – The amount of light emanating from the illuminating body.

ILLUMINANCE – Defines the amount of light flux that falls on a particular area.

CANDELA – The flux of light radiated from a light source at a spatial angle in a given direction. The spatial angle is measured in Stradians.

LUMINANCE – The ratio of the intensity of light in candla to the field of view.

We will perform the measurements using dedicated equipment such as a luxmeter and a candelabra meter.

We will perform calculations in AGI32 software designed for planning and lighting calculations.


Project Submitted By:

Rita David: rita231272@gmail.com

Haim Braha: haim265@hotmail.com

Asaf Menn: asafmenn@gmail.com


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.




[1] "Light Pollution and its Reduction, Scientific Background, Current Situation and Possible Courses of Action." Summary and Insights of the Committee of Experts, 2017, The Israeli Association of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, How to Measure Light Pollution, Pg. 11. [2] Artificial Light at Night (ALAN): A Potential Anthropogenic Component for the COVID-19 and HCoVs Outbreak Zeeshan Ahmad Khan, Thangal Yumnamcha, Gopinath Mondal, Sijagurumayum Dharmajyoti Devi, Chongtham Rajiv, Rajendra Kumar Labala, Haobijam Sanjita Devi 1† and Asamanja Chattoraj 3* frontiers in Endocrinology published: 10 September 2020. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2020.00622. pg. 4.

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