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General Astronomy >> Light Pollution

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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory
      #5980735 - 07/20/13 12:21 AM

I observe most often from my front yard. Not ideal, but the 80 foot trees in my backyard aren't coming down (we like the shade in summer), and even if they were down, other trees wouldn't change the view much.

My neighbor to my north has a post lamp they leave on 24/7/365. Yes, even on during the day. I FINALLY approached them about it at a recent party, and she said that if they turn it off, the light bulbs burn out faster and don't last, so they leave it on because it's cheaper to pay for the electricity than keep replacing the bulbs.

Okay, I actually understand that.

But they had left a VERY bright bulb on - a 60W equivalent CFL. It was so bright, I could read a book in my living room with all MY lights off. And despite observing from the opposite side of my yard, well - yeah, it's hard to escape that kind of illumination from only 60 or 70 feet away.

I had asked them about the silver-crown bulbs, and if they might consider installing one that I provided. You know, these:



I talked about how the light shines into my daughter's room, affecting her sleep. Well, my mom (GRRRR) was at this party, and said, "Oh, well they don't need to use that - I made those light-block curtains for your daughter."



I love my mom. But dang... I couldn't believe she said that, and completely undermined my point to my neighbor at that moment.

So, that killed my opportunity then. But I got another one earlier this week. Their bulb burned out. Here's the funny thing - it was out for several days, and they didn't even NOTICE it was out. Because when I went over to offer a (free to her / offered by me) silver crown bulb, she said, "Oh, I didn't notice it was out." (To which I thought - then why do you leave it on? But I kept my mouth shut.)

Anyway, she kind of rolled her eyes at the bulb, because she probably remembered what my mom had said. But I said, "Just try it - see if you like it." I honestly didn't expect her to use it. But tonight!! Yes, the bulb was in. It was amazing how my yard had transformed.

It was MUCH darker.

I walked over to their yard. And you know what? You could see there. Nicely lit. Not terribly bright, but no glare, and the sidewalk and their driveway was nicely lit up, fading off as the light got to my yard. To me, it's the best of both worlds - they get the light they want, I get a darker yard. And all their light only goes down - no uplighting either. Everyone wins.

But, it may only be temporary. They may hate the bulb and light. For tonight though, it was great. I just hope it lasts!

Small victory, and perhaps temporary, but I will be approaching a couple of other neighbors with free, provided-by-me silver crown bulbs for their post lamps - and neighbors I know to be more open to them too.


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richard7Moderator
Not Quite
*****

Reged: 11/02/07

Loc: Sacramento
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: magic612]
      #5981873 - 07/20/13 07:22 PM

I'm glad to see they worked for you however, out here Incandescent bulds are close to being removed from store shelves.
Yessir, California is leading the way to alternate, energy saving lighting. And different forms of LP.


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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: richard7]
      #5982099 - 07/20/13 09:56 PM

Well, Richard it was even shorter-lived than I feared it might be. They had already changed the bulb back by this morning. So I nicely went over to ask if the bulb had burned out prematurely (making sure to come over with a friendly offering of a beer) and the neighbor said, "No, it wasn't that - we didn't like it, it was too dim." So I said that wasn't a problem - I have a brighter one I could offer him - again, free.

He sort of stiffened up, and I could tell immediately he got into a defensive posture, so I tried to tread very carefully. I calmly explained that I want him to be able to have light on his driveway. I simply don't want his light in my daughter's second floor bedroom, or across my lawn. He told me I should get shades for our curtains. I said that it is not just that - I use telescopes, and the light affects observing. He is more than welcome to light up his driveway, and I want him to be able to do that - I just don't want his light on my property.

He pointed to the streetlamp, and said, "What about that?" (It is, admittedly, a bother too.) I said I am working with the village and the electric company to have that changed as well (which is true - I have been... for a LONG time). He laughed and said, "They aren't going to change that for you." I said, "Maybe not, but I'm simply asking you if we can come to a reasonable solution where you can light your driveway, but not light up my house."

He said he'd consider it, but not to be "mad" if he changed it right back.



Let's just say I'm not hopeful. Good grief... sometimes this feels like the most hopeless fight ever.

I know it's not. But I know my next step is gathering some people around town, and working on changes at the local ordinance level, something I know I will have limited opportunity to work on until next spring, based on my upcoming schedule.

Ugh.

Not a good night. Sorry everyone - I hate to be a downer.


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herrointment
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/12/11

Loc: North of Hwy. 64
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: magic612]
      #5982272 - 07/21/13 12:51 AM

Small steps.....

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obin robinson
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/25/12

Loc: League City, TX
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: herrointment]
      #5982526 - 07/21/13 08:05 AM

Asking you to install blinds because he wants to leave his lights on is like asking him to permanently close his windows so you can leave music on all night long. He would be annoyed if he had super sensitive hearing and you left music on all night long aimed at his house.

if I were you I would give him one more chance. I would go to the local ordinances and write a complaint to the police department. That will permanently fix his light. You were nice above and beyond what was required. Now it is time to let other people do their jobs as well.

obin


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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: obin robinson]
      #5982970 - 07/21/13 12:55 PM

Quote:

Small steps.....




I thought that's what I was doing.


Quote:

Asking you to install blinds because he wants to leave his lights on is like asking him to permanently close his windows so you can leave music on all night long. He would be annoyed if he had super sensitive hearing and you left music on all night long aimed at his house.




Across the street from them is a house that used to have dogs that would bark at all hours of the night. They never said anything about the dogs, while the neighbor across from us - somewhat farther from the dogs-house - routinely heard them and complained. I think my "bad-lights" neighbor doesn't care about either noise or light, or their intrusion of other people's rights or needs. It will be an uphill battle, I'm afraid.

Quote:

if I were you I would give him one more chance.




Well, this was my third time approaching them about the light in two months. I don't think a fourth time is going to do anything but annoy them at this point.

Quote:

I would go to the local ordinances and write a complaint to the police department. That will permanently fix his light. You were nice above and beyond what was required. Now it is time to let other people do their jobs as well.




Oh, I have a little bit more complete plan than just that. This is my thought process for now, partly due to the time it will take me to make this happen (we don't change minds overnight):

1) For several months - likely into late fall - I will be placing posters around town, pointing out how light at night (LAN) is dangerous to human health / disrupts sleep / etc. As they are taken down, I will replace them with new facts. For the time being, I will only include web addresses that back up the facts so people can research them more.
2) After that time period, and when it is getting dark during the early evening (late fall / early winter) I will start placing posters asking if people have LAN shining into their windows, and if so, to take a picture and contact me at an email address
3) Gathering that support, I will have a meeting with all of those folks, and see who can help in what ways, but specifically with regard to contacting local politicians and/or speaking at local board meetings
4) Set up a presentation at a local board meeting to talk about this issue, having raised the public profile of the issue, discussing the point that this isn't about removing light, just asking light owners to only light up their property (I will talk about lumens too, but the point is the direction of the lighting). Also, about the waste of money for the village (it may or may not be flat rate, so I'll have to research that more).

