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#26 derangedhermit

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 02:23 PM

Driving a vehicle down a public road and using traffic lights at intersections fall outside my definition (and I think, for example, the IDA's definition) of light pollution. (Provided the lights are properly aligned and shielded, of course.)

Almost all interior lighting also falls outside my definition of light pollution. People may be interfering with their own natural cycles of sleep, but that's their business. I can imagine exceptions to this, where interior lighting should be held to the same standard as exterior lighting (e.g. no "light trespass").

I'm even willing to give a pass on light reflected from ground surfaces, provided the light itself is behaving properly - not too bright for the need, and full-cutoff - provided the surface needs to be illuminated at all.

To me these limits on what I call "light pollution", and a few more, like light intruding on others' property, define a balance between the benefits of lighting and the drawbacks.

In one sense it is true that any artificial light at night that escapes into the atmosphere outside a closed space is light pollution. But I don't see the need for dark skies as an absolute need overriding all others, and I don't see calling people driving vehicles at night "light polluters" helpful to making the skies as dark as possible.

We each emit CO2 when we exhale. Since the EPA now considers CO2 a pollutant, are all human beings now subject to derogatory terms?

I've been down this road with ardent environmentalists before, and the logical conclusion is the extermination of the species - nothing else is sufficient.

#27 panhard

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 09:17 AM

We could get along quite nicely with half of the street lights on streets where there are other forms of lighting. Car dealerships and plazas are the first sources of light that comes to mind.

#28 FirstSight

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 09:24 AM

That's why it is so important to encourage people, especially young people, to get to a black or gray zone sky--to see the beauty of the night sky, to see it's possibilities and wonder. Continuous observing under a white zone sky produces a skewed vision of what astronomy can be, increases acceptance of diminished skies, and suppresses a vivid sense of the need for change....


The vast majority of urban/suburban teens and early twenty-somethings lack ANY ability to recognize anything in the night sky beyond superficial familiarity with the moon. Bright as Jupiter is in the months when it's up in the early night sky, vanishingly few can recognize even that, or even recognize Venus as something other than simply a very bright star. They do probably remember the Big Dipper from some trip to a rural location, but that's about it as far as constellations.

The natural dark night sky (or even a moderately light-pollution compromised version thereof where the major constellations are still easily recognizable) is simply not part of their experience, except for infrequent brief outings to rural areas (and even then it's not something that truly engages their attention beyond "isn't that lovely to see so many stars").

I really wish this wasn't so, and the several dozen to couple hundred who will occasionally turn out for public outreach events encouragingly tempt me toward optimism, but the hard reality is that we're not successfully engaging more than a small fraction of the public toward increased awareness of and interest in the true night sky.

#29 FirstSight

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 09:38 AM

OTOH, there are a few perverse bonuses in being among the relatively few who know the night sky. In the current (June '13) night sky, you can astound people by pointing out that the yellowish "star" high in the southern sky is the planet Saturn. As long as you find a graceful way to segue conversation into pointing that out, and the person(s) you're talking to at least superficially appreciate the loveliness of the evening sky, you can usually elicit a pleasantly astonished reaction from them (no s**& that's Saturn?)

#30 csrlice12

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 10:10 AM

Get some people to truely dark skies and you'd better bring a lot of toilet paper.....

I have a nephew who likes his binoculars to view the moon and Jupiter and will take looks in the scope at home when I set it up....but if I ask him if he wants to go to the dark site.....not interested at all at "being out in the middle of nowhere"....go figure....

#31 audioaficionado

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 03:37 PM

Lots of black skies in my region. Can't see anyone moving there or the few towns growing very fast. No jobs, little water, far from civilization. Few people going out there as it is a bit of a hassle driving a few hours just to see the stars.

Safety wise you are on your own if you happen to encounter a criminal or predator. It is still more dangerous near the populated regions as they have enough light to target their next victims and a higher density of criminals to encounter. As local safety budgets are cut, the criminals are getting bolder due to early releases and lack of patrols or legal consequences.

I have lots of wonderful memories of sleeping in my backyard looking up into the sky and seeing lots of stars and the milky way. Now I can only see the brightest stars.

I hope the LEDs don't enable the lights to get even brighter because of safety demands and lower energy costs. Even directional lighting will bounce back up off the ground if bright enough and in the bluer spectrum.

#32 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 03:42 PM

I hope the LEDs don't enable the lights to get even brighter because of safety demands and lower energy costs. Even directional lighting will bounce back up off the ground if bright enough and in the bluer spectrum.



That's a sobbering thought. Darn

Jon

#33 ColoHank

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 06:08 PM

Pogo said it best: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

#34 Tony Flanders

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 06:48 AM

We each emit CO2 when we exhale. Since the EPA now considers CO2 a pollutant, are all human beings now subject to derogatory terms?


