Night Time Lights Satellite Imagery – Co2 Emissions From Outdoor Lighting

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Nighttime lights come in many shapes and sizes. They are a great way to add safety and security, not only when walking home from the store, but also while walking around your neighborhood or even at your apartment. Some night-time lights look like lanterns with their soft light shining up and down the street as well as flashing and dancing in the moonlight. Other night-time lights are installed in such a way that they are out in plain view and you can use them as a beacon if you are lost. Whatever your reason for having night-time lights installed in your yard, elvidge et al is the place to go. Visit BetterLumen for more information.

A common question asked about these lights is why do people want them so badly? Well, statistics and public relations tell us why we need these nighttime illumination fixtures. Public relations tell us that most burglaries take place at night and that lights help keep intruders away. Statistics also tell us that most reported home invasions and burglaries take place at night. So then what’s the big deal? Why do we need these lights at all?

This is the beauty of the research done by David Nevogt: he created a Google scholar searchable database to allow for easy access to research papers on nighttime lights. The results speak for themselves: there is tons of information on this topic. A quick internet search using elvidge as my keyword brings up my website which features nighttime satellite images of my hometown. I also have a webpage dedicated to nighttime illumination and how it can increase energy consumption. Other websites offer literature on this topic as well.

There is also a paper published by economists John Van Ryswyk and Michael Kruger concerning the correlation between nighttime light and crime rates. The researchers studied the correlation between GDP, economic growth, population size, time of day, proximity to major transportation (train, bus, etc.) and crime rates in twenty largest cities across the US. They found a strong negative and positive correlation between these variables and nighttime GDTs.

So, what does this mean for us? The obvious benefit to our homes is that we can keep unwanted intruders out with the help of night-time lights satellite imagery. Of course, it should be noted that there are drawbacks to co2 detection as well. A more recent paper by Demetri Kosterman and Evan Sanderoff suggests that we can use remote sensing to make co2 detection less necessary.

By creating synthetic imagery, we can remove the human element from the equation. The nice thing about utilizing Google Earth Engine, and turning it into a data warehouse is that it’s easy to access any information we want. We can analyze the nighttime imagery data in the same way we would with any other data set: analyze geographical, atmospheric, and historical data. Once we have the right co2 fingerprints extracted, we can take all of the necessary steps to eliminate them, and significantly reduce the chances of human infiltration.


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