Study

How to reduce the impact of artificial lighting on moths: A case study on cultural heritage sites in Slovenia

  • Published source details Verovnik R., Fiser Z. & Zaksek V. (2015) How to reduce the impact of artificial lighting on moths: A case study on cultural heritage sites in Slovenia. Journal for Nature Conservation, 28, 105-111.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use shielded “full cut-off” lights to remove outwards lighting

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation

Use ‘warmer’ (red/yellow) lighting rather than other lighting colours

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Use shielded “full cut-off” lights to remove outwards lighting

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 2011–2013 in 15 churches in Slovenia (Verovnik et al. 2015) found that lights with blinds to prevent light scattering, which were also colour-filtered, attracted fewer individuals and species of moths than conventional lighting. On church walls illuminated with yellow or blue light with blinds, both the abundance (12–20 individuals/year) and species richness of moths (10–15 species/year) were lower than on walls illuminated with conventional lighting and no blinds (abundance: 73 individuals/year; richness: 42 species/year). Fifteen churches in dark, rural areas were grouped into adjacent triplets, and illuminated in one of three ways: blue or yellow metal halide lamps, or the existing light (metal halide or sodium vapour, 70–400 W). Experimental lamps were 70 or 150 W, had custom-made filters to remove wavelengths shorter than 400 nm (blue) or 470 nm (yellow), and blinds to prevent the scattering of light away from the building. The illumination used on each church was rotated within each triplet each year. From May–September 2011–2013, moths were counted for 45 minutes six times/year within a 10 × 3 m area of wall on each church. Churches within a triplet were surveyed on the same night.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

  2. Use ‘warmer’ (red/yellow) lighting rather than other lighting colours

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 2011–2013 in 15 churches in Slovenia (Verovnik et al. 2015) found that yellow filtered lights attracted fewer individuals and species of moths than blue filtered lights or conventional lighting. On church walls illuminated with yellow light, both the abundance (12 individuals/year) and species richness of moths (10 species/year) were lower than on walls illuminated with blue light (abundance: 20 individuals/year; richness: 15 species/year) or conventional lighting (abundance: 73 individuals/year; richness: 42 species/year). Fifteen churches in dark, rural areas were grouped into adjacent triplets, and illuminated in one of three ways: blue or yellow metal halide lamps, or the existing light (metal halide or sodium vapour, 70–400 W). Experimental lamps were 70 or 150 W, had custom-made filters to remove wavelengths shorter than 400 nm (blue) or 470 nm (yellow), and blinds to prevent the scattering of light away from the building. The illumination used on each church was rotated within each triplet each year. From May–September 2011–2013, moths were counted for 45 minutes six times/year within a 10 × 3 m area of wall on each church. Churches within a triplet were surveyed on the same night.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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