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.

New solar-powered tractor to reduce agricultural emissions

Posted on June 8, 2009 by Noel


Source

Industrialized nations in the world rely on fossil fuels for agricultural labour. Considering how a single diesel based tractor produces 23.3 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year, a new tractor for a new age was needed. Enter the ‘Multi-Purpose Solar Tractor.’ Utilizing solar panels, electricity and batteries, Farmers have the option of not only using this tractor for work but rather have the option to sell the tractor’s stored power to power their house or sell it to electrical grid. Talk about self-sufficiency! In a nut shell:

“The tractor is a light truck with sixteen on-board lead acid batteries powered by a 12kW electric motor. The batteries are charged with power from the 10 kWp photovoltaic modules. The vehicle can transport a load of up to 1 tonne; agricultural equipment can be attached for watering, pesticide spraying and collecting crops and it has a top speed of about 45 km/h on the road. It is especially suitable for work in large greenhouses where exhaust fumes from a standard combustion vehicle are a problem.”

Scientists have calculated the estimated emissions for this tractor and predict it will emit 57.17 tonnes of CO2equ (Six Green House Gases including heavy metals, nitrogen oxides, and other pollutants) in 30 years – 757 tonnes by a conventional diesel tractor. Not surprisingly, the batteries on the solar-powered tractor emit the most CO2equ, lead. If cleaner battery technology existed for the tractor, scientists estimated a decrease in 20 tonnes of lead – significantly cutting its health and environmental impact.

Sunny Options for Environmental Enthusiasts!

Posted on June 7, 2009 by Marielle

Starry Night Lights is committed to improving the environment by providing customers with environmental and night friendly lighting fixtures. It is our hope that by educating the public we can encourage more people to become environmentally conscious. We provide individuals with the newest cutting edge lighting technology in green building. Solar energy is one of our newer and most exciting lighting options.

Where does solar energy come from?

Solar energy began in 1839 with the French scientist Edmund Becquerel. Becquerel found that sunlight was able to cause certain materials to give off a spark. This discovery was extremely important for the future of solar energy and marked the first stage of what would become photovoltaics. Photovoltaics is the science of using sunlight and solar cells to create energy.

By 1950 scientists took the discovery a step further and combined the technology with silicon so that about four percentage of sunlight could be used to generate electricity. Afterwards these PV cells were utilized by NASA to power spaceships, satellites and so forth.

How does solar energy work?

A PV cell is made up of two levels of semiconductor material which at a basic level are made up of silicon crystals. Silicon is the most common metalloid and in terms of mass, is the eight most common material found in the universe. Metalloid can be defined as a semi metal, chemical element. Often time they are referred to as semi conductors. In the case of silicon, in its pure form it does not function as an ideal conductor. Yet by adding other substances to it, in a process officially referred to as doping, a more effective form of silicon can be used for electricity generation. Doping typically involves adding boron to the lowest level of the PV cell. This process causes the silicon to carry a positive charge. In turn, the top level has phosphorus added to it which creates a negative charge. The two levels are known as “p-type” and “n-type” and the surface in between the two is known as the P-N junction. An electric field is created when electrons move about between the two layers.

Solar Panel
Source: http://www.mrsolar.com

Sunlight hits the PV cell and the electrons are loosened. The electrons of each level are attracted to the electrons of the opposite layer as a result of the pull of the charge. Only an external circuit has the ability to allow the electrons to reach their desired level. When electrons go through the circuit they create electricity.

In a solar panel, the basic level is made up of several square cells which alone create very little energy. Thus they are usually clustered together to form modules, which when grouped together create a panel.
——————————————————————————————————–
Starry Night Lights your guide to green lighting!

(Article is based on information from www.ucsusa.org)

Better Days through the Sun’s Brightest Rays

Posted on June 5, 2009 by Marielle

Solar energy is abundant, clean and among the most promising avenues of renewable energy. As the world moves towards lessening its dependency on forms of energy which pollute the atmosphere, renewable energy will be the future.

Solar energy has enormous potential. In fact, just twenty days of sun is equivalent to all the earth’s reserves of coal, oil and natural gas.

The sun emits about 1,300 watts per square meter. The earth has the potential to receive about 1,000 of the 1,300 on an optimal sunny day. If one were to measure the sunlight of the entire earth’s surface for a year, the energy collected would be about 4.2 kW hours of energy daily.

