Lighting up the festive season

The festive season is here and lights are appearing in shop windows and across our cities, twinkling brightly on trees and buildings. Many residential areas have a ‘Christmas House’ (or a whole street) that seems to be competing to see how many lights it’s humanly possible to put on a building.

As you might expect, we love this time of year – especially seeing all the wonderful (and sometimes weird) lights going up. It’s also the peak time of the year for lighting displays, processions and festivals. But, not everyone is delighted about this…

We humans and our animal friends, all have circadian systems that work in a natural rhythm that is responsive to light. It isn’t the type of light that matters, it’s light full-stop. Research reveals that all types of artificial light - from security floodlights to street lighting to the humble Christmas tree light - can negatively impact wildlife. If it’s overly bright, artificial light can make your garden a total no-go area for wildlife, which is a shame when gardens are amongst the most important havens available for our native creatures.

So, enjoy the season and all the beautiful lights and festivities. And, whatever festival you are celebrating; Christmas, Diwali or Hanukkah, please light your space responsibly and turn off your outdoor displays when you go to bed.


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