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Practical ways to fight Light Pollution - How much would they help?

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#1 drotto25

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Posted 20 October 2021 - 10:41 PM

I am looking for practical ways to fight light pollution, and trying to estimate how much they would help. Things that people would accept.  I understand that people will never completely give up security lights, street lights, and as much as I may like, signs and advertisements are never going away. Within those boundaries, what can practically be done?

 

Some I can think of.....

 

1. downward facing, directed, low scatter fixtures

2. better light temperatures 

3. Timers.  There are a lot of security lights, landscaping lighting, parking lot lights, etc. that do not need to be on full time.

 

I am sure this list is far from complete.  How much would these help?  Other ideas?



#2 Clippy

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Posted 20 October 2021 - 10:55 PM

It's basically impossible to implement. People aren't going to spend tons of $$ and effort so "a few nerds can look at the sky". That being said, my personal favorite is to replace all outdoor lights with narrowband emitters that can easily be removed with one filter.


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#3 ngc7319_20

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Posted 21 October 2021 - 06:30 AM

I think the topic of directional lighting is promising since there is also a safety aspect.  Sometimes outdoor lighting is so bright that the glare and "spillover" obscures the roadway, and creates a hazard.  Older motorists are more likely to be impacted.  Also in poor weather conditions (fog, etc.) the glare is more serious -- further compounding the weather hazards.

 

Warmer light temperatures have less blue light, and thus is less prone to scattering.  Warmer light will also have less impact on motorist's night vision -- again a safety factor.

 

Timers: these extend the life of the bulbs and thereby save $$.


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#4 LDW47

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Posted 21 October 2021 - 07:12 AM

I am looking for practical ways to fight light pollution, and trying to estimate how much they would help. Things that people would accept.  I understand that people will never completely give up security lights, street lights, and as much as I may like, signs and advertisements are never going away. Within those boundaries, what can practically be done?

 

Some I can think of.....

 

1. downward facing, directed, low scatter fixtures

2. better light temperatures 

3. Timers.  There are a lot of security lights, landscaping lighting, parking lot lights, etc. that do not need to be on full time.

 

I am sure this list is far from complete.  How much would these help?  Other ideas?

Make sure you give some approximate costs to the owners if you want them to impliment these great ideas.  That is probably the biggest factor ie  the ability to pay, as always



#5 Jim4321

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Posted 21 October 2021 - 07:48 AM

At least for home use, motion sensors on lights!  I'm actually in favor of them for streetlights in all residential areas, and for some business districts.  I've begun sprinkling them around my home, solar powered to eliminate wiring and associated cost and hassle.  Got seven so far, $20 each from Amazon.

 

Jim H.



#6 Mitchell M.

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Posted 21 October 2021 - 02:39 PM

I would settle for a motion sensor hybrid type of lighting. Not sure if such a creature exists. I would like to see security lighting that dims down enough to still offer some lighting and full on whenever the motion sensor trips within it's range.

I think there would definitely be a market for such a light, especially in gated communities where it's all about ambiance.



#7 SirHumHum

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Posted 22 October 2021 - 12:20 PM

The key to getting people to adopt dark sky friendly lighting is making them realize that it is simply better lightingand that it is in their interests to do so whether they care about astronomy or not. 

 

For example, here's a 24/7 oil and gas facility that adopted better lighting (here is another example). It's worth noting that they designed the facilities this way, rather than retrofit the lights. The lights are all aimed down & shielded, are a lower color temp, and there is no light trespass. There is no timing they are on all night, but the facility is in operation at all hours. Yes it still somewhat bright, but it is dramatically better than the typical oil and gas facilities of this scale. 

 

The main benefit is from a health and safety perspective. By illuminating from above and properly spacing fixtures, the ground is evenly illuminated and glare is eliminated. By using less intense lights, the worker's eyes can properly adjust to the ambient conditions and they avoid transitions between dark shadows and overlit areas. All together that means better visibility and fewer workplace accidents. The workers all love it. 

