300 municipalities, including Geneva, will turn off public lighting for a single night

300 French and Swiss municipalities will turn off their public lighting this Friday, September 23 to raise public awareness of light pollution and energy savings. IThese are towns located around Geneva, Lyon, Chamonix, Evian, as well as in the Jura.

>> Why some municipalities turn off their street lights at night

With the exception of certain areas which sometimes remain lit for security reasons, many streetlights and floodlights around public buildings will therefore remain off on this equinox night which marks the beginning of autumn. This operation called “La nuit est belle” was launched for the first time three years ago, in Greater Geneva. It aims to raise public awareness of what turning off the lights at night really entails.

One night and already impacts

The advantage is that this specific operation sometimes ends up becoming permanent. In the Geneva region, for three years, two thirds of the participants in this operation have opted or are about to opt for the daily extinction of public lighting because they realize that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. In addition, a single night of lighting less, it is not nothing in terms of economy: just that public lighting represents a third of the electricity bill of the municipalities, indicates the‘Agency for the environment and energy management (Ademe). The economic gains are therefore rapid.

In France, a third of municipalities have already chosen to limit public lighting in the middle of the night. Which is also beneficial for the environment. Because light is for example the second cause of extinction of insects (after pesticides) because these are exhausted to turn around lampposts and become easy prey for bats and birds.

Migratory birds are also disoriented by night lighting. Artificial lighting that also disrupts the biological rhythm of many animals and sometimes our sleep, to us humans. Last year, the Academy of Medicine even recommended in a report to include night light in the list of endocrine disruptors.

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