A Bay Area state Assembly member wants to help take the dark side out of artificial light at night.
Assemblymember Alex Lee, D-Milpitas, introduced AB 2382, which passed out of the Business and Professions Committee last week, to help protect the earth’s ecosystem.
The bill aims specifically to provide for the safety of migratory birds, insects and people, according to Lee’s office.
The bill requires all lights installed or replaced on state structures after the new year to have shields to redirect light, have an automatic or manual shutoff mechanism or be motion-activated.
Besides an estimate that 30 percent of outdoor lighting in the country is wasted, excess artificial light may be disrupting wildlife behavior, Lee’s office said.
For example, many bird species use the night sky to migrate. Artificial light could lead the birds to human environments where they can die from collisions with structures.
Insects and humans can also be affected negatively by artificial light at night. Mood and anxiety disorders are more likely among teens and adolescents living in areas with lots of artificial light at night.
Artificial light at night can affect insects’ movement, reproduction and foraging.
Lee’s bill now goes to the Appropriations Committee.