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Jette becomes orange light district to protect bats and other nocturnal creatures

Bat Light District Brussels
17:16 30/04/2021

Some 30 street lamps are being equipped with wildlife-friendly orange LED lights along Avenue du Sacré-Coeur in Jette, announced the municipality in a statement on Friday.

The Bat Light District conservation project will help safeguard the nocturnal animals in the urban neighbourhood. Up to 20 of the protected species have been recorded in Brussels.

Traditional white lighting is too bright and puts the flying mammals at risk of becoming easy prey for raptors. Artificial illumination of the night sky also shortens the dark periods necessary for bats to hunt. They can eat up to 3,000 insects per night, thereby playing an essential role in the ecosystem and biodiversity of the capital.

Installation of the new lights began on April 26 and should be finished in six weeks’ time, confirmed Sibelga, the company that manages Brussels’ gas and electricity distribution network.

It is the first such installation for a residential area of the city, following similar projects in parts of the Sonian Forest that border Auderghem and Watermael-Boitsfort.

Orange-shaded Light-Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs remain just as effective for road users as the traditional white lighting.

Photo: Getty Images © Joe McDonald

Written by Sarah Crew