Artificial light at night–is it only an engineering issue or is there much more to it?

David Scantlebury, A. Haim, Abed Zubidat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Artificial light at night is becoming a worldwide problem in both developed as
well as the developing countries. Massive new building programs in urban areas and
increased illumination in public spaces create light pollution. There is no doubt that
artificial lighting increases the time we have for work and leisure. However, there are
environmental and health issues associated with exposure to light at night. The use of
incandescent bulbs is in the process of being phased out in favor of so-called
"environmentally friendly” illumination. This is light produced by devices such as light
emitting diodes (LEDs) which emit a shorter wavelength of light than regular incandescent
bulbs. Indeed, LED illumination is considered the illumination of the future for domestic
and public spaces. However, chronobiologists and other scientists are becoming
increasingly aware of the health issued associated with the use of such illumination. In this
paper, the authors want to share their findings with decision-makers, light engineers and
designers in order to stimulate the production of new illumination technologies which are
sustainable i.e. energy efficient but not harmful to human health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-26
Number of pages8
JournalIngineria Iluminatului
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • light pollution, light emitting diode, health concerns, circadian rhythm, prostate cancer, breast cancer, epigenetic modification


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