What is Turtle Friendly Lighting
Turtle Friendly Lighting, also known as Beach-Side Shielding, is a lighting technique specifically designed to minimize the negative impact of artificial light on sea turtles and their nesting habitats. It involves the use of lighting fixtures and bulbs that adhere to specific guidelines and recommendations set by organizations like the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to protect sea turtles.
The primary goal of Turtle Friendly Lighting is to reduce light pollution and prevent disorientation of sea turtles during their nesting and hatching periods. To achieve this, properties along the beach-side utilize lighting fixtures and amber LED light bulbs that have been specifically tested and approved for their minimal impact on sea turtles. These fixtures and bulbs are designed to emit light inward towards the property, rather than outward towards the beach, reducing the potential negative effects on sea turtles.
Turtle Friendly Lighting also focuses on three key criteria: keeping it low, keeping it long, and keeping it shielded. Keeping it low involves mounting the lighting fixtures as low as possible and using the lowest wattage necessary for the intended purpose to reduce light pollution and brightness. Keeping it long recommends using long wavelength light sources, such as amber, orange, and red LEDs, which are less disruptive to sea turtles’ natural behaviors. Keeping it shielded emphasizes the use of fixtures that meet or exceed full cutoff and shield lamps or glowing lenses from being directly visible, directing the light where it is needed without causing unnecessary glare or disturbance to sea turtles.