 

It also saves them money in operating costs. Shielded lights put more light on the ground, so less energy can be used to obtain the same levels of illumination where it is needed. If the lights are positioned and spaced properly, fewer fixtures are needed to illuminate the area. 

 

Of course, things get more complicated when talking about lighting retrofits, especially on large commercial facilities. It's crucial to make people aware of the issues and benefits before construction starts when possible. If it's too late for that, it's better to encourage them to upgrade fixtures as old ones die rather than ask for a complete overhaul of their lighting, or offer to help offset the cost in some way. For example, you could offer a demonstration fixture for them to try out. Having good real world examples to show people is important. Once people see the difference themselves, they are more likely to get onboard. 

 

You can also start a recognition program where you formally thank people or business that follow good lighting practices. That serves to give them some publicity which could benefit their business (or just make them feel good) and to create a good example for others to follow. It also encourages them to keep up with the practices going forward. 


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#8 Starlady

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Posted 24 October 2021 - 07:17 AM

Love all these idea, keep 'em coming. I'm going to take this down a different branch -- what can you do as a person who cares? 

 

Join the International Dark Sky Association. Members are taught how to make a difference in their own community, town, state, country and the all over the world, whatever you have the bandpass/time/energy for. 

 

Use your digital voice. 

 

Sign petitions like this one about overly-bright car headlights. 

https://www.change.o...-and-save-lives

 

Like, comment on and share Youtube videos about light pollution. This allows producers and news agencies to see this is a groundswell of many voices all wanting the same thing. 

Ex. https://www.youtube....h?v=DOwH29yb530

Why You Should Care about Light Pollution

 

Ex. https://www.youtube....h?v=3CJPvJuVagc

NEWSY.com In Real Life: Dark Skies

 

Ex. https://www.youtube....h?v=F55wBS2kNNQ

Why We Need Darkness | Paul Bogard | TEDxBratislava

 

Plan a schedule in your week to read an article about light pollution appearing in an online publication and bring it up in a conversation or share it with someone. 

Ex. https://media.ies.or...ex.html#page=51

With Good Lighting and Justice for All

 

Ex. https://www.usatoday...ars/8334059002/

Goodbye, darkness: Light pollution has increased 49% over past 25 years, study finds

 

If it's a newspaper article, consider writing a letter to the editor about it. (This must be done in the days following the article, when it is still "news.")

 

Buy light pollution books (and review them online), give them as gifts.

Ex. The children's book: Bright Sky, Starry City by Uma Krishnaswami

 

Support people doing the heavy lifting. Follow them on social media. Bring them up to others when appropriate. Share and spread their words/actions/plans. 

Ex.

Chris Kyba

Constance Walker

John Barentine

Sriram Murali

Alejandro Sánchez de Miguel

Bettymaya Foott

 

Thanks Cloudy Nights people!


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#9 GeorgeLiv

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Posted 24 October 2021 - 09:25 PM

Somehow astronomers continue to believe that LP is caused by porch lights and public street-lighting. It isn't!

 

Most LP is beyond the control of individuals or any organization. This is because the most offending sources of sky-glow come from commercial and industrial properties. These properties are mostly exempt from public scrutiny and will ALWAYS be a source of huge profits for an installer company - this is never an individual installing new or servicing older lighting installations. It's a meager contractor trying to make as much money as possible.


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#10 kevin6876

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 12:28 PM

Awesome links, thank you Starlady!!!

Love all these idea, keep 'em coming. I'm going to take this down a different branch -- what can you do as a person who cares? 

 

Join the International Dark Sky Association. Members are taught how to make a difference in their own community, town, state, country and the all over the world, whatever you have the bandpass/time/energy for. 

 

Use your digital voice. 

 

Sign petitions like this one about overly-bright car headlights. 

https://www.change.o...-and-save-lives

 

Like, comment on and share Youtube videos about light pollution. This allows producers and news agencies to see this is a groundswell of many voices all wanting the same thing. 