In the meantime, continue to contact my local electric company about the streetlights in town. And also, use the "kill with kindness" method with my neighbor, and hope that that produces better results, and if it doesn't, then the "changing the ordinances" part will happen at just the right time, hopefully by some time next year.

That's my plan for now. Any thoughts on that would be appreciated - good / bad / adjustments, whatever.


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obin robinson
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/25/12

Loc: League City, TX
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: magic612]
      #5982981 - 07/21/13 01:07 PM

That sounds like a great plan! Let us know if it works. If it does I'll copy your idea and do it here.

obin


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Gil V
sage


Reged: 09/09/12

Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: obin robinson]
      #5983094 - 07/21/13 02:23 PM

You should invite him over to use your scope. You could ask him if he would consider leaving the light off on those nights you observe.

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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: Gil V]
      #5983194 - 07/21/13 03:25 PM

Already done that, many times. Zero interest on their part. And they want the light on 24/7/365. You know, burglars and all, despite the fact that have negligible crime here.

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obin robinson
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/25/12

Loc: League City, TX
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: magic612]
      #5983197 - 07/21/13 03:26 PM

Tell them to just put a motion sensor on their light.

obin


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REC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: obin robinson]
      #5983230 - 07/21/13 03:51 PM

This is a very good story and I'm glad I stopped by today as I don't normally check out this page every time I log in. I have the same problem in my neighborhood and when I ask some of them to please turn out the light if not needing it because of my astronomy habits. My next door neighbor of who I share my yard with is pretty good about keeping his single yard light off most of the time. They go out some at night to smoke, but usually keep the lights off cause they don't want to attract more bugs! The problem with them sometimes comes from their very bright kitchen lights that light up my backyard too much when they have them on and have NO curtains or shades on the windows and patio doors. Asking them to turn them down is a touchy subject....so I have to be wary of that as they are my friends as well. While I'm at it, their trees are getting to big asn now starting to block the southern sky some. I'm going to have to start moving my scope to work around that if I want to study that part of the sky.

Anyway, sorry for the long rant....but where can I buy those those silver-crown bulbs, Lowe's, Home Depot ect? What wattage do they come in? This may be a good solution for some neighbors.....if I can get them to do it?

Thanks,

Bob


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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: REC]
      #5983239 - 07/21/13 04:00 PM

Hi Bob,

Check out these links - not sure how much longer they'll be available, as things going to CFL's in many areas may change what can be purchased or used. But for now, it's an option:

http://1000bulbs.com/category/silver-bowl-decorative-globe-light-bulbs/

http://www.lightbulbemporium.com/satco_s3862_60g25_sl.asp


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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: magic612]
      #5983364 - 07/21/13 05:50 PM

Hi Dave,

There is at least one silver bowl CFL available in the US now:

http://www.genesislamp.com/sibocofllibu.html

And I believe that "crown silver" LED bulbs are currently available in the UK.

Geoff


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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: barasits]
      #5983535 - 07/21/13 07:39 PM

Oh, that's fantastic Geoff! Thank you for directing me to that. I will add that to my site. VERY much appreciated!

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Eric63
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/16/12

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: magic612]
      #5983601 - 07/21/13 08:29 PM

I Applaud your patience and diplomacy Dave. In my neighbourhood the homes are very close together and if outdoor lights don't cause a problem then it's indoor lighting coming from windows with no shades.

I have talked with neighbours about their outdoor lights. One lets be put a plastic plant pot over the light while I observe (because he is away often and leaves it on) and the other just keeps it off. But more an more people are changing to high power fluorescent white bulbs. The woman across the street now has high power fluorescent lights (100 watts or more) and I have just about given up. Ten minutes away by car is a dirt road with little to no traffic and no lights. I now go there when I want to observe. Unfortunately this also means that I observe less since I don't always want to pack up and go to a site, but the experience is better.
Also, there are less thermals from observing over roofs!

Best of luck Dave I hope this works out for you.

Eric

P.S. Now if I lived in a rural sub-division where neighbours are farther apart and one would expect a darker yard, I think that I would fight it like you are doing!


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hfjacinto
I think he's got it!
*****

Reged: 01/12/09

Loc: Land of clouds and LP
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: magic612]
      #5983620 - 07/21/13 08:46 PM

If I can get the street light changed to a full cut off you can too. I just said it shined into my bedroom and I couldn't sleep , it took several months but it got changed. Neighbors are hard. I can't help you there.

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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: Eric63]
      #5983632 - 07/21/13 08:53 PM

Thank you Eric. I really did try very hard to be both diplomatic and very fair to them, even conceding that I understand they want to light their driveway, and I don't have a problem with that.

It's really a matter of education. Okay, so I need to get my butt in gear and educate more people. Fine. This is apparently the impetus I needed to get going on that.

See attached poster. I'll be putting these up around town at the local spots where people put things up (grocery store / drug store / post office). I'll keep putting up new/different ones as they get torn/taken down. And then I'll move to step 2 that I laid out above.

I guess I just needed a fire lit under me. Okay... I'm moving!! (Not that "Eyes on the Sky" doesn't take me a ton of time each week as it is.)



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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #5983636 - 07/21/13 08:55 PM

Quote:

If I can get the street light changed to a full cut off you can too. I just said it shined into my bedroom and I couldn't sleep , it took several months but it got changed. Neighbors are hard. I can't help you there.




I'm still working on it. The problem is, I asked them specifically to CALL me, so that I would know when they were coming out. They ignored my first two requests. The next one, they showed up AS I was arriving at work (my wife did her best; she called me when they got there).

It's a struggle just to get them to take the problem seriously. They think if the light works, there's no problem.


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NicolasKL
member


Reged: 01/15/13

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: magic612]
      #5987107 - 07/23/13 11:31 PM

Quote:


That's my plan for now. Any thoughts on that would be appreciated - good / bad / adjustments, whatever.




Good luck. I wouldn't get my hopes up. On any of it.


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Gil V
sage


Reged: 09/09/12

Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: NicolasKL]
      #5987481 - 07/24/13 08:20 AM

Rob their house. Then, they will see that the light doesn't deter crime.

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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: Gil V]
      #5987772 - 07/24/13 12:14 PM

I looked at my local ordinances. There is one that deals with off street parking, and that light for off street parking should not create a "nuisance" or shine onto residential properties. It's not much to go on, but it's a start, so I contacted our village administrator by email yesterday, detailing the problem and sent him a picture of the lights. I have yet to hear back from him, but he has always gotten back to me on problems in the past, so we'll see what he recommends in terms of moving forward.

