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Turtle Friendly Solar Lights Keep Nesting Turtles Safe

SEPCO 8/30/11 9:30 AM
Turtle Friendly Solar Lights Keep Nesting Turtles Safe

Turtle friendly lights are used in coastal areas, predominantly around the Florida coast. These amber cutoff fixtures are used in nesting sea turtle areas to ensure that hatchlings are not attracted to areas such as the surrounding roads, parking lots, businesses, and residential areas. If hatchlings find themselves wandering around instead of going to the ocean, the likelihood of survival is greatly diminished.


SEPCO provides turtle-friendly solar lighting solutions for coastal areas that need light but either doesn’t have access to grid power or are looking for a green alternative to traditional electric lights. We offer both a decorative style fixture and a standard industrial fixture. Other fixtures are available for applications outside of roadway and parking lot lighting.


With the partnership of Hubbell Lighting / Beacon Products, SEPCO can use these efficient LED fixtures with turtle-friendly LEDs and full cutoff optics to ensure that the surrounding landscapes can be illuminated while providing safety to the wildlife. This amber color doesn’t produce any blue light that is invisible to both the parents laying the eggs and the babies when they hatch.


One great example of projects like this is The City of Bradenton Beach. The city needed to install new lights to lower utility costs and still be turtle friendly. The installation replaced 100 Watt high-pressure sodium street lights along the city's main streets with solar-powered LED lights using only 17 Watts per luminaire. Just replacing the lights with LEDs would lower the utility costs, but by powering the lights with solar, the city will no longer have utility costs and save thousands of pounds of carbon emissions.


Other coastal cities installed the same type of solar lights along the main road just off the beach. The lights shine mostly on the sidewalk for the neighborhood residences to walk around safely at night, but they also help protect the baby turtles hatching on the beaches nearby. The solar lights were also less expensive than trenching for standard electrical lights.


Even areas such as military bases and parks that are located along the coast of Florida have lights installed that are turtle friendly. These lights ensure the safety and security of people moving about at night while ensuring there is no damage to the area’s wildlife.


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has a list of standards used to ensure that these locations meet the requirements of being a turtle friendly installation. This includes the color of coastal lights as amber, orange, or red, and the light source has a 560 nm or longer. The lights should also always be downcasting with a full cutoff fixture so no light is projected into the sky.


If you live or have a project along a coastline where nesting sea turtles or other wildlife needs to be protected, remember to install lights that provide protection to these animals. If you need a solar lighting solution, SEPCO has you covered with our wildlife and turtle friendly solar lighting systems.

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