Towards Insect-Friendly Road Lighting-A Transdisciplinary Multi-Stakeholder Approach Involving Citizen Scientists

Insects. 2021 Dec 14;12(12):1117. doi: 10.3390/insects12121117.


(1) The project "Tatort Streetlight" implements an insect-friendly road light design in a four year before-after, control-impact (BACI) approach involving citizen scientists. It will broaden the stakeholder interests from solely anthropogenic perspectives to include the welfare of insects and ecosystems. Motivated by the detrimental impacts of road lighting systems on insects, the project aims to find solutions to reduce the insect attraction and habitat fragmentation resulting from roadway illumination. (2) The citizen science approach invites stakeholders to take part and join forces for the development of a sustainable and environmentally friendly road lighting solution. Here, we describe the project strategy, stakeholder participation and motivation, and how the effects of the alternative road luminaire and lighting design can be evaluated. (3) The study compares the changes in (a) insect behavior, (b) night sky brightness, and (c) stakeholder participation and awareness. For this purpose, different experimental areas and stakeholders in four communities in Germany are identified. (4) The project transfers knowledge of adverse effects of improperly managed road illumination and interacts with various stakeholders to develop a new road lighting system that will consider the well-being of street users, local residents, and insects.

Keywords: Ephemeroptera; Trichoptera; artificial light at night; biodiversity; darksky; insect decline; insect diversity; light pollution; nightscapes; obstructive light; species conservation; street lighting.