Solar Panel
Found at: http://www.globalforceinfo.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/home-solar-panels.jpg

The amount of sunlight which can be collected and used for energy is dependent on geography, the season and local weather. For instance, deserts have the greatest potential for harvesting solar energy. It has been estimated that deserts can collect approximately six kW hours per square meter daily.

Naturally the amount of energy harvested is dependent on the sun concentration of the location. Areas, such as American northeastern cities like Boston or New York are close to 3.6 kW per square meter. Areas with high rain concentration have a low solar energy potential.

In spite of the positive sense of these figures, our society is not capable of harvesting sunlight’s full energy potential at this point. The inability to do so is based on the inefficiency of the devices being used.


Found at: http://i.ehow.com/images/GlobalPhoto/Articles/4857970/build-your-own-solar-panel-main_Full.jpg

Among the many areas where solar energy could most effectively be used are commercial buildings. Both commercial buildings and residential homes are among the highest areas of energy use. Interestingly, outside of the energy which can be utilized through sunlight, energy can also be saved by using sunlight as a lighting source. Through thoughtful planning, architects can design buildings in ways which could utilize the sun for lighting.

Solar energy has become increasingly available for customers. For solar power lighting options turn to Starry Night Lights!

(Article is based on information from www.ucsusa.org)

Circadian Disruption Symposium

Posted on June 5, 2009 by Noel


June 4th, 2009 Special IDA Bulletin
Source

“The symposium will provide the latest information regarding the known effects of light at night on circadian disruption and cancer, and may offer valuable information to city managers and planning officials who are considering updating their outdoor lighting plans. Please urge your city officials to attend this event or obtain copies of the proceedings.”

The International Dark-sky Association(IDA) proudly supports the New York Academy of Sciences and the Mushett Family Foundation Symposium on June 19th, 2009 regarding Circadian Disruption. Circadian Disruption is a disruption within living entities that operate roughly on a 24 hour biochemical, physiological and behavioral process cycle. In other words, Circadian Disruption is an alteration to the ‘internal human clock.’ With the advent of LED lighting as an alternative to compact fluorescent light bulbs, the Symposium will examine inquires and concerns regarding its fledgling technology. For instance, many LEDs manufactored today exhibit correlated colour temperature (CCT) well over 5500k. Natural Moonlight exhibits 4100k whereas highly pressured sodium lights i.e. common streetlight exhibits 2100k. As to wether LED’s CCT effects living entities, information regarding it remains unknown. Other topics will include the relationship between day and night as well as cancer studies from past and future. Registration begins promptly at 7:30 am and concludes around 7:30 – 8:00 pm.

Last Hubble Rendezvous – Success!

Posted on May 20, 2009 by Noel

During five successful space walks, astronauts repaired and rejuvenated the space telescope

Astronaut John Grunsfeld in the final space walk to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. (NASA)

Source

Mission Success!

Yesterday at 8:57 a.m. EDT, astronauts said their farewells to the Hubble Space Telescope. During the 11-day servicing mission, astronauts walked on five separate occasions in hopes of updating the aging telescope. Well, NASA’s tenacity and patience paid off. Hubble is now fully functional once again; boasts two new sophisticated instruments. Astronauts installed:

“A wide-field camera with infrared sensors that will enable the observatory to see assembling galaxies further back in time than ever before; and a spectrograph that will break ultraviolet light up into its component wavelengths and allow astronomers to view supernova remnants, trace the birth of young stars and record superclusters of galaxies, the largest structures in the universe.”

Heralded as nothing short of a miracle, these adroit astronauts fixed the ‘unfixable’ – many doubted their efforts. For starters, two old intruments, Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, were never designed to undergo repairs in space – yet the astronauts prevailed. Both astronauts, John Grunsfeld Andrew Feustel, removed the 32 screws from the access panel and replaced the camera’s four circuit boards along with installing a new power supply. On the following day, astronauts Mike Massimino and Mike Good attached a ‘capture plate’ to the Spectrograph’s electric panel. The crew also replaced two battery modules as well as replacing three deteriorating thermal blankets with stainless steel panels to cover the more vulnerable spots on Hubble. Finally, the crew installed six new gyroscopes which allow Hubble to maneuver easily through space. All in all, Hubble’s life expectancy has increased by five years. Once scientists at NASA calibrate the new camera and spectrograph, expect to see new images from Hubble this upcoming September.

