As designers and developers of lighting systems we all have a responsibility not just for the regulatory and commercial requirements of customers but also for the greater world around us.
Street lights are causing spring to arrive as much as a week earlier than normal in the UK – as far as trees are concerned. Biologists from Exeter University found that the buds of trees such as the oak, sycamore, ash and beech were bursting up to 7.5 days earlier in the year in areas with a lot of artificial light. The effect causes problems for insects such as the winter moth, which lays its eggs so the caterpillars will hatch at the same time as the trees produce their first tender young leaves. Hatching a week too late means the caterpillars have to eat tough leaves packed with tannin – a natural defence against pests – that are less nutritious. And that means there are fewer caterpillars for songbirds to eat. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/light-pollution-spring-week-early-trees-street-lights-study-insects-birds-a7107936.html