Turtle Hatchlings And Your Lights: What You Need To Know

When you buy a beachfront home, you need to consider the light emission from your house – especially if you live in a sea turtle nesting area. Newborn turtles rely on light reflection from the moon on the surface of the ocean to find the water. If your home is emitting too much light onto the beach, it can confuse the hatchlings and keep them from reaching the surf. Since artificial light can interfere with a turtle hatchling's instinct to find water, you should talk with an electrician about your lighting right away.  

Skip the Decorative Lighting

One of the first things your electrician will tell you is that you need to be selective about your outdoor lighting. During turtle nesting season, which runs from spring to early fall, you need to be able to turn off your exterior lighting. If your exterior lights are sensor-activated and can't be turned off, an electrician can help you with some covers or shields that will keep the light away from the water.

Aim Your Adjustable Lights Carefully

Many coastal electricians recommend that you use adjustable lighting on the exterior of your house, because you can change the angle of the lights as needed. This gives you the flexibility to point the fixtures away from the beach during the turtle nesting months. That way, you don't have to completely sacrifice your lighting.

Replace Light Bulbs

Skip the incandescent, fluorescent and super-bright bulbs on the beachfront side of your home. Instead, talk to your electrician about installing low-wattage sodium vapor lights instead. Another replacement option is red or amber LED lighting, as those emit colors that do not resemble moonlight.

If you're struggling with specific fixtures, your electrician may even recommend that you move them. He or she can redirect the wiring so that you can reposition permanent fixtures to eliminate light hazards. Add tint to the inside surfaces of your windows so that you keep the interior light from passing through as well.

Watching sea turtles navigate from the nest to the ocean can be a peaceful and unforgettable experience. Turtle nesting season is one of the joys of owning a home on the beach, so make sure that you are attentive to the lighting and electrical concerns that can affect the process. A local electrician (such as one from Dunedin Electric Co., Inc.) can evaluate your home and help you spot the areas that could threaten the turtle's natural migration into the water.