Light pollution refers to artificial light that alters the natural patterns of light and dark in ecosystems. It comprises direct glare, chronically increased illumination and temporary, unexpected fluctuations in lighting. The sources of ecological light pollution include sky glow, illuminated buildings, streetlights, fishing boats, security lights, lights on vehicles, flares on offshore oil platforms, and even lights on undersea research vessels. Harmful effects involve the animal kingdom, the vegetable kingdom and mankind. While light pollution is eminently detrimental to nocturnal and migratory animals and to animals in flight, it also produces harmful effects on plants. (Source: LONGCORE, T., RICH, C. 2004. Ecological light pollution. Front Ecol Environ 2004; 2[4]: 191-198)

Broader: LEO Thesaurus