Light Pollution

Light pollution from improper outdoor lighting wastes billions of dollars and vast quantities of natural resources annually. Starry Night Lights is committed to fighting light pollution and restoring our heritage of star-filled skies. We offer the widest selection of night sky friendly outdoor lighting for your home or business.

Light bulbs 101

Posted on September 11, 2010 by Noel

There are a lot of new lighting technologies to choose from these days, so ‘which one is the best one to choose’ you may ask? Hopefully, this article will help you make a more informed choice, depending on your needs.

Compact Fluorescent


Image source

Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) represent a new process in which we produce light, albeit with significantly increased longevity and energy efficiency over traditional incandescent lamps. CFLs have been lauded for their remarkable features. Unfortunately, as with most new technology, it also has its problems. CFLs contain mercury, a rather harmful element to the environment if not properly recycled correctly. CFLs are meant to stay on, rather than switched on/off periodically. By doing so, you decrease the life cycle of the CFL drastically, thereby limiting CFLs in their application (especially active motion or motion sensing uses). CFLs usually take a minute to warm up to its peak luminance. Despite their shortcomings, CFLs are a good choice if you plan leaving it on constantly. Personally, I think we’ll see more development with LED lighting than CFLs.

Sodium-Vapor Lamps


Image source

High Pressure Sodium
Known as Sodium-Vapor Lamps, it comes in two flavors: High Pressure Sodium (HPS) and Low Pressure Sodium (LPS). These lamps are typically used mostly in large-scale lighting infrastructures across the globe. HPS/LPS lamps are known as the infamous light polluters to Astronomers and dark sky enthusiasts and financial ‘vampires’ to governments and tax payers. HPS lamps experience ‘cycling,’ which occurs when there’s a loss of sodium in the arc. For example, a HPS Lamp can start a low voltage, but as temperature rises during operation, the internal gas pressure from within the arc tube increases and more additional voltage is required to maintain its lumen or its brightness.

Low Pressure Sodium
LPS is similar to HPS, but usually has a significantly lower wattage and does not exhibit drastic energy consumption than its heavier cousin. If Astronomers had to choose, they would most certainly prefer LPS to HPS lamps and rightfully so. In fact, LPS lamps do not decline in lumen output as they age, typically consume less energy and they have been compared to Fluorescent lamps due to their low–pressure nature. The problem is, from a construction point of view, that the larger the LPS lamp you create, the more design and engineering problems  increases dramatically. Though an efficient light, their construction issues and slight energy need (~10%) at their end-of-life cycle are costly to repair and maintain (similar to HPS).

LED


Image source

Light-emitting-diode lamps represent the latest and greatest in lighting technologies. There are three options, the former two being presently not commercially available, organic light-emitting diodes, polymer light-emitting diodes and light-emitting diodes. These three are also known as Solid-state lighting, for they possess diodes, rather than electrical filaments, plasma (fluorescent lamps), or gas. As for the two former options, they’re quite amazing. Imagine super efficient bendable, paper thin light. We probably won’t see those two options commercially available for several years. As for Light-emitting-diode lamps, they’re similar, if not better, than fluorescent lamps. They contain no mercury, are easy to dispose of and also are quite easy to repair in large-scale applications (just replace the diode rather than the entire circuit). Of course, LEDs have their problems as well. The two big problems are its cost and its light output. As the process matures, LED prices should decrease significantly. As for light output, some studies suggest white LEDs produce light ‘too bright.’ While white LEDs are the easiest to make, other more difficult and colored LEDs correct that issue. Personally, I think this is the future of lighting and probably the best investment.

So there you have it. I hope this helps and of course, always research, research, research. That’s your power as a consumer. One last piece of advice:

Shield all your lighting, no matter what the application!

Without shielding, light still escapes into the heavens above.

Let there be night!

Calls to reduce light pollution ‘backed by CPRE survey’

Posted on April 16, 2010 by Noel

“Most people feel their view of the night sky is spoiled by artificial light, a survey suggests.”

