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Spoelstra, H. (2014). New device for monitoring the colors of the night. Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, 139, 82–89.
Abstract: The introduction of LED lighting in the outdoor environment may increase the amount of blue light in the night sky color spectrum. This can cause more light pollution due to Rayleigh scattering of the shorter wavelengths. Blue light may also have an impact on circadian rhythm of humans due to the suppression of melatonin. At present no long-term data sets of the color spectrum of the night sky are available. In order to facilitate the monitoring of levels and variations in the night sky spectrum, a low cost multi-filter instrument has been developed. Design considerations are described as well as the choice of suitable filters, which are critical â especially in the green wavelength band from 500 to 600 nm. Filters from the optical industry were chosen for this band because available astronomical filters exclude some or all of the low and high-pressure sodium lines from lamps, which are important in light pollution research. Correction factors are calculated to correct for the detector response and filter transmissions. Results at a suburban monitoring station showed that the light levels between 500 and 600 nm are dominant during clear and cloudy skies. The relative contribution of blue light increases with a clear moonless night sky. The change in color spectrum of the night sky under moonlit skies is more complex and is still under study.