Starry Night Lights wishes to congratulate the Atlantis Shuttle Crew on a job well done!

NASA rescue mission aims to revive Hubble

Posted on May 8, 2009 by Noel


NASA 2004

Source
Hubble has broadened our understanding of space for nineteen years. After four repairs missions, Hubble presently lacks half of its working gyroscopes which keep it in proper orbit (three out of six work), lacks in battery life and lacks in fully functioning instruments (three presently work). This upcoming Monday, seven astronauts in the Atlantis shuttle will attempt to repair Hubble for the fifth and final mission. Either the repairs on Hubble will successfully increase its power by an estimated ninety times since its launch date in 1990 or the repairs will fail to save Hubble and render it as a six-point-nine billion dollar “piece of space junk”. Unfortunately, these seven astronauts face immense pressure since the shuttle Atlantis will retire within seventeen months thus making this repair mission absolutely critical – there is either success or failure.

Let us reflect upon some of Hubble’s achievements:

• Helped narrow the age of the universe to 12 billion to 14 billion years, rather than the 10 billion to 20 billion years known previously.

• Captured the farthest pictures of deep space ever taken, showing early galaxies born in the era when the first stars were forming.

• Detected exploding stars in a pattern that suggested a mysterious “dark energy” is propelling galaxies apart.

• Provided the first analysis of the atmosphere of planets in other solar systems and taken the first picture of such a planet. “

Named after the U.S. astronomer Edwin Hubble, Hubble will and always remain one of the greatest achievements in understanding the foundations of the universe. If the repairs prove successful, they will increase Hubble’s longevity by an estimated five to seven years. In preparation of Hubble’s ultimate demise, NASA plans on launching a new telescope James Webb after a former NASA chief in the upcoming years. Whilst the James Webb Space Telescope will not have the capability to sense emitting ultraviolet light nor capture extraordinary light photographs like its predecessor, James Webb specializes in sensing light emitted from the earliest stars in the universe to capture some semblance of the universe’s origin. Much of Hubble’s photographic prowess and clarity come from its high orbit in the sky, far above light pollution on Earth. From Starry Night Lights to the Seven Astronauts: Best of luck and God Speed.

Sun to Fuel New Florida City

Posted on April 25, 2009 by Noel


Source

“We are extremely excited to build one of the world’s largest solar photovoltaic projects once the state legislative and regulatory authorities have taken the actions that would be required for us to move forward; We believe large-scale solar projects like Babcock Ranch can yield significant environmental benefits to the people of Florida, create sustainable job growth and stimulate the local economy.” – Florida Power & Light Company Chief Development Officer Eric Silagy

Outside of Ft. Myers, Florida, the creation of Babcock Ranch will herald a new era of city planning: using solar power exclusively. Estimates on its completion range within 10 to fifteen years. Encompassing 91,000 acres, with 73,000 acres set aside as a nature preserve, Babcock Ranch will also have the world’s largest photovoltic facility. Whilst Babcock Ranch will have a link on the normal Floridian power-grid for emergency purpose, proponents plan on creating excess energy. Each home as well as each business with adhere to strict environmental standards including: “sustainable water management and conservation, street lamps designed to reduce light pollution, electric car chargers, and green roofs to reduce energy loss.” All the while having “parks, trails, shops, restaurants and a state-of-the-art Wellness and Fitness Center within walking distance of downtown, reducing vehicular traffic.”

Babcock Ranch’s main challenge lies with Nature itself, since Babcock Ranch’s location lies 12 miles inland and around 30 feet above sea level in a major hurricane region. In spite of that, Babcock Ranch’s proponents state that with the aid of local palm trees to help reduce wind speed, all buildings within Babcock Ranch will show resistance to winds upwards to 120 mph. Furthermore, financing a $2 billion project within the United States’ economic climate remains a challenge. Fortunately Babcock Ranch has become “an independent special district, giving it a public financing mechanism that offers it more options to fund a $2-billion project.” Whilst all of Babcock Ranch’s entitlements have been cleared and are currently in the permit stage, Babcock Ranch needs to bring in business.