Source

Light pollution is an unnecessary waste and detracts from the natural beauty of the night sky, it’s understandable that it makes people angry… The costs of not acting are clear: Unnecessarily high energy bills for councils, and therefore for local taxpayers, more carbon emissions, disrupted sleeping patterns for people, disturbance to wildlife, and a night sky bereft of the majesty of the Milky Way.” – Emma Marrington, rural policy campaigner at CPRE

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has had enough of light pollution. Street lights, neon signs, home and business lights – beware. The CPRE wishes to substantially curb light pollution across the UK. Why? Light pollution “wastes money, is damaging to the environment and seriously detracts from the beauty of the sky at night.” Whilst there have been efforts in the UK, the CPRE is calling on councils, businesses and householders to create better communities that will ensure less intrusive and night sky friendly lighting. Unfortunately, according to the CPRE, “light pollution in England increased by a quarter and the amount of light-saturated night sky rose to 7%. from 1993 to 2000.” Do not dismay, for better lighting starts with shielded lighting fixtures. Utilizing shielding lights in conjunction with low wattage energy efficient bulbs and motion sensors creates concentrated light where you need it most: downward.

Starry Night Lights will always continue to fight the good fight against light pollution.

Let there be night!

Why Night Sky Friendly Outdoor Lighting?

Posted on July 12, 2009 by Anthony

Some people ask why we specialize in night sky friendly outdoor lighting. My response is, ‘Why would anybody want to install anything else?’ The truth is, the majority of outdoor lights currently offered for sale should not even be manufactured.

Why would anyone want to install an outdoor light fixture that put more light wastefully up into the night sky than usable light onto the ground beneath it? Why would anybody want to install a light fixture that would shine rudely into neighboring windows night after night?

Night sky friendly outdoor lights are the most efficient and environmentally responsible way to illuminate. Night sky friendly outdoor lights put all the light they produce onto the ground beneath them, where people are walking or driving. They prevent light from shining wastefully up into the night sky, reducing the damaging effects of light pollution in our communities. They also prevent light from trespassing onto neighboring properties.

So, the next time you’re in the market for outdoor lighting, be sure to consider the effects that your decision will have on your neighbors and the environment. Starry Night Lights offers the widest selection of night sky friendly outdoor lights anywhere.

Utah’s House members vote against climate change bill

Posted on June 29, 2009 by Noel


Source

Yesterday, Republicans and Democrats within the house of representatives passed a newly drafted bipartisan Climate Bill (a.k.a The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009) 219-212 tackling pollution, global warming and climate change. Surprisingly enough Democratic Representative Jim Matheson of Utah voted “No,” amongst the three other Republican Representatives Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz. Representative Matheson represents one of the only three Democrats who voted “No.” Representative Matheson purports that the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 requires restructuring and would negatively impact Utah.

“We’ve got to address climate change, and we’ve got to address energy independence; I hope we continue to work on those two issues. [Although] there’s a real regional income transfer that’s not fair to some regions of the country and in this case, it’s not fair to Utah.” – Representative Jim Matheson.

As most Utah residents know, Utah still utilizes several coal powered plants. Yes, the coal industry would hurt in Utah but what about the opportunity to create cleaner and more sustainable energy? As a resident in Salt Lake City, I can’t tell you how awful the inversions in the surrounding Utah valleys can truly be year round – it’s quite horrible. Granted, its certainly not just coal plants, for cars contribute to the problem; if more funds were directed toward cleaner energy, overall air and quality of life would improve. Even though the the climate bill passed in the House of Representatives, it still needs to pass through Congress. Perhaps an oversight on Matheson’s part, but bills can be restructured through the different mediums of our governmental system. Nonetheless, the bill was passed without the help of Matheson, Bishop and Chaffetz and hopefully the Senate will deliberate, put aside ideological partisan apprehension and jointly agree upon the importance of our environment.

As a website dedicated to eradicating light pollution once and for all, Starry Night Lights supports The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 bill. Light pollution affects all of us. As further evidence unveils itself regarding the impact of light pollution on creatures (including humans), inform your congressmen of the importance of light pollution. Light pollution is 100% irreversible.

a9z4mvkyxq

Blinds Chalet Demonstrates How Blinds and Shades Aid Sleep

Posted on April 30, 2009 by Noel


Source

Exposure to light can disrupt sleep, making it difficult to fall asleep or even stay asleep. Lack of sleep has been linked to obesity, diabetes, immune system dysfunction, impaired judgment, disorientation and irritability.

