We know how lighting affects humans. But how about animals? This information becomes crucial when zoos, aquariums, and outdoor spaces need lighting. It’s up to the lighting designers to work with the animal specialists to come up with the best solution.
We did this when we relit the New England Aquarium’s Giant Ocean Tank. Those penguins needed the right amount of light the right way to stay healthy!
And Pensacola is currently taking their animals into consideration with the renovations of their main roadways. Turtles nest at the beaches near the strip of road getting more, brighter lighting. But the same lighting that keeps drivers oriented to the road disorients the hatchling turtles making their way to the ocean. The solution? Directional amber lighting at a wavelength invisible to turtles. This keeps the light from the ocean (that orients the hatchlings to come into the water) the main focus for the turtles.
It’s amazing how complex the effects of lighting can be, and we’re glad to see other designers and engineers take these effects into account when altering lighting in natural settings.