Coastal Lighting LEDs Improve Turtle Travel

With everything humans are doing to upset their environment, some turtles need a helping hand in life … particularly turtle hatchlings out on their first stroll. Recently, turtle newborns on the Florida coast got their helping hand from an unexpected source – LED light bulbs.

The Misguiding Light

When sea turtle hatchlings wiggle out of their comfy egg chambers, they’re ready to go places. And that place is wherever the brightest light shines. Being ‘phototactic’, the newborns naturally feel a magnetic pull toward illumination. Yes, they like the light. Since turtle babies should be heading towards the water, that illumination ideally is a sheet of moonlight reflected on the ocean surface.

Before electric streetlamps, the process was pretty simple – catch a glimpse of moonlight, access your internal guidance system, and off you crawled toward that moonlight shining on the sea.

Now, however, streetlights line our coastlines for miles and miles. And all that electric illumination typically outshines the moon. Since baby turtles generally follow the brightest illumination they see, they often ignore the moon and head straight toward the streetlights – and, unfortunately, the nearby street.

Hunt for a Solution

Unless coastal streetlights were removed (not a likely scenario), future generations of sea turtles would wander astray every hatching season. And who knows what the resulting turtle shortage would do to local ocean ecology?

Lighting Science explored the problem and came up with a fresh perspective – streetlights weren’t to blame — bulbs were! If there were a way keep turtles from noticing the streetlights and seeing only the moonlight, the problem would likely be solved.

LED Innovation Brings the Turtles on Home

Lighting Science devised a practical solution –the My Nature Coastal Light. Generating warm, amber illumination, this technologically-advanced bulb provides sufficient light for coastline and street visibility. Yet for all practical purposes, it remains invisible to baby sea turtles and other wildlife. Unaware of local streetlights, hatchlings safely head to the brightest visible illumination – moonlight on the sea and home sweet home!

While doing some pretty fantastic things for baby sea turtles, the My Nature Coastal Light offers people benefits, too. Like its tremendous energy efficiency – the light uses 80% less energy and last up to 16 times longer than a conventional bulb. It also adheres to coastal lighting ordinances, ensuring proper visibility for all human travelers. Understandably, this innovative light source has been certified by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission as wildlife-friendly.

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