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Shielding For a Horrendous Streetlight?

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#1 Poynting

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 01:38 PM

Hi all,

 

I live in a neighborhood with these horrendous streetlights: 

 

201-54714ge-outdoor-area-lighting-fixtur

 

It hurts my eyes to even look at this image.

 

As you would imagine the light spill goes everywhere, into my windows, but worst of all it makes my driveway useless as an observing location.

 

I have contacted the utility by email, but am not sure how it will go. Does anyone have any experience getting some relief from these monstrosities? Any options for adding a cutoff or baffles?


Edited by Poynting, 22 June 2018 - 01:39 PM.


#2 bogg

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 01:42 PM

The only baffle I have seen on a light which is similar and is used internal to the globe, but there is still significant light spillage horizontally. 


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#3 Arie

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 01:46 PM

In Europe some countries have kind of legislation that tries to prohibit this kind of light pollution.

But if local authorities saddle you up wit this, you should be careful not to do damage to their property.

 

Success



#4 ThermalSeeker

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 01:54 PM

A 5 gallon bucket would probably do the trick. Is it all HOA?  I hope you get a solution soon my friend!


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#5 Poynting

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 02:03 PM

The only baffle I have seen on a light which is similar and is used internal to the globe, but there is still significant light spillage horizontally. 

I figured it would be something internal.I wish...

 

 

In Europe some countries have kind of legislation that tries to prohibit this kind of light pollution.

But if local authorities saddle you up wit this, you should be careful not to do damage to their property.

 

Success

 

 

A 5 gallon bucket would probably do the trick. Is it all HOA?  I hope you get a solution soon my friend!

Unfortunately there is an HOA. I don't know who rules in that situation, or who owns the lamps. I wish I could put a bucket over it when observing, such a simple fix. 



#6 baron555

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 02:30 PM

Look to see if there is some legislation regarding impacting your nocturnal requirements.....i.e. the lights prevent me from getting proper sleep, etc.



#7 AndrewXnn

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 02:37 PM

Just wondering if a "hat" could be designed that would fit over the top of the light.

The top most part of the fixture appears to present an opportunity to then slip a collar that could fix the "hat" in place.

The thinking here, is that this would limit the light from going upward and could even reflect some of it downward.

 

This concept should not be that difficult to build and install.  It would take some careful political discussions to sell it as a good solution for all.



#8 SDTopensied

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 02:50 PM

Many counties have regulations on municipal lighting.  Usually that involves lighting entering bedrooms.  If you can show the light enters your bedroom you may be able to show that it's causing you harm.

 

-Steve



#9 M11Mike

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 03:02 PM

Do what I do - drive to a dark observing spot.  

 

While certainly not as convenient --- I get away from ALL the lights - town street lamps, all sorts of home security lights, lawn post lamps,  the lights from inside nearby homes themselves, all the cars coming and going (it only takes one car passing by to ruin your dark adapted eyes), etc.  

 

MP/BL 


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#10 greywulf4570

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 03:06 PM

I had a similar issue with a streetlamp at the end of a cul-de-sac spilling  light; though the globe had octagonal sides with Fresnel  lenses to it;   I  procured a can of  flat black Krylon paint,  climbed a ladder sufficient to reach the lenses, and darkened the areas facing the direction of my location.  The light rays don't pass the  sides that were painted with the Krylon.  15 years and no complaints. cool.gif waytogo.gif


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#11 Poynting

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 03:37 PM


 

Unfortunately for me I have an HOA that would likely fine me or call the cops on me. I am hoping I can find some kind of legal solution that will last. I can't say I haven't fantasized about "DIY" solutions.

I had a similar issue with a streetlamp at the end of a cul-de-sac spilling  light; though the globe had octagonal sides with Fresnel  lenses to it;   I  procured a can of  flat black Krylon paint,  climbed a ladder sufficient to reach the lenses, and darkened the areas facing the direction of my location.  The light rays don't pass the  sides that were painted with the Krylon.  15 years and no complaints. cool.gif waytogo.gif

 

 

It seems my city has a general lighting code, but it really only specifies what a home owner can install and do with their own lighting. That is good I guess.