Failing that, I'll implement my campaign to get the codes revised/updated/strengthened. I have three posters made up so far (including the one above). Will update as I learn more and proceed.


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obin robinson
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/25/12

Loc: League City, TX
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: Gil V]
      #5988393 - 07/24/13 08:03 PM

Quote:

Rob their house. Then, they will see that the light doesn't deter crime.




LOL! I know you're joking but I have to admit that it was pretty funny.

obin


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herrointment
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/12/11

Loc: North of Hwy. 64
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: obin robinson]
      #5988542 - 07/24/13 09:41 PM

You, Sir, deserve and I hope will recieve the best possible outcome in this matter.

I, myself would be more than happy to chip in on a bribe for the fellow.....if that's what it would take.

Bribes work wonders worldwide.

Good Luck, Dave!


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REC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: magic612]
      #5989393 - 07/25/13 11:38 AM

That's an interesting idea about the ordinance. Where do you think I can start "digging" into these in my city?

Bob


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richard7Moderator
Not Quite
*****

Reged: 11/02/07

Loc: Sacramento
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: REC]
      #5989697 - 07/25/13 02:42 PM

Quote:

That's an interesting idea about the ordinance. Where do you think I can start "digging" into these in my city?

Bob




Try doing a web search for your city and/or state outdoor lighting regulations.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: richard7]
      #5989823 - 07/25/13 03:36 PM

Hey, have frequent star parties at your house and invite everyone who has one of those coffee grinder mounts........

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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: richard7]
      #5990211 - 07/25/13 08:10 PM

Quote:

Quote:

That's an interesting idea about the ordinance. Where do you think I can start "digging" into these in my city?

Bob




Try doing a web search for your city and/or state outdoor lighting regulations.




Yup - I had looked at mine before. I just typed in my city, state and then local ordinances or something like that. Usually they can be found from your municipality's home page, though sometimes that can take some digging to find them. But most places have them posted in PDF form or some other format.

Once I had the right section, I just did some Ctrl-F searches using "light" or "lighting" to find the relevant sub-sections quickly.


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Astro88
member


Reged: 08/30/09

Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: REC]
      #5990227 - 07/25/13 08:26 PM

Quote:

That's an interesting idea about the ordinance. Where do you think I can start "digging" into these in my city?

Bob





Try http://www.municode.com


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Jeff Phinney
super member


Reged: 02/20/13

Loc: CA
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: Astro88]
      #5990255 - 07/25/13 08:44 PM

Have you tried "light trespass" as a search term?

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REC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: Astro88]
      #5999930 - 07/31/13 11:53 AM

Hey, thanks for the tip on the municode and will start there!

Bob


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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: REC]
      #6044320 - 08/24/13 10:10 PM

Update:

I did receive a note back from the Village Administrator, the day after my initial email. His response was basically, we'll do an investigation of the neighbor's lights and get that started, but the streetlight is the electric company's deal - we sent your info to them so they can contact you.

In the interim, the electric company DID come out to look at the streetlight. Two things about that: 1) They NEVER contacted me ahead of time and 2) My kids - who did a nice job of at least trying with the electric company dude since I wasn't there - relayed the information they said, which was essentially, "The Village tells us what to do here about streetlights - there's nothing we can do."

So I'm getting a big runaround, as you can see.

When that happened, I recontacted the Village Administrator, detailing that information, and asking how the neighbor light investigation was going. That was two weeks ago. I STILL had not heard anything as of yesterday, the most recent business day.

So today, a full MONTH after I initiated contact, I wrote this response:

Quote:

"Dear Mr. [Village Administrator]

Exactly one month ago today, I contacted you regarding the lights shining into my daughter's bedroom window. In that time, ComEd has come out and said they will do nothing without village approval. I wrote to you about that 2 weeks ago. I am also still waiting for a Village response in regards to the review you indicated you would initiate back on July 24. It is now August 24.

I feel confident that if there was loud music playing at night or other noise disturbances, the police would be on scene within a matter of minutes. I suppose because it is light - which is actually more harmful than sound, based on some recent research linking it to breast and prostate cancer, not to mention sleep disorders (see this link http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3002207/ ) - there is less urgency, as it only affects those in direct line-of-sight?

Please, I am asking for your help. I would like this problem resolved, and the Village Code certainly appears to support my position that these lights are a nuisance and should be changed / remedied. This is a simple problem to resolve; the lights either need to be changed, or shielded so they aim down at the ground. I am not asking for them to be off. I am asking for them to light the ground underneath where they are located, and simply keep light from going into a SECOND floor window, where it is neither wanted nor needed. If you drive through Route [XX] in [ABCCity] when it is raining at night or see the new, black post lamps installed in the Village of [XYZABC], you can see how better lights make it easier to see, as there is less glare due to the well-shielded lights. Even the lights at [12345] Dodge here in [our village] are well-shielded, ensuring they light up ONLY the area on the ground below them, and not residences nearby.

[The electric company] has thrown the ball back into your court. Please help me in this matter, and let me know where things stand so I do not feel as if nothing is being done. The Village Code backs me up here - it would seem that this should be a simple matter to resolve. Please let me know what the hold-up is here.

And I should add that since we are nearing autumn, the streetlight at [CROSS STREETS] will be shining into my own bedroom window from over 100 feet away when the leaves fall off the trees. Note that better shielded lights use less energy as well, because they aren't shining light needlessly up into the air.




I am providing all of this info so others can use this language if they wish, and to keep going even when things move slowly. Because I WILL make a difference in my neighborhood, my town, and ideally over a wider area. I just know it will be VERY slow going, and will take a long time to get things changed.

This is encouragement from me to others to KEEP AT IT.


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REC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: magic612]
      #6045004 - 08/25/13 11:21 AM

THAT is an excellent letter!

Thanks for sharing:)

Bob


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richard7Moderator
Not Quite
*****

Reged: 11/02/07

Loc: Sacramento
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: REC]
      #6045265 - 08/25/13 02:08 PM

Valiant effort if it works or not.
Keep us informed.

Edited by richard7 (08/25/13 02:09 PM)


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John Fitzgerald
In Focus
*****

Reged: 01/04/04

Loc: AR
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: richard7]
      #6046025 - 08/25/13 09:29 PM

I am simply going to move, dome and all, to a better site. Set to close on the new place late this week. No covenants either. Have you ever thought of moving? Sometimes that is the better solution.

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magic612
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Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: John Fitzgerald]
      #6046113 - 08/25/13 10:22 PM

Thanks for the kudos. I suppose I have a pretty good gift for writing stuff like that.

