Study

Conserving energy at a cost to biodiversity? Impacts of LED lighting on bats

  • Published source details Stone E.L., Jones G. & Harris S. (2012) Conserving energy at a cost to biodiversity? Impacts of LED lighting on bats. Global Change Biology, 18, 2458-2465.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use low intensity lighting

Action Link
Bat Conservation

Avoid illumination of bat commuting routes

Action Link
Bat Conservation
  1. Use low intensity lighting

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2009 of 10 hedges in southwest England and Wales, UK (Stone et al 2012) found that reducing the intensity of street lights along hedges resulted in higher activity of lesser horseshoe bats Rhinolophus hipposideros but had no effect on the activity of Myotis species. For lesser horseshoe bats, activity was higher when hedges were lit with low intensity lights (average 37 bat passes/night) and medium intensity lights (22 bat passes/night) than with high intensity lights (5 bat passes/night). For Myotis spp. there was no significant difference in activity between low, medium, and high intensity lights (average 5 bat passes/night for each). Hedges were illuminated with LED street lights (24 x 2.4 watt high power LED’s). At each of 10 sites, two bat detectors recorded activity in May–August 2009 for six nights with each of five treatments: a silent unlit control treatment, a noise treatment repeated twice (with the generator powering the lights) and three lit treatments in a randomized order of low (3.6 lux), medium (6.6 lux) and high intensity (49.8 lux).

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

  2. Avoid illumination of bat commuting routes

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2009 of 10 hedges in southwest England and Wales, UK (Stone et al 2012) found that unlit hedges had higher activity for two of five bat species or species groups than hedges illuminated with street lights. Higher activity was recorded along unlit hedges than illuminated hedges for lesser horseshoe bats Rhinolophus hipposideros (unlit: average 100 bat passes/night; illuminated: average 5–37 bat passes/night) and Myotis spp. (unlit: average 35 bat passes/night; illuminated: average 5 bat passes/night). Activity did not differ significantly along unlit and illuminated hedges for common pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus, soprano pipistrelle Pipistrellus pygmaeus or Nyctalus/Eptesicus spp. (see original paper for detailed results). Hedges were illuminated with LED street lights (24 x 2.4 watt high power LED’s). At each of 10 sites, two bat detectors recorded activity in May–August 2009 for six nights with each of five treatments: a silent unlit control treatment, a noise treatment repeated twice (with the generator powering the lights) and three lit treatments in a randomized order of low (3.6 lux), medium (6.6 lux) and high intensity (49.8 lux).

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

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