Lighting for People and the Planet
Gulf Shores is blessed with miles of pristine sand beaches on Alabama's Gulf Coast. More than 5 million annual visitors are drawn to the area's stunning beaches, which offer a year-round attraction for the resort city.
With an exceptional natural environment comes a responsibility to protect the local habitat through sustainable living and tourism. The Gulf Coast is home to several species of sea turtles on the world's endangered list. Sea turtle eggs and hatchlings are particularly vulnerable to their environment.
Lighting continues to be a concern in coastal communities. Artificial white light such as standard streetlights, patio lights and even flashlights can confuse the baby hatchlings, which rely on moonlight and starlight to steer them toward the water. So, when the city of Gulf Shores upgraded its lighting along the streets and boardwalks adjacent to the beach, finding a turtle-friendly solution was vital.
Landscape architects on the project selected Luminis' Maya high-performance post-top luminaire with advanced optics. The exceptional thermal design of this attractive fixture allows significant advantages in energy saving and lighting efficiency, contributing to the sustainability objectives of the city.
But one of the most compelling features of the luminaire is its optional turtle-friendly amber LED. Research has identified that sea turtles are not affected by amber LEDs with specific wavelengths, making it the right fit for the environmentally sensitive Gulf Shores coastline. Project architects also selected an optional backlight shield for each of the 93 luminaires, further minimizing potential glare and light trespass on the ocean side of each fixture.
Additionally, the luminaire is Dark Sky rated. The luminaires deliver the appropriate light down to the pathways and sidewalks, but with minimal light pollution for the surrounding houses and public spaces.
Sea turtle populations have been positively affected by a variety of conservation efforts, including lighting initiatives. With its sustainable, turtle-friendly lighting, the city of Gulf Shores has found its solution to help protect its natural resources for future generations to enjoy.