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BUG rating: what it is and why it is important

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28 April 2023

BUG rating: what it is and why it is important

Discover Linea Light Group's BUG0 products!

The BUG Rating system, developed by the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) and the International Dark Sky Association, is used to rank lighting products according to their ability to reduce backlighting, light emitted upwards (Uplight) and glare (Glare). This means that when the three values refer to the factors mentioned abovere ferring are within the optimal range, the product minimises direct and diffuse light emission upwards and backwards, helping to limit light pollution and improve the quality of the night environment.

Through the term "BUG Rating", in the lighting world, we want to refer to the three main factors that contribute to light pollution, namely Backlight, Uplight and Glare. Backlight: refers to the backlighting emitted by the luminaire, better known by the English term "Light Trespass", due to the reflection of light generated by the surface of the luminaire, resulting in the so-called "halo" effect around the product. Uplight: refers to light that is emitted upwards, in the direction of the night sky, instead of downwards where it is needed. This light can cause a diffuse brightness in the night sky, interfering with the observation of stars and astronomical events. The uplight is considered high when the angle of the light emitted upwards varies between 100° and 180°, while it is low when the values are between 90° and 100° Glare: refers to frontal light glare, which causes discomfort or temporary blindness to observers, especially when driving or using devices that require good vision.

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When the BUG rating of a lighting product is equal to 0, the product does not emit light in the direction of the night sky (uplight), does not create reflection or glare (glare) and does not emit light towards the rear of the product (backlight). In other words, the lighting product is designed to limit light pollution and its negative environmental and health consequences. A product with a BUG rating of 0 is considered an environmentally friendly lighting product because it minimises light pollution and reduces the negative effects of artificial light on the environment. These lighting products are often used in sensitive areas such as parks, nature reserves, astronomical observatories and residential areas, where light pollution can have a significant impact on quality of life and the night-time environment.

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In general, lighting products with a BUG rating of 0 offer numerous advantages in terms of both environmental quality of life and energy efficiency, making them a preferred choice in many applications. Here are some of the most important benefits:

- Environmentally friendly: lighting products with a low BUG rating contribute to limiting light pollution, preserving the surrounding flora and fauna, nature in general and the night sky

- Improved quality of life: artificial light can have a significant impact on health and quality of life, e.g. disturbing sleep or causing vision problems. Lighting products with a low BUG rating reduce these negative effects, helping to create a more comfortable and safe night environment for humans.

- Improved visibility: lighting products with a low BUG rating reduce the risk of glare and improve visibility, ensuring greater safety for drivers, pedestrians and road users.


Linea Light Group offers numerous bug 0 products, find out which ones:

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