Let us make the nights dark again

Bastian Groiss

The one thing that stands out about candlelight is that it is appropriate; it is the biological match for light at night. Mainly because it is calming, it is regenerative, it is slow (long wavelength). It is not adding to the already frantic pace of modern life. Artificial light, especially at night, is a big stressor! Perhaps we are so jacked up on cortisol all day, chasing our tail, so to speak, that we need the extra kick from blue light not to crash.

Sitting in a spa pool in the evening in winter brought home how appropriate firelight is. Any spectrum of light with blue and green wavelengths, especially with a high luminosity, feels like an assault on my eyes and senses. It feels out of context, misplaced and wrong.

Why would you want glaring brightness at night? Why would you want to see everything in detail as if it were daytime? Hasn’t the night descended? Where is the mystery? Where is the change of pace? Why do we resist slowing down? Why do we want to bathe everything in an aggressive light? Do we really want to live in such a laboratory setting? And how can people seriously believe that turning the night into daytime conditions has no negative impact? How come that so-called night owls need light (and perhaps other stimulants) to keep going at night? Have you considered that real owls require darkness at night and sleep during the day? Why do we try so hard to be species inappropriate? Why do we insist on creating our own rules? It is fine to do that as a teenager, but how long do we keep rebelling and against whom and what? Is it not strange that the few who want to live naturally and species-appropriate are the odd ones now? We surely went astray a long time ago if we insist on turning the night into day.

I, for one, am happy and relieved to have found my way back. We need bearings and support to navigate this crazy society we created. Let the change of night and day be a guidepost, a delineator by which to orient. Let us make the nights dark again.

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