I don't plan to move. One of my kids is still in school - we are not gonna move just for me, based on the lighting. Plus, I feel like that's what a lot of amateur astronomers wind up doing, one way or the other. Rather than meeting the problem head-on, we go away from it. Eventually, we're going to run out of places to go, if all of us leave for darker skies. And the light will follow us, because no one will be speaking up against it.

John, I don't mean that as a slight against you - I completely understand the desire to get away from it. But some of us really do need to stay, and fight this problem. So I am going to share my experiences here to help others know how they can get started and use my experience as a template to do it themselves.

And in so doing, I hope I can help inspire others to take steps of their own, and even teach me, and others, what successes they have (and learn from failures too).


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John Fitzgerald
In Focus
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Reged: 01/04/04

Loc: AR
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: magic612]
      #6046190 - 08/25/13 11:29 PM

I am not moving just because of LP. There are other more important reasons, like traffic, taxes, neighborhood development, covenants, etc, etc. Also, being retired will be to my advantage, with a large acreage to care for.

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magic612
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Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: John Fitzgerald]
      #6046650 - 08/26/13 09:56 AM

I received an email from the Village Administrator this morning. Since I didn't ask for permission to copy it and post here, I will summarize the contents. Basically he apologized for not responding sooner, and indicated that contact with the electric company was initiated. That information was forwarded to another contact who deals more with streetlights, designs, costs, etc., and that he will contact me again when he hears back.

I thanked him for the email and to keep me informed. I'll keep updating progress as I hear more.


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richard7Moderator
Not Quite
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Reged: 11/02/07

Loc: Sacramento
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: magic612]
      #6047354 - 08/26/13 05:12 PM

Now that sounds promising!

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GeneT
Ely Kid
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Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: magic612]
      #6049692 - 08/27/13 09:19 PM

You handled this very diplomatically. Your neighbors are not going to budge. Putting the neighbors aside, if their lights were out, how dark are your skies? I have thought a lot about the frustration of trying to view in light polluted skies. You can view out your back yard, find a site about 20 miles from home, and a site further out, i.e. a dark sky site. I believe the best answer is to buy some property at a dark sky site and put up a permanent observatory. Then, drive to the place for a night or two, or over a long weekend, and eventually keep it as a retirement home.

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magic612
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Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: richard7]
      #6049728 - 08/27/13 09:42 PM

I should point out a few recent successes that I have had in the past couple of months.

My wife works at our local library, and it is located just down the street from us - actually, within line-of-sight from my house, and my neighbor's house. My wife is well aware of my light pollution efforts, and even when she was asked what lights they should put in their parking lot a few years ago, she said the right kind. Sadly, they didn't GET those lights, and have some horrible, sideways facing mini-Suns, but she did recently get a 'win' there.

There are two post lamps just outside the door to the library. They are the typical, house-type post lamps: Badly designed, throwing light everywhere with typical incandescent bulbs. There is a new director at the library, so when one of the bulbs burned out earlier this week, my wife asked if they could be replaced with the silver-crown style bulbs that are in my first post here. The new director thought it was a great idea, so I sent my wife to work with two bulbs today, and they are now in those fixtures.

Yay for small wins!

The other small win is my neighbor BEHIND my house (not the one next door that refuses to change their lighting). This neighbor came to one of my astronomy presentations a couple years ago, and after I finished (and had mentioned light pollution and turning off lights at night) she said, "Well why didn't you say something sooner - I'd have turned off my lights for you!"

For a couple years, she has. She has two "post lamp" type fixtures on the back of her deck. But I approached her a few weeks ago and said that she could have those lights on a bit more often is she'd like, simply by using those bulbs. I gave her two of them, and her husband put them in. I noticed them when the lights were on last week.

Yay! Another win!

So if you include the post lamp in my backyard, plus the new fixture I put on the front of my house, that's SIX lights now in my immediate area that are FAR less light polluting of the sky than they were two years ago. We CAN make a difference! It just takes time. And I may not make any headway with my other neighbor, but I have high hopes for the streetlamps being changed. We'll see.

Oh, and if anyone wants those silver crown bulbs, there are incandescent ones here (I just bought 12 more for myself to give away):

http://1000bulbs.com/category/silver-bowl-decorative-globe-light-bulbs/

And a CFL version here:

http://www.genesislamp.com/sibocofllibu.html


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magic612
Post Laureate
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Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: GeneT]
      #6049760 - 08/27/13 10:01 PM

Quote:

You handled this very diplomatically. Your neighbors are not going to budge. Putting the neighbors aside, if their lights were out, how dark are your skies? I have thought a lot about the frustration of trying to view in light polluted skies. You can view out your back yard, find a site about 20 miles from home, and a site further out, i.e. a dark sky site. I believe the best answer is to buy some property at a dark sky site and put up a permanent observatory. Then, drive to the place for a night or two, or over a long weekend, and eventually keep it as a retirement home.




Thanks for the thoughts, Gene.

I know the neighbors are not going to budge on their own. But that is why, since I really don't have the option to 1) move anytime soon 2) spend the time driving to a dark sky site much less 3) buy any property that could serve as an observatory, I am trying to build a model for other people who are in my shoes to be able to do the same thing, by detailing what happens around me.

We need to show we can have success at this.

I have had success now with SIX lights, two of which were my own. Small, very limited success? Sure. But better than going backwards. And that is only after a couple of months of really doing anything on that front (I've been making my "Eyes on the Sky" videos for 2.5 years now). That's progress. Small, limited, to be sure, but still progress. There's a ton more post lamps around me; I'll approach those neighbors. For those who are receptive immediately, I'll give them a silver crown bulb to install. For those who are resistant, I'll work the "long view" via my Village Board, and by starting a campaign in town.

First, I'll put up the posters, as I mentioned earlier in the thread. I need to re-do some of them, as my wife had a better idea on how to approach this which is...

Second, do a presentation at my local library on SLEEP disorders, and then talk a lot about both indoor and outdoor lighting, and how we should change it.

I already have a website I can use to direct people; I just need to update it with the relevant information and then have that as the place for people to go to find more complete info, with links and detailed data.

We need a whole bunch of people on our side, not just amateur astronomers, who I am often frustrated by because their solution is "go away from the light pollution" rather than "do something about it." I'm intent on confronting this problem head-on, since I really don't have the time or money to do the "get away from it" option.

Granted, my stars are 4.5 NELM at zenith on a bad night, and 5.0 on a good night. That's not too shabby, so I can live with that for now. Yes, I'd like to have darker, but other people deal with a lot worse than that. I just hope to show them how they can make a difference in their neighborhoods too, so collectively, we'll start making a dent in this problem.



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John Fitzgerald
In Focus
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Reged: 01/04/04

Loc: AR
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: magic612]
      #6049958 - 08/28/13 01:14 AM

In this town, you might find yourself a target if you rub the wrong person the wrong way. Been a few neighbors around here who would go off on a profane rant if you only looked at them while walking by.

