NPS Effects of Outdoor Lighting on Natural Resources and Visitor Enjoyment in National Parks
The objectives of this project are to work with partners to develop and operate an outdoor lighting laboratory that advances understanding of outdoor lighting impacts on natural resources and visitor preferences with respect to lighting design, adaptive lighting technologies (e.g., timers, sensors, dimmers), intensity or brightness of lighting, light color or “spectral content”, and how luminaire design may influence a visitor’s wayfinding capability, feelings of safety, and the quality of their park experience in order to inform park management and decision making.
Preference will be given to proposals that include interdisciplinary approaches that profile the relevant and interrelated concepts of social and biological responses to light, such as visitor use management, human factors psychology, lighting design, biological sciences, and ecosystem sciences.
Expected outcomes include:
• Better understanding of outdoor lighting impacts on visitor preferences including:
- how lighting can be designed to improve nighttime recreation opportunities in parks, specifically astronomy based activities
- how lighting can be designed to promote safety and security, and enhance overall visitor enjoyment
- how informing and educating visitors influences perceptions and expectations of outdoor lighting at night in the parks
• Better understanding of outdoor lighting impacts on natural resources, including bats, insects, birds, as well as population dynamics and ecosystem functions.
• Better understanding of how improved lighting can measurably reduce light pollution.