Many counties have regulations on municipal lighting.  Usually that involves lighting entering bedrooms.  If you can show the light enters your bedroom you may be able to show that it's causing you harm.

 

-Steve

 

I also found these planning guidelines from my county's website. Apparently these are only a suggestion, as new neighborhoods are putting in these open bulb designs still.



#12 BrooksObs

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 08:37 AM

A specific word of caution - don't ever do anything to the fixture on your own if it was installed by as part of a of a community, town, city streetlighting program. If the town has no ordinance addressing light pollution and the power company that installed and powers the streetlighting refuses to do anything, that's the end of it unless you want to take them to court.

 

To attempt any modification to such a public lighting fixture opens you to a law suit as a party to the cause of any accident, or incident, to occur where the decrease in illumination might claim to be involve (a crime, motor vehicle accident, personal injury, etc.). I know this to be a fact, as a good friend got was advised such by his power company's lawyer when he asked for a modification to an offending street light across from his house in Massachusetts. They were willing to alter the light, but only if he assumed full liability thereafter. Now such things may not be equal everywhere and I suppose that some power companies may be more willing to work with their customers, but make every effort to find out beforehand and never do anything absolutely on your own.

 

BrooksObs 


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#13 csa/montana

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 09:27 AM

This thread has been cleaned up, removing illegal ways towards lights.  Even joking, we do not allow discussing any illegal ways in which to alter/destroy a light that is someone else's property!  Any further references of this type will get this thread closed immediately!



#14 n2dpsky

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 10:51 AM

I have a very similar situation.  I have two of those lights pictured in the front on my condo and in the back, there are taller street lights, so I'm flanked by lights that I can't do anything about.   For planetary and lunar observation, they aren't that big a deal, just annoying.   

 

What you need is piece of black foam core as a flag with a strip of white velco.  Put both pieces of velcro together, stick one side to the foam core and peel off the backing to the other and slap it up there when you observe.  When you pull it down, you leave a small square of white velco that would be hardly visible so you can reapply your flag later.   It's not destructive and temporary.  

 

I should say I wouldn't do this to a street light that could compromise traffic safety.  My lights illuminate the sidewalk that runs in front of my house (and the bushes, trees, sky and building) and I would only flag the light in my direction.   


Edited by n2dpsky, 23 June 2018 - 11:52 AM.


#15 Poynting

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 10:57 AM

A specific word of caution - don't ever do anything to the fixture on your own if it was installed by as part of a of a community, town, city streetlighting program. If the town has no ordinance addressing light pollution and the power company that installed and powers the streetlighting refuses to do anything, that's the end of it unless you want to take them to court.

 

To attempt any modification to such a public lighting fixture opens you to a law suit as a party to the cause of any accident, or incident, to occur where the decrease in illumination might claim to be involve (a crime, motor vehicle accident, personal injury, etc.). I know this to be a fact, as a good friend got was advised such by his power company's lawyer when he asked for a modification to an offending street light across from his house in Massachusetts. They were willing to alter the light, but only if he assumed full liability thereafter. Now such things may not be equal everywhere and I suppose that some power companies may be more willing to work with their customers, but make every effort to find out beforehand and never do anything absolutely on your own.

 

BrooksObs 

Yikes. I had considered this aspect of the problem, but you make some compelling points. I am definitely not going to do anything on my own, and consider any shift of or increased liability to myself as unacceptable. We shall see what the utility company says. 


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#16 csa/montana

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 12:33 PM

A specific word of caution - don't ever do anything to the fixture on your own if it was installed by as part of a of a community, town, city streetlighting program. If the town has no ordinance addressing light pollution and the power company that installed and powers the streetlighting refuses to do anything, that's the end of it unless you want to take them to court.