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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: John Fitzgerald]
      #6050409 - 08/28/13 10:35 AM

Of course, you could become your neighbor's worst nightmare and return the favor.....just find out what he likes......

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REC
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Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: magic612]
      #6050495 - 08/28/13 11:19 AM

Well Bully for you! What wattage where your silver crown bulbs that you gave to your neighbor? I want to get a few of them to put in my neighbors small light fixture on their patio's. I think they are 60 watt or less?

Also there are some post light fixtures on my street that throw light all over the place. I called the city and they installed a couple of shields that block 1/3 of the light coming out sideways as a test. I need to start bugging him again to get a few more installed as it helps some. So, I'm thinking that maybe some of these crown light bulbs may even work in the street lights? I think they just take screw in type bulbs?

Thanks!

bob


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magic612
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Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: REC]
      #6050550 - 08/28/13 11:53 AM

Quote:

Well Bully for you! What wattage where your silver crown bulbs that you gave to your neighbor? I want to get a few of them to put in my neighbors small light fixture on their patio's. I think they are 60 watt or less?




Mostly 60W bulbs. Partly I worry that people will THINK they are too dim, because they don't look as bright when they aren't shining in your face, despite that the overall illumination of the ground is actually better. We can work on lowering lumens in due time. Baby steps, you know?

Quote:

Also there are some post light fixtures on my street that throw light all over the place. I called the city and they installed a couple of shields that block 1/3 of the light coming out sideways as a test. I need to start bugging him again to get a few more installed as it helps some. So, I'm thinking that maybe some of these crown light bulbs may even work in the street lights? I think they just take screw in type bulbs?




Oooh, I don't know about streetlights. They often use different types of bulbs, not typical screw-in ones like we use in homes. You'll have to check that though - depends on what fixtures you have locally, I suppose.


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magic612
Post Laureate
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Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: magic612]
      #6078007 - 09/12/13 11:35 PM

Two days ago, a couple things happened:

1) I sent a follow up email to our village administrator. At this point, I am assuming he sent the follow up to the electric company person that he forgot to send the last time, so I'll cut him some slack until next week. These things are going to take time, I realize.

2) My neighbor's light burned out. Now, the LAST time it went out, I apparently was stupid enough to go over there and offer a better light. Of course, NO light is ideal, so at the moment, I am keeping my mouth shut and enjoying the "no light streaming into my house" from their burned out light in their post lamp. Though, I confess, I find it a bit ironic that they were adamant about having all that extra light, yet this is twice now when they haven't noticed that the light burned out. Odd, isn't it?


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bluesteel
sage


Reged: 03/24/13

Loc: ILM
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: magic612]
      #6078867 - 09/13/13 02:43 PM

Haha! The one time I am glad the lightbulb companies bought the patents and hid the research for everlasting bulbs. I'm willing to bet they won't notice for at least a month. How often do people really look out their windows at night to see what is in their backyard anyhow? Looks like karma is working in your favour. It must be all those fantastic YouTube videos you put out I hope that fixture has now a permanent short that will burn out any new bulbs within a day

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Wmacky
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/24/07

Loc: Florida
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: magic612]
      #6078871 - 09/13/13 02:44 PM

There's really no winning. It's their yard, and even if you get an agreement your never know when it might be flipped back on. A war with your neighbors isn't a good way to live either. And what if they sell to others?

At this point I feel it's better to have all the control. The soulution is to move where there are no, and can never be ANY neighbors, or completely block off your yard from the neighborhood.

After agreeg to turn off their "4x4 mounted" street light whenever posible, it's now back on every night.

I give up!

I'm now trying to get the money up to completely wall off my yard using evergreen screening trees.

Edited by Wmacky (09/13/13 02:50 PM)


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darknesss
super member


Reged: 09/05/13

Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: Wmacky]
      #6080994 - 09/14/13 07:44 PM

Now give your neighbour the most powerful lightbulb you can find (to get the electric bill higher), screwed into this
http://www.amazon.com/Screw-In-Wireless-Remote-Control-Adapter/dp/B006GQPBCO
and keep the remote for yourself.
Or something like that since it doesn't have good reviews.

Edited by darknesss (09/14/13 07:48 PM)


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Eric63
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/16/12

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: darknesss]
      #6081115 - 09/14/13 09:22 PM

My neighbour keeps a bright rear porch light on all night. I asked him if could cover it while I observe and he said OK. So I put a black plastic plant pot over it when I am out and remove it when I go in. So far it works great.

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magic612
Post Laureate
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Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: magic612]
      #6091587 - 09/20/13 11:52 AM

Quote:

Two days ago, a couple things happened:

1) I sent a follow up email to our village administrator. At this point, I am assuming he sent the follow up to the electric company person that he forgot to send the last time, so I'll cut him some slack until next week. These things are going to take time, I realize.

2) My neighbor's light burned out. Now, the LAST time it went out, I apparently was stupid enough to go over there and offer a better light. Of course, NO light is ideal, so at the moment, I am keeping my mouth shut and enjoying the "no light streaming into my house" from their burned out light in their post lamp. Though, I confess, I find it a bit ironic that they were adamant about having all that extra light, yet this is twice now when they haven't noticed that the light burned out. Odd, isn't it?




I JUST received a response from our Village Administrator (after sending him a "bump" email on Wednesday, since I hadn't heard from him last week either). He basically said sorry, haven't head back from electric company, and he'll contact them again next week.

Ayiyiyi. This is trying my patience, but I will keep working on this and continue to update. At this rate, the leaves will be off the trees by the time something gets done, and I'll have to point out that another streetlight at the intersection to my southeast is now shining into our bedroom as well. Well, maybe kill two birds with one stone then, right?

Also, my neighbor's light is still out, a week and a half later. Ironic, that they were so adamant about using the overly-bright, spray-light every-which-way bulb instead of the "direct light downward" silver-crown bulb I had supplied to them, and now that it's out, they don't replace the darn thing because they don't even notice?


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: magic612]
      #6091596 - 09/20/13 11:58 AM

What with the artifical suns the city just installed, my back yard is out for anything but lunar viewing. And our dark site is closed due to rattlesnake infestation. Luckily, the weather is cooling so the skeeters will be gone soon (West Nile is present in CO)and I can do the 5-minute drive to the state park (still white zone, but better then my well lit tree lined yard). And hopefully they'll catch those snakes soon (waiting for weather/flooding to clear up). AND IT'S CLEAR THIS WEEKEND!!!!!!

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richard7Moderator
Not Quite
*****

Reged: 11/02/07

Loc: Sacramento
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: csrlice12]
      #6091969 - 09/20/13 03:14 PM

I imagine that flooding didn't help the snake problem one bit either.
Keep looking up.


