DMF's commitment to a sustainable future drives our latest initiative: Sea Turtle Safe Lighting
All life has a profound relationship with light. A light’s color temperature influences people’s productivity and comfort. For sea turtles, lighting can be the difference between life and death.
As soon as they hatch, sea turtles hatchlings face a harrowing journey for survival. Turtle eggs are first nested in the sand on beaches. After hatching, the baby turtles must climb from beneath the sand to crawl to the ocean, all while avoiding predators like crabs and raccoons. Even once in the water, they remain prey to seabirds or sharks. Only 1 in 1,000 hatchlings will survive to adulthood.
But that’s just sea turtles natural predators. Today, hatchlings face an additional obstacle during their dash to the ocean, artificial light.
Sea turtles are phototactic, meaning they are attracted to light. Hatchlings will use the brightest light source, traditionally moonlight reflecting off the water, to move toward the ocean.
However, artificial lighting from nearby properties can cause disorientation, resulting in the death of thousands of hatchlings each year in Florida alone.
In response, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) released guidelines to minimizing lighting’s impact on sea turtles to conform with state regulations, such as Coastal Construction Control Line (CCCL) permits and Environmental Resource Permits (ERP).
Specifying sea turtle lighting is simple. For all property owners living adjacent to sea turtle nesting beaches, the FWC recommends following the three golden rules, Low-Shielded-Long.
Keep it Low
• Fixtures must be mounted as low as possible to achieve required light levels
• Bulbs must produce the lowest wattage/lumens necessary for the needed purpose
Keep it Shielded
• Fixtures must be completely downward-directed
• Fixtures must shield the bulb, lamp, or glowing lens from the beach
Keep it Long
• Lamp/Bulb must produce only long wavelength light (560 nm)
To be effective, all three rules must be applied. They are all equally important!
DMF engineers have taken our innovative downlights and reimagined them to conform with the golden rules of sea turtle lighting. Now you can have all the flexibility, performance, and quality of a DRD2 LED Downlight or DCC LED Cylinder and still adhere to some of the most stringent of environmental regulations.