Emerging lighting technologies provide opportunities for reducing carbon footprints, and for biodiversity conservation. In addition to installing light-emitting diode street lights, many local authorities are also dimming street lights. This might benefit light-averse bat species by creating dark refuges for these bats to forage and commute in human-dominated habitats. We conducted a field experiment to determine how light intensity affects the activity of the light-opportunistic Pipistrellus pipistrellus and light-averse bats in the genus Myotis. We used four lighting levels controlled under a central management system at existing street lights in a suburban environment (0, 25, 50 and 100% of the original output). Higher light intensities (50 and 100% of original output) increased the activity of light-opportunistic species but reduced the activity of light-averse bats. Compared to the unlit treatment, the 25% lighting level did not significantly affect either P. pipistrellus or Myotis spp. Our results suggest that it is possible to achieve a light intensity that provides both economic and ecological benefits by providing sufficient light for human requirements while not deterring light-averse bats.
- Bat activity
- Light-averse species
- Light-emitting diode street lights
- Light-opportunistic species