The "loss of the night" results from the extension of economical and social activities - initiated by man – into the night by using artificial light. Examples include late-night shopping, round-the-clock public transportation, shift work and an attractive night-life. Being liberated from the natural day/night rhythm comes at a price, however.
Costs of artificial lighting
The direct costs include the costs for installation and energy to produce light and brightness. The lighting produces almost one fourth of the total energy production including the corresponding effects on environment. The indirect costs like insomnia and the resulting medical problems, environmental damages and so on, slowly are being considered to when planning lighting systems. Changing current practices and the policies relating to artificial light demands sound knowledge about the emergence and the development of the existing lighting systems, about symbolic values, strategic interests and institutional rules which underpin them.
Projects in this field of research:
The IRS and the ISR (TU Berlin) participate in the project "From lighting to enlightenment? A socio-political analysis of the situation to reduce light pollution in Berlin-Brandenburg".
Furthermore, the ISR (TU Berlin) researches the topic "The costs of the loss of the night ‐ An economic analysis on the consequences of the illuminated night".