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Opava students have mapped the effects of the light smog, and City Hall is preparing a decree

Student meeting with Hynek Medřický, an expert in light pollution
| picture: Silesian Grammar School Opava

Based on their findings, the town hall is preparing a decree that, among other things, will require lights that do not shine in the upper half of the space, adjust the lighting of shop windows and reduce harmful blue light – for illuminated lighting and advertisements.

“The decree is being intensively prepared, and we are striving to implement it from January 2022. Of course, with a transition period set. In cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and lawyers, we are studying several options to make it workable and enforceable,” said Deputy Mayor Michel Jedlika.

Opava students have been following the issue of light smog for more than two years. They walked the night streets with measuring instruments and a camera, and gathered expert information about the effect of light on the object. According to their conclusions, Opava is relatively well lit, but there are also places where there is room for improvement.

They have already submitted their proposals to members of the European Parliament, the Czech Parliament and the European Commission. They are cooperating with the Ministry of Environment, and last week they presented the project at the International Light Pollution Conference.

Opava could become a model city, whose decree will be adopted by others.

The street light pollution map is already on the city website. “Most of the people wave their hands at light pollution and we try not to do that,” student Adela Schmidova said.

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Blue light is harmful, as it signals the body that it does not need to rest, and this does not produce the important antioxidant melatonin. Students also suggest other metrics – like the silhouettes of floodlights in monuments so they don’t shine through in the surroundings.