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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

This program has been canceled.

Darkness in Distress: Halting the Rise of Light Pollution

Evening Program

Wednesday, December 2, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1L0365
$25 - Member
$30 - Non-Member


  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Online registration is required.
  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.


Light pollution has become a pervasive and ugly consequence of our 24/7 society. Few of us can enjoy a star-spangled night sky any longer, thanks to the glowing pall caused by all the lights that line roadways, parking lots, and backyards. More ominously, a growing body of research finds that excessive light at night disrupts nocturnal ecosystems, sometimes dramatically. It can also inhibit the production of melatonin, a compound produced as we sleep—and only in darkness— that seems to play multiple roles in maintaining general human health. 

The situation has not been helped by the widespread rollout of light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. Although energy efficient, long-lasting, and inherently directional, they generate much more environmentally harmful blue light than we’re used to seeing at night.

Fortunately, the spread of light pollution can be halted and even reversed. Join Sky and Telescope magazine’s Kelly Beatty as he discusses how we can safely light up our homes, businesses, and communities without wasting energy, disturbing the neighbors, or creating an unhealthy environment for humans and wildlife.


  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.

Inside Science