Light Pollution in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is known as ‘the Pear of the East’. With the name of it, there is a significant problem with the light pollution behind. According to a research publication from the Legislative Council (2018-2019), Hong Kong has been one of the worst places with a high degree of light pollution in 2012 . Light pollution means that excess artificial light is presented at night. There are a lot of negative effects about light pollution reported. Schulte-Römer, Meier, Dannemann and Söding (2019) mentioned that human beings, animals and ecosystems would be affected negatively.

 Challenges in reducing the light pollution

Some challenges would be faced by the government for reducing the light pollution. The article (2019) concluded that unawareness of the problem would be an obstacle . They would not put emphasis on the policy of light pollution mitigation and the government could not collect their views on it. The research (2018-2019) showed that they do not take a legislative approach in regulating light nuisance after six-year review because of ‘a lack of consensual view’ in the community.

Apart from this, the increasing of blue-rich LED lighting worldwide and the bad installation of LED technology would be other challenges . Using LEDs means saving energy and lowing the cost. But it may lead to rebound effects. Installing LEDs mindlessly has become a trend of the world and it would make things worse.

Mitigation of light pollution should be the responsibility of everyone. As for the solution, they (2019) concluded that ‘the promotion of best practice in lighting projects’ would be a good solution and integrated light planning would be a promising measure .

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Apart from this, they pointed out that soft measures such as having education policy about light pollution would be better than regulatory measures because of less controversy and opposition. But this may not be suitable for Hong Kong’s situation. A ‘Charter on External Lighting’ and ‘Partnership Scheme’ were launched in 2016. But the situation became worse after launching the Charter. As the research (2018-2019) mentioned, the number of complaints over light nuisance increased form 335 in 2016 to 477 in 2018 . Although there were 5000 signatories, some of them have not had any light installation. On the contrary, those who produce huge light nuisance did not be the signatories. Also, without binding by law and free withdrawal from anytime, the effectiveness would be lower. So, Hong Kong government should use both soft measures and regulatory measures at the same time to reduce light pollution.

Singapore’s national light policy

Singapore currently adopted a national light policy which is one of the most progressive in the world. It would have reference value for Hong Kong. The research (2018-2019) pointed out that there are some difficulties for setting laws such as difficulty in lighting zoning map and quantifying enforcement parameters . The new policy adopted by Singapore set an important standard for the protection of the sky at night. According to the rules in the new policy, there are some technical standards :

Outdoor lighting must conform to a requirement that at least 95% of the light emission is confined to angles at or below approximately 14.5 degrees from the horizontal.

The correlated color temperature (CCT) of light does not exceed 3000 Kelvins (K).

The amount of light used in any installation to no more than 35 lumens per square meter of illuminated target surface.

Those rules could be good samples for the Hong Kong government.

Soft measures

As for the soft measures, education only might not be enough. Limited knowledge and scientific uncertainty may also affect the effectiveness. The article (2019) also mentioned that there is a need for science-policy interfaces as well as inter- and transdisciplinary exchange . A joint platform should be produced for debate. It could bring the discussion from the global to the local and put it into practice for the mitigation of light pollution.

The article written by Schulte-Römer, Meier, Dannemann and Söding presented the opposing and shared views from ‘lighting professionals’ and ‘light pollution experts’ although they might have conflicting interests. It could show the views of light pollution from different sides and turn out to conclude some comprehensive ideas and ways. The research publication from the Legislative Council could reflected the real situation of Hong Kong after launching of the Charter and analyze the difficulties facing of the government. The articles from The International Dark-Sky Association presented that the new light pollution policy of Singapore which is the most progressive in the world. It could be a good sample and become an important standard for the world. Comparing with the policy in Hong Kong could inspire to have some new suggestions and make a better improvement.

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Light Pollution in Hong Kong. (2022, Mar 09). Retrieved from

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