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Light Pollution in Auckland, New Zealand

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#1 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 02:52 PM

https://www.nzherald...SQPC66A5UR3RXA/


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#2 RLK1

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 03:58 PM

"It's where lights are unshielded and brighter than they need to be that we have issues," University of Auckland ecologist Associate Professor Margaret Stanley added.

"Given we've documented these high levels of light pollution in Auckland, we should take some action to reduce the levels by modifying current lighting and thinking about how we use technology in our new industrial developments."

"We can also check the security lights we might have in the driveways of our own homes."

 

All common sense and relatively easily accomplished objectives. It's a matter of getting it done. Adopting and enforcing lighting standards is one way of doing it.  In the states, most lighting ordinances involving violations are complaint-driven. There needs to be a better mechanism than that...


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#3 FirstSight

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Posted 28 September 2021 - 11:16 AM

The core of the problem, especially with industrial/commercial bad lighting, but also residential is:

1) Most of the people choosing to install such lighting are  insensitive to begin with to why there's any problem with poorly shielded lighting, whereas they do have well-formed notions about why they need bright lighting for security and visibility (else they wouldn't spend the money).

2) Once they've installed the bad lighting, motivating them to change the lighting for the better requires not just changing their understanding of the situation, but motivating them to spend the extra money required to alter the lighting, regarding which their starting frame of reference is how much it cost to put in and operate the existing lighting. Cheaper LED operating costs are not our friend here in terms of arguing that better lighting is cheaper.  Basic principle of momentum in physics also applies to changing motivation and understanding: it requires lots more energy to change a body's momentum than to continue on the current path and velocity.  Their starting frame of reference is: let's see, you're asking me to spend a lot of money to benefit birds and stargazers, at the risk of compromising safety and security (and I don't like being told what to do, especially with my money and property etc etc.).

3) The momentum and motivation issue also applies to any potential enforcement body/mechanism.  How practically difficult and effective is it to seek legal redress against bad lighting installations?

 

If authorities aren't effectively cracking down with much zeal on excessively loud motor vehicle noise (often deliberately altered / tweaked by their owners who equate noise projection with power) -  why should we realistically expect them to jump very hard on light polluters?


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#4 RLK1

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Posted 28 September 2021 - 02:09 PM

The core of the problem, especially with industrial/commercial bad lighting, but also residential is:

1) Most of the people choosing to install such lighting are  insensitive to begin with to why there's any problem with poorly shielded lighting, whereas they do have well-formed notions about why they need bright lighting for security and visibility (else they wouldn't spend the money).

2) Once they've installed the bad lighting, motivating them to change the lighting for the better requires not just changing their understanding of the situation, but motivating them to spend the extra money required to alter the lighting, regarding which their starting frame of reference is how much it cost to put in and operate the existing lighting. Cheaper LED operating costs are not our friend here in terms of arguing that better lighting is cheaper.  Basic principle of momentum in physics also applies to changing motivation and understanding: it requires lots more energy to change a body's momentum than to continue on the current path and velocity.  Their starting frame of reference is: let's see, you're asking me to spend a lot of money to benefit birds and stargazers, at the risk of compromising safety and security (and I don't like being told what to do, especially with my money and property etc etc.).

3) The momentum and motivation issue also applies to any potential enforcement body/mechanism.  How practically difficult and effective is it to seek legal redress against bad lighting installations?

 

If authorities aren't effectively cracking down with much zeal on excessively loud motor vehicle noise (often deliberately altered / tweaked by their owners who equate noise projection with power) -  why should we realistically expect them to jump very hard on light polluters?

"If authorities aren't effectively cracking down with much zeal on excessively loud motor vehicle noise (often deliberately altered / tweaked by their owners who equate noise projection with power) -  why should we realistically expect them to jump very hard on light polluters?'

That's why these types of ordinances (noise, light, etc) tend to be complaint driven. A complaint has to be initiated and action can then occur. As I've noted previously in other threads in this forum, a city official in Tucson told me a few months ago that they average two complaints per month involving enforcement for their light pollution ordinance and they generally respond within three days. He also provided a recent example of a large apartment complex that installed unshielded non-compliant lighting throughout the structure and then had to go back and redo all of it to meet specs. 

In your example of residential add-ons, a period of a year or so can be advised in a mailer included in an annual property tax bill that serves as notification that non-compliant lighting needs to be updated to meet code. Similarly, Los Angeles county residents have had to install earthquake resistant straps around their water heaters at their own expense in order to meet code.

Residential dark sky compliant lighting is not that expensive. I posted an example in another thread in this forum:

https://www.earthtec...warm-white.html



#5 BPO

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Posted 03 October 2021 - 12:29 AM

Now if only there was something Auckland could do about its weather. lol.gif




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