Often times when approached about the requirement of Sea Turtle Safe Lighting, Property Managers and Owners get the impression that the Sea Turtle Folks expect them to be in the dark. This simply is not the case, although we understand why one might feel that way. Simply stated by a Sea Turtle Permit Holder or Code Enforcement, “Your lights are too bright and visible from the beach”. What they are really telling you is that your lighting can be more user friendly, effective, and energy efficient.
Mostly, outdoor lighting is wasteful illumination into the sky and adjacent properties. This is because the majority of wall lights, ceiling lights and flood lights are emitting light in 360°, when they really don’t need to. The basic concept of Sea Turtle Lighting it to use specific types of light sources such as Light Bulbs and LED Lighting that emit a wavelength of 450 nanometers. This wavelength is virtually invisible to Sea Turtles, except where they can directly view the intensity of the light source itself. Then this light source is paired with a lighting fixture that directly controls the direction and beam spread of the lighting. This means that light is effectively and accurately lighting the areas of concern without wasteful light.
How Do I Shield My Existing Fixtures?
The truth of the matter is that your existing light fixtures, may or may not be able to be shielded from the beach. This all depends on the style of fixture and design. If a light fixture mounted to the ceiling or wall emits light in every direction except the direction of the substrate or surface it is mounted to, then it is considered non-friendly, and energy wasteful. For instances where you can add either a metal or dark plastic cover on the beach side, and completely eliminate the light trespass, then your fixture can be shielded. This requires that from any vantage point on the beach, the light source cannot be seen.