Direct measurement of the contribution of street lighting to satellite observations of nighttime light emissions from urban areas
Item Type:Journal Article
Citation:Brian Espey, 'Direct measurement of the contribution of street lighting to satellite observations of nighttime light emissions from urban areas', 2021, Lighting Research and Technology;, 53;, 3;
5003693.pdf (Published (author's copy) - Peer Reviewed) 8.706Mb
Nighttime light emissions are increasing in most countries worldwide, but which types of lighting are responsible for the increase remains unknown. Also unknown is what fraction of outdoor light emissions and associated energy use are due to public light sources (i.e. streetlights) or various types of private light sources (e.g. advertising). Here we show that it is possible to measure the contribution of street lighting to nighttime satellite imagery using ‘smart city’ lighting infrastructure. The city of Tucson, USA, intentionally altered its streetlight output over 10 days, and we examined the change in emissions observed by satellite. We find that streetlights operated by the city are responsible for only 13% of the total radiance (in the 500–900 nm band) observed from Tucson from space after midnight (95% confidence interval 10–16%). If Tucson did not dim their streetlights after midnight, the contribution would be 18% (95% confidence interval 15–23%). When streetlights operated by other actors are included, the best estimates rise to 16% and 21%, respectively. Existing energy and lighting policy related to the sustainability of outdoor light use has mainly focused on street lighting. These results suggest an urgent need for consideration of other types of light sources in outdoor lighting policy
Author: Espey, Brian
Type of material:Journal Article
Series/Report no:Lighting Research and Technology;
Availability:Full text available
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