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Incandescent

We Need to Talk about Light

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We need to talk about light

Light is changing, dramatically. Our world is getting brighter – you can see it from space. But is brighter always better?

Artificial light is voracious and spreading. Vanquishing precious darkness across the planet, when we are supposed to be using less energy. The quality of light has altered as well. Technology and legislation have crushed warm incandescent lighting in favour of harsher, often glaring alternatives.

Light is fundamental – it really matters. It interacts with life in profound yet subtle ways: it tells plants which way to grow, birds where to fly and coral when to spawn. It tells each and every one of us when to sleep, wake, eat. We mess with the eternal rhythm of dawn-day-dusk-night at our peril. But mess with it we have, and we still don’t truly understand the consequences.

In Incandescent, journalist Anna Levin reveals her own fraught relationship with changes in lighting, and she explores its real impact on nature, our built environment, health and psychological well-being.

We need to talk about light, urgently. And ask the critical question: just how bright is our future? 


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Incandescent

About the author

Anna Levin

Anna Levin is a writer with a special interest in people’s connection with the natural world, and she makes complex scientific subjects interesting and accessible to a general readership.

A former section editor with BBC Wildlife, Anna now writes for a variety of publications and environmental organisations – including eight years as a contributing editor with the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh. In 2014, she collaborated with renowned wildlife photographer Laurie Campbell for the book Otters: Return to the River.

Praise for Anna Levin’s previous book, Otters: Return to the River:

“Stunning . . . a unique insight into these elusive animals.” BBC Wildlife Magazine

“Captivating . . . a beautiful insight into behaviour that the rest of us would barely glimpse.” BBC Countryfile Magazine

“Anna has caught the master at his trade and the rippling River Tweed and its lissom otters, and blended them together in these pages so that we can all be out there, with the dew forming on Laurie’s long vigils, silent as snow, watching, watching…” Sir John Lister-Kaye