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Nachhaltig Beleuchten - Sustainable Lighting

What would life be without light? We need light to observe our surroundings, it provides security. Light controls our day-night-rhythms, but it also allows us to extend day into the night. Light is aesthetic, established component of every modern city. Light changes our mood, it's relaxing or arousing.

But light can also be harmful. All over the world, scientists warn about the consequences of artificial light by night (ALAN) for our health. ALAN endangers, even kills animals and plants and changes whole eco-systems. Public light, badly done, can do more bad than good for our safety due to glare and impaired dark adaptation. Last but not least, energy consumption must be considered. It is true that artificial light can be produced cheaper and cheaper, but this causes a rebound effect: more light is used, increasing the energy needs and the impact on the environment.

Never before have we been able to choose from a similar variety of light sources, fictures and lighting concepts. And never before have we realised how big the influence of light on our well being, health, environment and society is. Whether inside or outdoors, private of public, the decision on the right lighting is not only a question of aesthetics and budget, but a complex challenge. Lights need to be friendly for insects , birds and bats, and must not interfere with the circadian rhythm. Some lamps are good for one situation, another lamp for another one. To find the right solution can be a difficult challenge for a decision-maker.

There is no perfect solution that fits every situation. Lighting engineers give qualified information on light sources and luminaires. Light designer are experts for the illumination of rooms and buildings. But none of these professions can provide qualified advice on the ecological and health-related characteristics of artificial light.

Why "Nachhaltig Beleuchten"?

Nachhaltig Beleuchten is German for sustainable lighting. We usually use this term to think about energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. However, sustainable lighting also means to use light in a smart and careful way, with the proper intensity and quality, at the right time in the right place. In also means to switch off light we don't need, because to live we do not need perpetual light, we also need periods of darkness. The mission is to find the right combination of light and darkness, and modern technology offers the tools for this.

Nachhaltig Beleuchten offers talks, seminars, articles and counseling on the consequences of artifical light for health, nature and society. All services are tailor-made for interested lay-people of all age as well as experts in landscape or urban planning, light design or medicine. Interested? Then contact me at