Bat Friendly Lighting For Outdoor Spaces

bat friendly lighting

Written by Made by Landmark - 6 Jun 2024

In the UK, there are 18 species of bats, all of which rest during the day and emerge at dusk. There are a number of negative effects associated with artificial lighting on bat habitats, resulting in the need for bat friendly lighting. At Landmark, we provide excellent lighting solutions that deliver the ideal illumination, while minimising environmental impact. 

In this blog, we explore how to light your outdoor space without harming bats.

The effect of artificial lighting on bats 

Many of the UK’s bat species have declined greatly over the last century and this is why they are legally protected. European and domestic legislation protects all species of bat and bat roosts – any place that a bat uses for shelter. Legal protection means it is illegal to cause disturbance that affects bats, obstructs access to their roosts, or damage or destroy bat roosts. 

Artificial Light at Night (ALAN) has increased at a rapid rate – estimated to have risen over 49% in the last three decades – causing a negative impact on bats and other wildlife. As nocturnal creatures, bats emerge around sunset to feed and artificial light delays feeding because resting bats do not notice nightfall. Artificial light also exposes bats to predators when leaving roosts and causes them to abandon their rest site altogether. 

Research shows that bats are sensitive to blue and green light and although the human eye may see a light as just ‘white’ there will be elements of blue and green within that spectrum that can be detected by bats.

Why is bat friendly light important?

While recognising the importance of ALAN, it is also crucial that we use it responsibly to reduce or mitigate the threat it poses to wildlife. According to the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT), under section 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), you may be committing a criminal offence if you disturb a bat occupying a place used for shelter. Lighting in the vicinity of a bat roost could constitute an offence since it causes disturbance and potential abandonment of the roost. 

Bat friendly lighting key considerations 

  1. Light only where needed – prevent bright light and minimise light spill into sensitive areas such as dark sky reserves
  2. Colour temperature – opt for warm white tones (2700K or less) to minimise the impact of blue light.
  3. Where possible use lighting with a specific wavelength of between 580nm and 620nm, for example our bat-friendly lighting is 593nm which gives a soft amber illumination.
  4. Efficiency – reduce energy consumption through smarter lighting including solar and LED lighting to contribute to a bat friendly environment.
  5. Fixture design and materials – outdoor lighting fixtures should be designed to minimise glare and prevent light spill/light pollution. Light should be focused where it is needed and not be harsh or intense. A fixture which blends into the environment, such as timber bollards  would also be less disruptive to nocturnal wildlife.

What is the most bat friendly lighting?

Bat Friendly Street Lighting 

Our lamp posts come with various lighting options, including an amber mode specifically designed to be less disruptive to bats. The lamp posts also have the option of <2700 colour which is the ideal level for lighting to be bat friendly. 

Regular street lights often emit light in the blue spectrum which can disorient and confuse bats. By using specific wavelength amber lighting, our lamp posts reduce light pollution and help bats navigate more easily at night.

Bat Friendly Bollard Lighting

Our range of lighting bollards are ideal for discreet lighting that is eco-friendly (using up to 90% less energy than traditional bulbs) and won’t pose a threat to wildlife. Bats are naturally exposed to very low lighting levels produced by moonlight and starlight. And our solar lighting bollards are perfect for trails, paths and reserves where light pollution needs to be kept to a minimum. Plus, both the below bollards also have an Amber colour option which is bat friendly. 

Eye (Solar) – Lighting Bollard

The Eye post is a popular choice for bat friendly bollard lighting. Its minimal design helps to blend in with surroundings during the day and has a gentle illumination at night that won’t pose a threat to nocturnal creatures. 

Bosco (Solar) – Lighting Bollard 

Made from chestnut and giving off a natural appearance, the Bosco will provide adequate light for your outdoor space while preserving energy. 

Browse bat friendly lighting for your space

Our commitment to providing sustainable products extends to bat friendly lighting solutions. Understanding the importance of minimising disruption to bat roosts is paramount to your business and ours.

If you’re looking for lighting that caters for bats, get in touch with us today. Or browse our range here

Written by Made by Landmark - 6 Jun 2024

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