Therefore investing in blinds and shades as means of controlling light may help provide the recipient achieve greater rest. Unfortunately as population increases within cities, power demand increases. Whilst shopping for blinds and shades may send the message of ‘ignorance is bliss’ to light pollution (buy shades to forget about how much light pollution exists rather than help eradicate it), for some it’s a necessity of life. And for good reason: who wouldn’t want to have a better night sleep? David P. White, McGinness professor of sleep medicine and director of the sleep disorders program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, knows that “The immune system doesn’t work well if we don’t sleep; most think sleep serves some neurological process to maintain homeostasis in the brain.” Dr. White further suggests that “some people most affected by light are those who work during the night or those suffering from jet lag; however, streetlights and light pollution, especially in major cities, can affect one’s ability to rest well.” Taking this information into account, Dr. White first instructs recipients to re-establish a nocturnal habitat by eliminating all indoor and outdoor lighting. Secondly, if technologically inclined, set your blinds to a time to release in day light. When your body identifies darkness with sleep and light with active, the human body can start to feel more on track with the natural cycle of a day.

‘Tis a sorry state of affairs if modernity or progress if you will requires us to shut out the light from night (oxymoron intentional) with blinds. If blinds were originally created to block out light during the day time, how does the body adjust to that ritual of closing the blinds in the daytime with closing them during both the day and night – day and night begin to blur. By doing so, you further escape from reality (although comfortable in your in house). The truth is you can’t shut out light pollution by forgetting about it.


Spring Into Action

Posted on April 4, 2009 by Marielle

Spring is just around the corner and with it, the need to brighten up ones wardrobe and home. As things become green once again and the flowers begin to bloom, there are far more reasons to spend more time outdoors. One of the greatest ways to utilize the beauty of this season around ones home is to install landscape lighting. By doing so, the excitement of the season is not limited merely to the hours of daylight. Spring into action and make your garden and outdoor areas more people friendly!

Starry Night Lights has recently expanded its product line to include Volt Landscape Lighting, the ideal night-sky friendly lighting fixtures, perfect for any outdoor lighting need.Volt fixtures come in brass or aluminum in a wide variety of finishes and work wonderfully for both lighting needs and decorative purpose. The items are designed to be sturdy, but yet are not overly large or bulky. Together with their appearance and environmentally conscious design, these fixtures should be strongly considered when creating ones outdoor paradise.

Selecting the lighting of ones home can be daunting, but it should not be. It should be an exciting time, full of promise for a fresher and more pleasant living experience. Luckily, even if one decides in a later period to change or update ones outdoor fixtures, Volt fixtures are in-stock for immediate shipment (24-48 hours). Checkout our landscape lighting tips for a few things to keep in mind as you expand your living spaces into the outdoors.

Starry Night Lights is dedicated to providing individuals with the necessary tools to improve their lives and homes in an environmentally fashion, by providing customers with the newest lighting innovations in environmentally mindful designs. Through taking small steps toward a better environmental future, the possibilities for larger and grander steps will become available. Put your trust in Starry Night Lights and be kind to both the environment and your wallet! Checkout these landscape lighting tips for a few ideas to keep in mind as you expand your living space.

Cut lights in Highland Park? Some say cost-cutting proposal is crazy

Posted on March 27, 2009 by Noel


Source

In a town meeting, Highland Park residents of Michigan proposed for their municipality to turn off every other streetlight, requiring local businesses to share lighting costs or invest in wind or solar power as alternatives to simply shutting all of its alleyway lights completely off. The majority of the 150 attendees oppose this cost-cutting proposal on the grounds of safety and illegal dumping. Arthur Blackwell, financial manager of the Highland Park municipality, stated of their 12 million dollar budget, 1 million dollars goes towards paying the electric bill. Furthermore, Mr. Blackwell stated,

“We have more lights per capita than any community in the state; the problem is the lights were built for 50,000 and we have about a third of that.”

By cutting its current lighting usage, Mr. Blackwell purports the municipality will save 15% if the cuts pass. If passed, the act would shutdown 451 alley lights – 20% of which are currently broken.

Perhaps a third solution would prove successful in the interest of both parties: Starry Night Light’s  Motion Controlled Lighting. These lights would shine light in the alleyways when needed, cutting both eletricial costs as well as providing safe and adequate lighting.

