Tips For Turtle-Safe Lights In Your New Beach House

11 July 2016
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Buying a home with beachside access comes with some considerations you may not have thought of before. For example, if your home is in a sea turtle nesting area, such as the mideastern or southeastern coastline of the U.S., you'll need to work with an electrician like those at Cole Electric Inc to ensure that your lighting won't disrupt the sea turtle nesting cycle. Since sea turtles rely on moonlight for a lot of their navigation, any artificial lighting that reaches the beach could interfere with the process. Here are a few things you should know to avoid causing problems with the natural nesting cycle.

Avoid Exterior Decorative Lighting During Nesting Season

Pathway lighting, garden lights and similar ornamental lighting are popular along coastal areas, especially if you like to walk out to the beach at night. Any lights like this that are on the beach side of your house can potentially interfere with the natural lighting on the beach. If you can turn them off, keep them turned off through the summer and early fall months. If you can't turn them off, talk with an electrician about putting some light shields behind them or covering them completely.

Opt For Adjustable Or Directional Lights

Converting all of the exterior lighting to directional lights makes it easier to adjust the light during the nesting season. With directional lights, you can turn the light fixture so that it only casts light in one direction. This allows you to light the property on the beach side during the winter and spring without casting any light in that direction during the summer or fall months.

Choose Low Wattage or Amber LED Lights

Skip the incandescent or fluorescent bulbs outside. They are intense and bright, and they can be overwhelming on the beach side of the property. Opt for low-light options such as lower wattage sodium vapor bulbs or amber LED lights. Because they are dimmer and will only light up a small area, they are a safer option for the beach side during nesting season.

Build Some Natural Light Barriers

Putting some tall plants, shrubs or other vegetation along the beach side of your property will also help to minimize the light transfer through the property. The taller shrubs will block the light from reaching the beach. At the same time, you can also tint the window glass on your house to keep interior light from casting any illumination on the beach.

Sea turtle hatchlings have a natural instinct to follow the moonlight to the ocean when they break free of the nest in the sand. With these tips, you can have confidence that your property won't cast any extra light that might disorient them and interfere with this natural process.