 

To attempt any modification to such a public lighting fixture opens you to a law suit as a party to the cause of any accident, or incident, to occur where the decrease in illumination might claim to be involve (a crime, motor vehicle accident, personal injury, etc.). I know this to be a fact, as a good friend got was advised such by his power company's lawyer when he asked for a modification to an offending street light across from his house in Massachusetts. They were willing to alter the light, but only if he assumed full liability thereafter. Now such things may not be equal everywhere and I suppose that some power companies may be more willing to work with their customers, but make every effort to find out beforehand and never do anything absolutely on your own.

 

BrooksObs 

 

Excellent point made here.  If the light(s) do not belong to you, please don't tamper with them.  Contact whoever owns them to see if a solution can be made.



#17 xiando

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 12:54 PM

Practically speaking, (even given the anecdotal about the utility guy who gladly installs the user-constructed skirt, or successfully taking people to court), for most people  the answer boils down to "there's little you can do to the light itself". Not to say the others don't happen, just that for most of us, it usually turns out to be a case of wishes-were-horses-rather-than-riding.

 

That leaves an obvious alternative, although since you're in an HOA, you'll probably need to make it purdy, and almost certainly it'll need to be able to quickly assemble and disassemble for one-night-at-a-time temporary use as a true portable tool.

 

Build a light shield. Benefit is  that if you do it right, you also get some beneficial ground-level wind protection that can increase your productive time behind the telescope beyond that of calm nights. You'll have to hunt around a little for images/ideas (or purchasables), but I doubt it'll be a difficult search, at least for DIY. Try here on CN and a wider scale google/et al search Some will probably (HOA) be a no-go because they require semi-permanent installation, but many others though are designed for quick garage insertion/extraction...

 

Worst case, if its strictly verbotten by the HOA, or working out of a portable box offends your sensibilities, at least you can make a two post "flag" blocker that can be put into the ground easily (and removed easily, or some other suspended "banner" to block the direct path(s) to the telescopes' ?umbra? and so kill at least the direct "threat(s). 

 

PS> if 'flagged', place them at a reasonable distance to allow a wider umbrella affect on your working area.

 

If you can't drive anything into the ground, a couple of sand filled 5 gallon plastic pails would work ~pretty well for a modest two pole "flag blocker" (for putting the flag poles in)  and be pretty easy to get in and out of the garage


Edited by xiando, 23 June 2018 - 01:00 PM.


#18 gdd

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 01:57 PM

I have noticed some full cutoff old fashioned styled decorative fixtures on top of poles at parks and shopping centers. Maybe the HOA would agree to replace the fixtures.


Gale

#19 SeaBee1

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 08:51 AM

Some things can never be fixed... and so must be endured...

 

HOAs are the blessing and the bane of modern society...

 

And so it is that I endure the street light that I do not own, located on my property...

 

CB


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#20 earlyriser

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 04:14 PM

Your best bet is to put something between your telescope and the lamp to block the light. I've blocked my neighbor's lamp post by parking my van in front of it. You could plant a pine tree and wait few years. While you are waiting, build a temporary screen that can be wheeled out of the garage to shade your observing area. 



#21 Poynting

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 10:02 AM

Good news:

 

EZnMT8c.png

 

mqDFZ7K.png

 

hdRw7WW.png

 

I sent an email yesterday to the streetlight repair line for my power company with a request for a shield, and this morning they installed some tape around the bulb. While there are some gaps in the tape (probably on purpose, not the result of laziness), it is certainly something! I commend the utility for acting so quickly.

 

I can't wait to see the difference. bounce.gif


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#22 n2dpsky

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 12:24 PM

Wow.  I'm impressed.  



#23 xiando

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 12:34 PM

Amazing. I'm glad my cynicism was disproven.

 

Still, if it continues to cause ill effect (even if reduced)....build a banner to put in the path from it to where you are observing/imaging.



#24 Elektronkind

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Posted 04 July 2018 - 05:23 PM

It has been a few days, what's the verdict? Did their modification help at all?


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#25 Poynting

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 08:36 PM

It has been a few days, what's the verdict? Did their modification help at all?

It is exactly what it looks like, a few pieces of tape didn't help much at all. At least they did something. I guess I can request more pieces of tape.




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