Our planet is lit up 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We're addicted to light and we just can't get enough of it. But like anything else that's addictive, could too much be a bad thing?
For our entire history we have lived and worked in rhythm with the rising and setting of the sun. But all that changed with the invention of artificial light nearly 130 years ago. Light fixtures, computer screens, television screens – all of these have allowed us more time to live, work, play and extend the length of our days. And shorten our nights. But at what cost? Are we actually putting ourselves at risk?
Recently scientists have been discovering that exposure to artificial light at night, even the glow of a cell phone or computer screen, can throw our internal body clock out of sync with the planet and may even be leading to serious illnesses like cancer, obesity, heart disease and certain forms of depression.
With nearly 20 percent of Canadians working night shifts to maintain our 24-hour world, it is now more crucial than ever to find safe and effective answers to what some scientists refer to as an "environmental insult" to our health.
Lights Out! joins leading scientists in the lab and in the field to discover how much harm light at night may be causing and to learn about the ground-breaking steps being taken to protect ourselves. We work the nightshift at the Bruce Nuclear Power Plant, go for a ridealong with 18-wheeler truckers on a cross continental run, and meet a New Orleans scientist who fights cancer by day and plays trumpet with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band by night! We discover that danger hot spots are everywhere – from the illumination in the hospital ICU to the tiny screens of our mobile devices. What can we do about an environmental hazard that we just can't seem to live without? Lights Out! ventures into the darker side of light to search for answers.