Senator Laura EllmanSPRINGFIELD – Excess light emitted at night – from buildings to street lights – poses serious harm and risk to birds, insects and people across the state. To address the negative impact on Illinoisans and wildlife, State Senator Laura Ellman is working to reduce light pollution by establishing outdoor lighting control requirements.

“Birds, insects and people all experience the harsh effects of bright lights in our environment and our night sky,” said Ellman (D-Naperville). “By regulating future lighting projects in our state, we aim to diminish the disruptions to migrating birds across our Mississippi flyway, restore nocturnal insects’ natural cycles in the environment, and prevent humans from feeling the effects of blue light on their vision.”

Light pollution refers to the brightening of the night sky by man-made light sources, including street lights and buildings. Excessive light in our night sky causes a variety of issues, such as interfering with bird migration, nocturnal insects and our optical health.

Senate Bill 3501 creates the Outdoor Lighting Control Act, which requires all newly state-funded luminaries purchased for land or structures owned by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to follow specific outdoor lighting requirements established by the American National Standards Institute and Illuminating Engineering Society.

“When birds migrate through bright night skies, they collide with buildings, nocturnal insects are unable to respond to predators in their habitat, and humans cannot make out objects in the night sky,” said Ellman. “This legislation is a direct response to these prevalent issues and provides relief to our environment in a multitude of areas.”

Senate Bill 3501 passed the Senate State Government Committee Thursday and heads to the full Senate for consideration.