Light Pollution: Balancing Safety & Sustainability

A growing concern impacting rural areas in Minnesota is light pollution, which is an excessive or misdirected use of artificial light. For many in Lake Region’s service territory, proper lighting is essential for safety and protection when darkness prevails at night. However, strategic lighting and mindfulness can enhance safety without contributing to light pollution.

Keeping this in mind, LREC has made deliberate moves since 2014 to reduce overall light pollution by being early adopters of advanced lighting technology. Today, 99.6% of security lights on LREC’s system are LED, which is an energy-efficient solution. For any new security light installations provided by Lake Region, members only have LED options to select from. Furthermore, upon request, members can have a light shield installed on their security light to better control the beam.*

When looking at Lake Region’s own use of light, we are taking an active approach in identifying where we can cut back. We are assessing where lighting can be motion activated or on a set timer. While making these evaluations, we are keeping safety at the forefront to ensure our employees and the public remain safe around our buildings and equipment. For Lake Region, we will take cautious and considerate steps forward to do our part in reducing light pollution; however, we cannot make these changes alone.

Together, a cooperative effort among rural communities, municipalities, and utility providers can promote responsible lighting practices. We encourage our members and the community to understand the importance of minimizing light pollution and adopting night-friendly lighting strategies to create a sustainable approach to safety. By striking a balance between safety and environmental stewardship, we can illuminate appropriate pathways while preserving our night skies.

*For light shield pricing, please connect with LREC’s customer service team.