Hilo is a city located on the east coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. It is the largest settlement on the island and has an estimated population of around 46,000 people. Hilo is known for its natural beauty, rich history, and cultural diversity. However, the city is also known for its night lights, which have become a source of controversy due to light pollution.
Light pollution is the presence of artificial light in the night sky, which can cause a variety of problems, such as disrupting natural ecosystems, harming wildlife, and affecting human health. In Hilo, light pollution is a significant issue, as the city has a high concentration of artificial light sources that contribute to the problem.
One of the main sources of light pollution in Hilo is street lighting. The city has an extensive network of streetlights that are designed to provide safety and visibility at night. However, these lights can also contribute to light pollution, especially if they are not properly shielded. The city is currently working to upgrade its street lighting system to reduce light pollution by replacing older fixtures with more efficient and environmentally friendly LED lights that are designed to be more focused and direct light where it is needed most.
Another significant source of light pollution in Hilo is commercial and residential lighting. The city has a vibrant commercial sector, with many businesses operating late into the night. Additionally, many homes in the city have outdoor lighting fixtures that are left on throughout the night. These lights can contribute to light pollution, especially if they are not properly shielded or directed downward.
Tourism is a significant industry in Hilo, and the city's night lights play a role in attracting visitors to the area. Many of the city's landmarks, such as the Wailoa River State Park and the Rainbow Falls, are illuminated at night to create a more picturesque and attractive view. While these lights add to the city's charm, they can also contribute to light pollution.
Despite the efforts of the city to reduce light pollution, Hilo still suffers from a significant amount of light pollution. According to the Light Pollution Atlas, Hilo has a Bortle Scale rating of 4, which indicates a moderate amount of light pollution. This rating means that while the city is not as bright as larger cities, it still suffers from a significant amount of light pollution, which can affect the environment and the health of residents.
Hilo is a beautiful city with a vibrant culture and a thriving tourism industry. However, the city is also known for its night lights, which contribute to light pollution. Street lighting, commercial and residential lighting, and tourism are all significant sources of light pollution in Hilo. While the city is working to reduce light pollution, there is still a significant amount present in the area.