Light pollution is a problem of which the effects are still not clear to most people. Excessive light can affect people’s sleeping patterns as well as the environment around them. To give you a better summary of the problem, here’s a great video we featured recently about the dangers of light pollution.
A big contributing factor to this problem is the current design of streetlights. They currently use high-pressure sodium or mercury lamps, spilling light in unwanted directions, producing glare, scattered light patterns and wasted energy. This can result in nearly half of the light being emitted – in the worst cases – going to waste.
Researchers at National Central University, Taiwan, and Unidad Academica de Fisica, Universidad Autonoma de Zacatecas, Mexico have created a LED design proposal that is a three-part lighting fixture. The first part contains a cluster of high-efficiency LEDs which use Total Internal Reflection (TIR) lenses, which gather light into parallel rays. These LEDs are housed inside a reflective casing which prevents light from being scattered, which also features a diffuser to reduce the glare of light being emitted.
As a way to determine the efficiency of this vs. the old design, the team measured the spread of light over 10 meters. This Optical Utilisation Factor (OUF) was recorded between 51-81 percent vs. the old design which scored 45 percent.
The team says a working prototype could be ready in three to six months, with installations following shortly after.