Many of us also emit large quantities of methane, a much more potent greenhouse gas. :ooo:

Seriously, though ...

Either side of this, taken to its logical extreme, becomes ridiculous. Of course it's reasonable to place restrictions on the amount of light pollution that individuals create, just as it's reasonable to prohibit people from blasting loud rock music out their windows at 3 a.m. Equally obvious, prohibiting all light pollution is neither practical nor morally defensible.

Balance in all things.

#35 ColoHank

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 12:42 PM

Equally obvious, prohibiting all light pollution is neither practical nor morally defensible.



One man's irritant is another man's comfort and security. Prohibiting the use of artificial light is obviously not defensible, but attempting to prohibit light pollution (or any other kind of unwanted contamination or intrusion, for that matter) certainly is. Also indefensible is the failure of or outright refusal of the powers-that-be who have passed reasonable light-pollution ordinances to enforce them.

#36 derangedhermit

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 03:51 PM

Tony, I agree, that was exactly my point. We have to balance priorities as individuals and as a society.

Hank, I think governments do great harm to their citizens when they have laws and do not enforce them, for whatever reason, on whatever topic. If they can't or won't enforce it, then they should get it off the books.

Lee

#37 Dennis Kuefner

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 04:36 PM

Talk about remembering the way it was. Those of us old enough remember an era before interstate highways, malls, strip malls, businesses open 24/7, businesses open on Sundays. During the week businesses would close in the evening and would only be open half a day on Saturday. Seems we are paying the price for success and advancement. Yes there are still pristine areas, lets try to save what's still there. I have been to places where you could read the Wall Street Journal by the light of the milky way. Currently I in a yellow/green area which is fine. I have it better seeing than those city dwellers but still poorer than others. Remember that this problem has been around a while. Remember when they built "the perfect machine" the 200 inch they already ruled out Passadena for light pollution from L. A.

#38 audioaficionado

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 05:53 PM

Tony, I agree, that was exactly my point. We have to balance priorities as individuals and as a society.

Hank, I think governments do great harm to their citizens when they have laws and do not enforce them, for whatever reason, on whatever topic. If they can't or won't enforce it, then they should get it off the books.

Lee


They need those laws on the books so they can selectively enforce 'em as they see fit.

#39 amicus sidera

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 10:12 PM

They need those laws on the books so they can selectively enforce 'em as they see fit.


+1.

Fred

#40 csrlice12

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 09:18 AM

"We'll start enforcing them as soon as the money to not enforce them quits coming in"

#41 George N

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 11:53 AM

I don't think it's surprising that getting good anti-LP laws is only the first step for "anti-LP activists". The next step, just as important, is to insure that they are enforced. In some cases it's a matter of highway and other public departments not knowing how to comply.

I see on the RPI (my alma mater) Lighting Center website that they offer a lighting design and consulting service tailored to help local and state governments comply with existing anti-LP law. This seems to be mostly aimed at those New England states and localities that have added such laws in recent years.

BTW the RPI center also is pushing their design for "smart street-lighting" wherein traffic and weather sensors and computer software tailor each LED street-light to the brightness needed for current conditions (as determined by their engineering studies). Basically, no traffic - the system turns the lights off, etc.

#42 csrlice12

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 01:01 PM

Of the three street lights surrounding my property, I like the one that burnt out the best.....

#43 schinia

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 09:45 AM

now that gives me an idea!

#44 richard7

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 10:57 AM

now that gives me an idea!


Oh please. Let's not head in that direction.

#45 schinia

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 11:30 AM

contrary to opinion, and sayings, the meek will never inherit the earth,and if you give a person enough rope he will hang himself. NOOO, he will hang YOU !

#46 Starlon

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 02:27 PM

http://www.gizmag.co...reetlamp/27246/

For astronomers, a well-lit city means a sky unavailable for study.

The proposed street lamp loses only two percent of its light as direct pollution and reduces energy consumption by 40 to 60 percent. LED street lamp design based on a three-part lighting fixture, with the first part containing a cluster of high-efficiency LEDs. These use Total Internal Reflection (TIR) lenses, which focuses the light into parallel rays. The LEDs are mounted inside a reflecting cavity that helps keep the light from scattering and, as it leaves the unit, light is passed through a diffuser to reduce glare. According to the team, this design allows the lamp to project a uniform rectangle of light over a given area.


Another good article: http://www.osa.org/e..._led_streetl...

The.. leading nations around the planet are continually advancing their nations technology. Although we in the USA could have been at the cutting edge of so very many things - our.. nation's handlers deem to continue using their old infrastructure and old technologies.

We could be building a maglev transport system too. But..






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