Case Study: Night/Dark Sky Friendly Lighting Retrofit.

These are before and after photos of a lighting retrofit at the National Outdoor Centre, Plas Y Brenin in Capel Curig.  (Scroll down the page to see the final, amazing results!)

The project was managed by Dani Robertson, the Dark Sky Officer for the Prosiect Nos Partnership between Snowdonia National Park, the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley, Anglesey and Pen Llŷn Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

It sits in the heart of one of her Core zones and is a complex site. It is Grade 1 listed, has three car parks, is a bit of a maze and needs to facilitate visitors at all times of the day and night who come to join residential courses, use the climbing wall or hire equipment.

Security was a concern due to a lot of high value equipment being around and also the safety of visitors as many of them come from cities and arrive in hours of darkness, many of whom have never experienced any darkness before. This previously led to lots of harsh, strong lights being installed and people still complained they couldn’t see or navigate safely!

Since the retrofit we Dani has had tons of positive feedback from staff, some of whom live on site, visitors and residents from the nearby area. These lighting changes have also reduced their carbon footprint by at least two tons a year.

Before the work, birds were recorded singing at night around the centre and Dani recorded only 1 bat foraging at the other side of the lake. Since the work, there has been recorded nearly 200 bats (many of whom have moved in!), owls and a potential Pine Marten sighting!

The final results, showing an impressive in uplighting and skyglow, a reduction in wasted light & carbon emissions, which would mean a cash saving on electricity bills, safer lighting for humans and wildlife, and better views of the milky way!

Dani is also part of the leadership team of the DarkSky UK Chapter and was one of the founding directors.