Earth Hour

Posted on March 26, 2009 by Noel

[youtube]<param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/2Qr8QXWzT9U&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf[/youtube]

Turn out. Take action.
Be part of this historic event.
March 28, 2009, 8:30 pm local time

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is asking individuals, businesses, governments and organizations around the world to turn off their lights for one hour – Earth Hour – to make a global statement of concern about climate change and to demonstrate commitment to finding solutions.

Source

On March 31st, 2007 the city of Sydney, Australia in conjunction with the WWF took a stand against climate change. At 8pm, 2.2 million residents turned off their power for one hour. Their single stand against climate change has led to a global stand. In 2008, 50 million people from around the globe participated (36 million Americans). Whilst an hour may not seem significant, it symbolizes an idea: take a global stand on climate change. In this special hour, residents within major metropolitan cities may perhaps see the night sky unpolluted with light.

On Call Street Lights: Light By Phone Saves Energy and City Budgets

Posted on March 15, 2009 by Noel

Source

In an effort to cope with tightening budgets, small towns across Germany have decided to turn off all public lighting at night. The people on the town councils deduced if no one is on the streets at night anyway, why pay for the electricity to run the street lights? Yet in light of this (no pun intended), citizens within these towns feel concerned about their safety,  whether stumbling through the dark streets to walk the dog or return from a late night out. This particular instance has let out a call for human ingenuity to rise and solve this concern.

In the small town of Döblitz, a German inventor by the name Heinrich Frühauf has answered that call. By installing a modified mobile telephone in the electrical box controlling the street lamps, citizens can enjoy walking their dog once again at night. Inspired by falling over things during the evening hours, Mr. Frühauf created his mobile telephone invention with the aims of allowing all citizens of Döblitz to call the particular number so that the lights come on; a timer shuts the lights off again in 15 minutes.

Similarly a resident in Dörentrup by the name Dieter Grote came up with his own dial-in system. Whilst a bit more complicated than the aforementioned system, Grote’s system requires the recipient to register with the service and the recipient must enter a 6-digit number to identify the area which they want lit: “Users must know the number of the area where they want light–either by looking the numbers up in an on-line database, or finding the numbers posted on the nearby streetlamp, probably a difficult task given that the streetlamps are not yet lit.”

Whilst this system may not effectively work in larger populated cities, Starry Night Lights has the next best thing: Motion Sensor lighting. Leaving your lights on from dusk to dawn won’t ensure your safety. It will, however, ensure that you’re spending far too much money on electricity. Motion sensors are a great way to have the lights on when you need them, and off when you don’t.Think about this. Your lights are much more likely to attract attention if they suddenly come on at 2:00am.

Tepako, New Zealand: Dark and Proud of it.

Posted on February 20, 2009 by Noel

SOURCE: Tepako, New Zealand

“Where other places greet the night by lighting up their streets and tourist attractions, this one goes the other way — low-energy sodium lamps are shielded from above, and household lights must face down, not up.”

Enter the small town Tepako, home to 830 residents. Home to the University of Canterbury’s Mount John Observatory, citizens of Tepako have banded together to under one goal: “to bring out the stars.” Astro-tourists from around the globe have already begun to flock to Tepako’s pristine, light pollution free night skies. With intentions of becoming internationally recognized by United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) approval for the world’s first “starlight reserve” award, eager inhabitants challenge UNESCO’s criteria for world heritage sites. UNESCO world heritage sites do not include criteria for space around nor above heritage sites. Thus the question of how “to define a piece of open sky for conservation purposes” remains. If their challenge succeeds, Tepako would become the first starlight park in the world. Imagine a city night park for all its citizens to enjoy. Other countries such as La Palma, Hawaii, Easter Island, the Galapagos Islands, Portugal, Canada, Romania and Northern Chile.

null

One of the guides from the Mount John Observatory, a Arizona Native, closes the article with his sentiments regarding Tepako:

[Tepako] offers a chance to see something long lost to city-dwellers — such pristine, dark skies; back in cities like Phoenix, grandparents may have seen starlit skies, but now it’s just something we hear about. We don’t get to experience the stars and those constellations.

FEATURED ITEMS

Top Sellers

Glarebuster2000Glarebuster
the original dark sky friendly light.
Justice Design GroupWall Sconces
from Justice Design Group and AmeriTec Lighting
Wall LanternsWall Mounts
SPJ copper or brass exterior wall mounts

New Items

Quoizel LightingTable Lamps
for any style home
Kenroy HomeCeiling Lights
Brighten any area