Placing light where you need it – and only where you need it – is essential to ensure that you are not contributing to light pollution. One of the four components of light pollution defined by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) is light trespass – light falling where it is not intended or needed.
At First Light Technologies, our focus is to provide the most efficient and high performance solar lighting possible. As such we have designed our solar bollards, solar area lights, and solar street lights with LED optics to better shape the light coming out of our luminaires to vastly decrease the need for backlight shields. However, when using solar lighting for streets, parking lots and pathways in sensitive areas – such as wildlife habitats or lighting very close to homes – there are situations where backlight shielding is needed.
When to Use a Backlight Shield
In most situations, our standard optics have so little backlight that nothing else is necessary. However, if you are at all concerned about light trespass behind the luminaire, or you’re installing lighting next to a sensitive wildlife habitat, or are concerned about light trespass into homes or yards, using a backlight shield is an inexpensive, quick, and simple way to eliminate this risk.
Backlight shields used to be large unsightly pieces of metal. Our new modern, minimalist design for backlight shielding is subtle and effective.
Backlight Shield Example
The following light output illustration shows the backlight on the ground 10ft behind a typical pathway installation with and without backlight shields. The unshielded example does not contain a significant amount of backlighting but the addition of the shield clearly shows its effectiveness in eliminating virtually all of the backlight.
How We are Reducing Light Pollution and Making Sure Our Customers Get the Right Lighting Levels for Their Projects
The above illustration is a good example of how all of our luminaires have excellent backlight performance, even without backlight shields (Scoring a B0 or B1 on a BUG rating). Our new backlight shields can be applied to any of our luminaires and reduce our BUG rating to B0 in the vast majority of applications.
Example: First Light Technologies Luminaire Classification System (LCS) graph
A side benefit of backlight shields is you get a small increase in forward light as the backlight is redirected. You can see that in the above diagrams, some of the blue backlight is redirected into the green forwardlight.
Our backlight shield for our IPL luminaire series, SCL luminaire series, and our SCL2 luminaire series is an easily installed factory option on any of our luminaires making any concerns around light pollution and visual comfort a non-issue.
Find out if a backlight shield is right for your project. Let us help.