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richard7Moderator
Not Quite
*****

Reged: 11/02/07

Loc: Sacramento
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: richard7]
      #6091972 - 09/20/13 03:16 PM

Dave.
I'm glad to hear you're hanging in there and still trying. Maybe it'll turn out good.


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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: richard7]
      #6092322 - 09/20/13 07:01 PM

Perhaps a letter from your Attorney to BOTH the electric company and Village Admin will help.
Seems people can call, write, email, and visit personally,
nothing gets done but a simple Attorney letter will get things rolling quickly. Make sure both know of the letters
to the other party. They will realize you are serious and are ready (even if you aren't) to take it to the next escalated level.


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: GeneT]
      #6103124 - 09/26/13 09:58 PM

Quote:

I believe the best answer is to buy some property at a dark sky site and put up a permanent observatory.



That's lovely if you can afford it. Raw land can be a pita. Remember you'll need toilet facilities which probably means you'll need water and sewer and power. If you don't have water service that means a well which will need power. If you don't have sewer service you'll need a septic tank and leach field. Plus permits, approvals and many fees. It adds up quick. Already developed land may be a better deal.


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guangtou
sage


Reged: 03/27/10

Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: frolinmod]
      #6105654 - 09/28/13 10:31 AM

One thing to keep in mind is that we are just plain weird to other folks. I'm not excusing their light trespass, I'm only pointing out that 99% of the rest of the world has a caveman , "light good" mindset.

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obin robinson
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/25/12

Loc: League City, TX
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: guangtou]
      #6105663 - 09/28/13 10:35 AM

Quote:

One thing to keep in mind is that we are just plain weird to other folks. I'm not excusing their light trespass, I'm only pointing out that 99% of the rest of the world has a caveman , "light good" mindset.




True. They think the best way to spend a night is inside watching reruns of an episode they've seen twice before. The wonders of the universe only appear to them on a TV screen. They think satellites are invisible, planets can only be seen with a thousand dollar telescope, and they think that the only camera that can photograph a galaxy is either an orbiting space telescope or a million dollar observatory.

obin


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Kfrank
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/20/08

Loc: Northern Colorado
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: obin robinson]
      #6105890 - 09/28/13 12:40 PM

Quote:

Quote:

One thing to keep in mind is that we are just plain weird to other folks. I'm not excusing their light trespass, I'm only pointing out that 99% of the rest of the world has a caveman , "light good" mindset.




True. They think the best way to spend a night is inside watching reruns of an episode they've seen twice before. The wonders of the universe only appear to them on a TV screen. They think satellites are invisible, planets can only be seen with a thousand dollar telescope, and they think that the only camera that can photograph a galaxy is either an orbiting space telescope or a million dollar observatory.

obin




Both of the above postings are demeaning to the "average person", who in fact is presumed to be anyone who thinks other than we do.

Human preference for light over darkness is real and this culturally based preference goes back thousands of years.

Humans have traditionally sought light as a refuge from the dark, and continue to do so today. Our language is full of metaphors that celebrate light as good and revile darkness as bad.

Whether we like it or not, humanity harbors a cultural preference for light over darkness and convincing them to change is an uphill battle.

I don't condone, nor do I like it when a neighbor's light intrudes on my yard or illuminates my bedroom window. I also know that telling them they're idiots or foolish for lighting their yards is totally counterproductive. It is possible to force people to adapt to your point of view by legislating, and in some cases that is a reasonable and necessary step. A far better way is for me to be a good neighbor and attempt to obtain cooperation fostered by mutual respect and a desire to be fair and accommodating.

Just my thoughts...


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: Kfrank]
      #6105954 - 09/28/13 01:14 PM

Quote:

Both of the above postings are demeaning to the "average person", who in fact is presumed to be anyone who thinks other than we do.





Ken, agreed. Just because the neighbors don't share our interest in the night sky, does not make them fall into this catagory:

Quote:

They think the best way to spend a night is inside watching reruns of an episode they've seen twice before.




We probably would not be the least interested in their hobbies, nor support adjusting our yards, lives, to suit their needs.


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obin robinson
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/25/12

Loc: League City, TX
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: Kfrank]
      #6106215 - 09/28/13 03:52 PM

Quote:

Both of the above postings are demeaning to the "average person", who in fact is presumed to be anyone who thinks other than we do.

Human preference for light over darkness is real and this culturally based preference goes back thousands of years.





People who put garish lights all over their property and leave them on all night long are simply afraid of the dark. Plain and simple. They are afraid that when the lights go out something might happen that won't happen if the lights are on. They will come up with all sorts of excuses and irrational reasons whey they need more than adequate light and why they need light when they are fast asleep or nobody is home. They are simply afraid of the dark. Just like being afraid of spiders, snakes, ghosts, or heights it's going to take experience and education to shake them from their fear. I have asked people why they have those big bright lights up and it's ridiculous the reasons they come up with all the while ignoring the fact that nobody else in the neighborhood has those lights. They just don't want to admit that a grown adult is afraid of the dark. It's still funny to hear their excuses. That's all.

obin


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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: Kfrank]
      #6106246 - 09/28/13 04:11 PM

Quote:

A far better way is for me to be a good neighbor and attempt to obtain cooperation fostered by mutual respect and a desire to be fair and accommodating.

Just my thoughts...




Something I have tried, three times now to no avail, with this present neighbor next door to me to the north. At some point, it requires more then asking nicely. I've even offered to pay half of a new light fixture for them. Not be too crass about it, but they really don't give a ______ about us. They want their "shine everywhere" light, and if it goes on our property and in my daughter's second floor window, they really don't care. "Buy curtains" they said. At some point, by only being "nice," I'm being the doormat, and they keep wiping their shoes on me. There's no mutual respect, much less a desire to be fair and accommodating to me, and I think I've been more than accommodating and fair - I didn't ask them to turn the light off, after all. Just keep it on their property.

So I am going the political route, which is taking an extremely long period of time to even get substantive responses. But I'll keep working at it.

Incidentally, these same neighbors finally realized - after 2.5 weeks of it being burned out - that their "necessary to have on because they like it" post lamp needed the bulb replaced.

Small consolation: The bulb doesn't appear to be quite as bright as the last one. But I was still able to make shadow puppets on the moving truck of my new neighbor's to the south, which is over 90 feet away from the light.


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guangtou
sage


Reged: 03/27/10

Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: Kfrank]
      #6106459 - 09/28/13 06:57 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

One thing to keep in mind is that we are just plain weird to other folks. I'm not excusing their light trespass, I'm only pointing out that 99% of the rest of the world has a caveman , "light good" mindset.