Ex. https://www.youtube....h?v=DOwH29yb530

Why You Should Care about Light Pollution

 

Ex. https://www.youtube....h?v=3CJPvJuVagc

NEWSY.com In Real Life: Dark Skies

 

Ex. https://www.youtube....h?v=F55wBS2kNNQ

Why We Need Darkness | Paul Bogard | TEDxBratislava

 

Plan a schedule in your week to read an article about light pollution appearing in an online publication and bring it up in a conversation or share it with someone. 

Ex. https://media.ies.or...ex.html#page=51

With Good Lighting and Justice for All

 

Ex. https://www.usatoday...ars/8334059002/

Goodbye, darkness: Light pollution has increased 49% over past 25 years, study finds

 

If it's a newspaper article, consider writing a letter to the editor about it. (This must be done in the days following the article, when it is still "news.")

 

Buy light pollution books (and review them online), give them as gifts.

Ex. The children's book: Bright Sky, Starry City by Uma Krishnaswami

 

Support people doing the heavy lifting. Follow them on social media. Bring them up to others when appropriate. Share and spread their words/actions/plans. 

Ex.

Chris Kyba

Constance Walker

John Barentine

Sriram Murali

Alejandro Sánchez de Miguel

Bettymaya Foott

 

Thanks Cloudy Nights people!



#11 vsteblina

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Posted 14 January 2022 - 09:36 PM

The key to getting people to adopt dark sky friendly lighting is making them realize that it is simply better lightingand that it is in their interests to do so whether they care about astronomy or not. 

 

For example, here's a 24/7 oil and gas facility that adopted better lighting (here is another example). It's worth noting that they designed the facilities this way, rather than retrofit the lights. The lights are all aimed down & shielded, are a lower color temp, and there is no light trespass. There is no timing they are on all night, but the facility is in operation at all hours. Yes it still somewhat bright, but it is dramatically better than the typical oil and gas facilities of this scale. 

 

The main benefit is from a health and safety perspective. By illuminating from above and properly spacing fixtures, the ground is evenly illuminated and glare is eliminated. By using less intense lights, the worker's eyes can properly adjust to the ambient conditions and they avoid transitions between dark shadows and overlit areas. All together that means better visibility and fewer workplace accidents. The workers all love it. 

 

It also saves them money in operating costs. Shielded lights put more light on the ground, so less energy can be used to obtain the same levels of illumination where it is needed. If the lights are positioned and spaced properly, fewer fixtures are needed to illuminate the area. 

 

Of course, things get more complicated when talking about lighting retrofits, especially on large commercial facilities. It's crucial to make people aware of the issues and benefits before construction starts when possible. If it's too late for that, it's better to encourage them to upgrade fixtures as old ones die rather than ask for a complete overhaul of their lighting, or offer to help offset the cost in some way. For example, you could offer a demonstration fixture for them to try out. Having good real world examples to show people is important. Once people see the difference themselves, they are more likely to get onboard. 

 

You can also start a recognition program where you formally thank people or business that follow good lighting practices. That serves to give them some publicity which could benefit their business (or just make them feel good) and to create a good example for others to follow. It also encourages them to keep up with the practices going forward. 

Before I add my comments.....read the above TWICE.

 

I live in a conservative community.

 

They have written into their county regulations...LIGHT TRESPASS regulations.  YOUR direct light cannot leave your property line.

 

That and glare and safety concerns related to glare on public roads is really where the "light pollution" regulations need to focus.


Edited by vsteblina, 14 January 2022 - 09:37 PM.


#12 earlyriser

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Posted 15 January 2022 - 07:56 AM

I believe the most effective regulation would be simply a limit on the number of lumens per square foot allowed for lighting commercial property.  As long as gas stations, car dealerships, public storage facilities, etc. can keep using the efficiency of LED lighting to crank up the lux levels to those appropriate for an athlete field, it won’t matter how well shielded the lights are, we’ll still see an increase in light pollution. This type of rule is also objective and easy to evaluate, and thus enforceable. Add up the lumens for all the exterior lights, divide by square footage of the property, and compare it to the limit. 




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