True. They think the best way to spend a night is inside watching reruns of an episode they've seen twice before. The wonders of the universe only appear to them on a TV screen. They think satellites are invisible, planets can only be seen with a thousand dollar telescope, and they think that the only camera that can photograph a galaxy is either an orbiting space telescope or a million dollar observatory.

obin




Both of the above postings are demeaning to the "average person", who in fact is presumed to be anyone who thinks other than we do.

Human preference for light over darkness is real and this culturally based preference goes back thousands of years.

Humans have traditionally sought light as a refuge from the dark, and continue to do so today. Our language is full of metaphors that celebrate light as good and revile darkness as bad.

Whether we like it or not, humanity harbors a cultural preference for light over darkness and convincing them to change is an uphill battle.

I don't condone, nor do I like it when a neighbor's light intrudes on my yard or illuminates my bedroom window. I also know that telling them they're idiots or foolish for lighting their yards is totally counterproductive. It is possible to force people to adapt to your point of view by legislating, and in some cases that is a reasonable and necessary step. A far better way is for me to be a good neighbor and attempt to obtain cooperation fostered by mutual respect and a desire to be fair and accommodating.

Just my thoughts...




You basically just said the same thing I did . Btw, if my neighbor habitually trespasses or flagrantly inhibits my right to enjoy my property, he may need a little demeaning. I could care less if he likes astronomy- just don't light up my yard with your lights.


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Kfrank
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/20/08

Loc: Northern Colorado
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: guangtou]
      #6106473 - 09/28/13 07:08 PM

"You basically just said the same thing I did . Btw, if my neighbor habitually trespasses or flagrantly inhibits my right to enjoy my property, he may need a little demeaning. I could care less if he likes astronomy- just don't light up my yard with your lights.

I respect your right to act as you chose. But, let me ask:

How's it workin' for ya?


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guangtou
sage


Reged: 03/27/10

Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: Kfrank]
      #6106485 - 09/28/13 07:23 PM Attachment (16 downloads)

Quote:

"You basically just said the same thing I did . Btw, if my neighbor habitually trespasses or flagrantly inhibits my right to enjoy my property, he may need a little demeaning. I could care less if he likes astronomy- just don't light up my yard with your lights.

I respect your right to act as you chose. But, let me ask:

How's it workin' for ya?




While I sound a bit ornery online, I don't go around knocking on doors telling people I'll sue them if they don't turn off their porch light.

However, here's one example of a neighbor's light trespass I didn't let go.


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Kfrank
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/20/08

Loc: Northern Colorado
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: guangtou]
      #6106502 - 09/28/13 07:38 PM

Nor, IMO, should you.

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ion
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/26/08

Loc: Bortle Scale 2
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: frolinmod]
      #6106570 - 09/28/13 08:47 PM

Quote:

Remember you'll need toilet facilities which probably means you'll need water and sewer and power.




http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Composting_toilet


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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: ion]
      #6140790 - 10/16/13 12:19 PM

In the last few weeks, I have contacted my Village representative a couple of times. He finally responded to me, and I think perhaps he has given up trying to get a response from the electric company, as he gave me the email address of the electric company's municipal representative. So here is the email I sent to that person today:

Quote:

"Hello Mr. ELECTRIC COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE,

My name is David Fuller, and I live at XZY Street in ABCDEFG. There is a streetlight at the corner of HIJKLM and NOPQRS streets that shines directly into the window of my daughter's room (see attached photo, light is in upper-left of picture - neighbor's light is a separate issue being addressed). This makes it impossible for her to sleep with the window open when weather allows for this, as her curtain must be closed to block the light (which otherwise leaves her room too bright to sleep).

I have contacted the Village of ABCDEFG about this problem (see messages below). Initially I was told this was an issue for ELECTRIC COMPANY. I have contacted ELECTRIC COMPANY several times about this light in the past, and in every case, I asked for the ELECTRIC COMPANY person to please contact me BEFORE coming out, so I could be there to explain the situation. Each time, I was NOT contacted ahead of time that a ELECTRIC COMPANY representative came out. Instead, the ELECTRIC COMPANY person came with no prior contact, and subsequently spoke to my children instead of me. I don't understand why that occurs. This last time, they said to my children that this was a Village issue to be resolved. Yet the Village tells me it is ELECTRIC COMPANY's issue.

This has left me more than a little frustrated. Our Village Administrator, Mr. NAME REDACTED, gave me your contact information, as he said that he has tried to contact ELECTRIC COMPANY several times now regarding this issue and not received a response.

All I know is that a ELECTRIC COMPANY streetlight is shining into my daughter's window, that keeps her from sleeping well. I would like to get this issue resolved. We have put up curtain - full, light-block material curtains, and light STILL gets through from these streetlights, and this also makes sleeping with windows open on comfortable-temperature nights impossible. Please advise as to what action can be taken to keep this light from shining into our 2nd floor window. I do not mind if a fully shielded light is installed and lights up the pavement beneath the light. I am not sure why so much light is being wasted shining into my daughter's bedroom. Please note that after the leaves fall off the trees in a month, the light at the corner of HIJKLM and TUVWXY streets will be shining into my other daughter's bedroom as well.

On ELECTRIC COMPANY's site, it even states, "Lower utility bills. Reduced electricity use. Environmental responsibility." See this page: myelectriccompany'swebsitelinkhere I am having trouble understanding how a streetlight that intended to light up an intersection that is shining light into my daughter's room ~100 feet away is reducing electricity use or environmentally responsible.

Please advise how we can resolve these streetlight issues is quickly as possible, in conjunction with the Village of ABCDEFG, if necessary. The villages of 12345 and 67890 have both put up very attractive, downward-shielded streetlights that do not contribute to light trespass or light pollution. Is it possible to do the same in ABCDEFG? Thank you in advance for your assistance in this matter.

David Fuller"




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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: magic612]
      #6142004 - 10/16/13 10:47 PM

In what was a complete surprise to me, I not only got an email back within a couple of hours, I also received TWO phone calls - one from the electric company representative, who indicated his apologies for the light being the way that it is, and also a call from his foreman who will be out tomorrow to come look at the lights.

I couldn't take either call because they called during work hours, but I called the foreman back after work and we did speak. I talked to him about the light and my frustration with the pointing of fingers as to who owns it and is responsible for it. He said he will come out tomorrow and check to be sure who's it is. I also asked him to check the other intersection as well, and he said he would and let me know for sure whether they are owned by them, or the Village. I thanked him for his prompt and helpful response, and said I looked forward to his feedback tomorrow.

Small steps, but I'm finally getting somewhere with those lights. I say this as an encouragement to others; DO NOT GIVE UP! Keep at it. If at first (and second, third, fourth and fifth!!) you don't succeed, ask to speak to someone else!! You just might find your way to the right person. Just keep being polite, but persistent.


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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: magic612]
      #6143429 - 10/17/13 06:00 PM

WOW... some (very cautiously optimistic) good news!

The foreman came out today, looked at the light poles, determined that they are the electric company's and he left a door hangar note on my front door. I won't repeat it verbatim to avoid TOS violations here, but the summary is that they will order new light heads for the two streetlamps and it will take around a week or so to get them.

WOOT! HOLY COW!

Now, I am still, as I said at the beginning of this post, cautiously optimistic. If they put up a fixture that is still spraying light all over, that won't do any good. So I did call the foreman again to get his thoughts on the style of head they plan to put in as a replacement, but I did not reach him and had to leave a message. So we'll see what actually gets put in - but, I am, for the first time since this saga began, HOPEFUL.

And I wrote all of this out for others, so they can use my words and techniques, and THEY can work to do this, and be hopeful about their outcomes as well.

Of course, this is really only the beginning for me, as there are MANY more streetlights to get changed in town. There are many more bad postlamps and poor bulbs that need addressing. But this is a start, and I will be able to SHOW the difference to others, and how it has improved our quality of life should the new light heads be a downward-directed style.

HAVE HOPE! THIS CAN WORK FOR YOU TOO!


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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
An actual difference! Check it out! new [Re: magic612]
      #6149052 - 10/20/13 08:35 PM

I got up this morning and was getting ready, when I noticed out the bathroom window an electric company truck at the intersection down the street.

Mind you, it is SUNDAY.

I thought, "Wow... they can't be... they surely aren't... no, can't be. What's probably happening is that that light used to flicker on and off, and they're probably replacing the electronics, and in a few days, they'll replace the light head."

NOPE!

I went outside, and not only was there one crew working, there were TWO crews working to swap out the light fixtures - one on each intersection!

SAY WHAT?!?!?

I was BEYOND giddy. And tonight, I took a picture - same place, same exposure, of at least one of the lights (the other one doesn't shine into a window until the leaves have fallen).

So YES... I got it done! Now... on to that pesky lamp post of the neighbor's, and a few other "down the alley / shine everywhere" lights....



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De Lorme
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 12/30/08

Re: An actual difference! Check it out! new [Re: magic612]
      #6149187 - 10/21/13 01:08 AM

Great victory! De Lorme

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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: An actual difference! Check it out! new [Re: magic612]
      #6149936 - 10/21/13 02:04 PM



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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Will be meeting with local official about lighting new [Re: barasits]
      #6155376 - 10/24/13 11:52 AM

Another update: The village administrator contacted me again, said he has driven by my house, and wants to set up a time to meet with me to discuss the neighbor's light. I have a very busy evening schedule for the next few weeks, so I said I'd let him know a time in mid-November to do so.

The good thing about this is that I can show him two or three other lights that are problematic as well.


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tbuzzi1
member
*****

Reged: 01/14/09

Loc: Rockport,Tx
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: Gil V]
      #6308241 - 01/12/14 02:06 PM

Dave,
Where did you get the poster depicted in this string "It's a bright idea"?
You live in Chicago? Good luck with the pollution. I live in a tiny town in South Texas which is awash in lights. Yuck!


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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: tbuzzi1]
      #6309176 - 01/12/14 09:53 PM

Hi Thomas - I made that poster myself. You're welcome to use it if you want. I have some crazy time-schedule restrictions through February, but I'll be ramping back up into full light-pollution-reduction mode not long after that.

I don't live in Chicago - quite a way south, actually. On a good, clear night I can see down to 5.0 magnitude overhead, but the northern sky is perpetually bright.


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rustyprice
member


Reged: 12/17/13

Loc: South Bend, Indiana
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: magic612]
      #6309420 - 01/13/14 12:27 AM

Dave, I watch your videos, you are quite inspiring! Maybe it's time to put some of those skills to work with the neighbor, get a good view of Saturn in the scope so he truly "gets it", you never know...that might be all it takes!

Edited by rustyprice (01/13/14 12:30 AM)


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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: rustyprice]
      #6309816 - 01/13/14 09:17 AM

Already tried that. Neither one of them has any interest whatsoever in the night sky.

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HUSKY1
member


Reged: 12/28/13

Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: magic612]
      #6315554 - 01/15/14 10:33 PM

Hi Magic...

With reference to having lights on as a 'protection,' this is more myth than anything supported by research and, in my case, personal experience. The phrase that should be used is "If you light it they will come" which, I believe, is a more accurate description of crimes at night.

When my sister moved to my rural property, she wanted a yard light. My brother-in-law complied. Immediately people would drive into and even walk around the yard at night! Complaining to one of our neighbours, my sister found out that they had had a similar problem and solved it simply. "We shut the yard light out!" was our neighbour's answer. Thus, we did the same and now virtually no one comes into the yard. Our rottweiler gets the remainders. We recommend that people use sensor-based yard lights - saves money yet alerts you as to when something is in the yard. The light is still there when you need it.

Principles for LEC Lighting
1. Only light what needs to be lit. Avoid “feel
good” lighting that does nothing practical and
wastes energy.
2. Only use light where light is needed. Don’t light
up your neighbors’ property or the night sky.
Don’t light more than you really have to.
3. Only use as much light as is necessary. Brighter
isn’t necessarily better and can cause additional
problems.
4. Use light only when it is needed. Use timers,
motion detectors and photocells to have light
only when it is needed, to improve your security
and to reduce your power bills.
5. Use only full cut-off, high-efficiency bulbs and
fixtures such as LED‘s. Eliminate sag-lenses
and up-directed light. Shine all light downward.
6. Shut off business lights, flood lights and
advertising after hours. This prevents light
pollution while reducing business costs.

The figures I have seen indicate 80% of crimes occur during daylight, personal crimes are usually committed by someone you know. More night crimes occur in lit areas and criminals are as afraid of the dark as any other person.
Knowledgeable police officers are usually happy to educate citizens on the best way to light their properties to prevent crimes.


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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: HUSKY1]
      #6315603 - 01/15/14 11:04 PM

Hi HUSKY, thanks for that info, though I must say, you're preaching to the choir. I'm well aware of all that.

Convincing my stubborn neighbor, who actually said he liked the light shining in his eyes? That's the bigger problem here.


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HUSKY1
member


Reged: 12/28/13

Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: magic612]
      #6315619 - 01/15/14 11:14 PM

Hey Magic...sounds like you need to get an LEC policy for your community. Maybe start talking to your councilor. You are welcome to use any of our educational materials to bring him/her up to speed. The game has to start somewhere. That is what I did and today we have LEC policies...

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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Small, VERY local, hopefully not temporary victory new [Re: HUSKY1]
      #6318213 - 01/17/14 10:02 AM

Yup, we do. I just have a massive shortage of time until about March. I'll be putting some things together starting then. It also helps that I have recently found out about some people in my town who are also interested in astronomy, so I can start getting some help working on the issue locally as well.

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