Going Green Can Put More Green in Your Wallet!

Posted on April 15, 2009 by Marielle

The stimulus plan which Congress approved in February provides individuals with strong incentives for making ones home more energy efficient. By taking some easy steps in improving the sustainability of ones home the stimulus plan will assist in lowering ones taxes.

By performing certain energy-efficiency upgrades such as improvements in windows and insulation, one can receive substantial revenue in tax returns. This is because up to 30% of the total cost of the upgrades will be given back as credit, according to the stimulus plan. Thus, if one were to spend 3,000 dollars on the accepted type of windows, one could receive up to $900 as a return.

What’s covered?

Not any upgrade is covered, only four kinds are covered. This includes upgrades in what is termed as ‘home-shell improvements’ like insulation, windows and sealing. The reason these improvements are included is because of their ability to make the home more sustainable by closing or improving leaks. With less warm or cool air escaping the residence, less energy needs to be spent in cooling or warming ones home. In addition, energy efficient heating and cooling, ventilating, and HVAC systems, are also covered. Also, geothermal renewable energy technology is also ‘eligible’; this would include heating pumps, solar water heating, small wind generators and photovoltaic systems. The last improvement may come as a surprise; however hybrid and diesel cars are also covered on the stimulus plan.

Another exciting thing to keep in mind is the fact that the credit is not fixed on improvements that one makes at this time, they include ‘future’ improvements. Any home-shell or HVAC improvements made by December 31, 2010 are included. Improvements in renewable energy made by December 31, 2016, are also approved.

Some upgrades which one may have made last year can also be included. For instance, renewable energy improvements such as geothermal heat pumps and solar panels are covered. Unfortunately, home-shell improvements made last year are not included. In order to gain credit for any renewable energy improvement made in 2008, one must fill out I.R.S. Form 5695.

What step should I take first?

Perhaps the wisest step to take first would be to improve the insulation of ones home. By doing this one could reduce ones heating and cooling costs by up to 20%. This step should include an energy audit, which would assist in figuring out how much can be saved by improving the insulation of ones home.

Do not rush into installing solar panels. After all, solar panels are expensive and if ones home is not insulated correctly, the benefit of solar panels would be wasted to some degree. However after taking the correct steps towards ‘greenifying’ ones home, solar panels should certainly be considered.

These measures are still very new and tax preparers may still be unaware of them. Thus, it would be wise to make sure ones improvements meet the correct criteria. This can be done by checking the packaging of particular products, or doing some research by looking through the manufacturers’ WebPages.

Here are some useful links in performing this endeavor:
- The Alliance’s Website: ase.org
- The Tax Incentives Assistance Project: energytaxincentives.org
- Energy Star (info on qualifying products): energystar.gov

Starry Night Light’s is a provider of Energy Star approved products, thus lighting fixtures bought from Starry Night Lights meet the criteria! Look through our merchandise and find the best fixture for your personal taste and receive tax credit in return! Who knew going green could put so much green back into your wallet!!!

Israeli solar energy project enters farm phase

Posted on March 25, 2009 by Noel


Two functioning CPV systems at Kibbutz Kvutzat Yavne.

Source

ZenithSolar officially announced its next step into creating electric-thermal hybrid solar power systems utilizing CPVs (concentrated photovoltaic) rather than traditional PVs (photovoltaic). Flat solar panels found atop homes encompass PVs, whereas CPVs differs in several different aspects:  “satellite shaped dish with small glass squares that line the dish to reflect sunlight—with 1,500 times the intensity—onto a generator that’s set directly in front of the dish.” Furthermore, “the generator can absorb more than 70 percent of the solar energy (versus the 10 percent to 13 percent that PV panels get) and a water-cooling system keeps the tiny generator from being fried at about 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit – the dishes produce no more heat than the local ambient temperature.” Whilst no price has been determined, ZenithSolar claims the consumer will pay for the unit itself within 5 years and each unit comes with a 15 year warranty.

One of my concerns with the system still is light pollution, especially in residential neighborhoods. Given the driving hazard of sunlight reflected onto the street from glass buildings, wouldn’t a residential or industrial CPV system have a similar impact?

Ilan Lozovsky, COO of ZenithSolar replies:

Not a problem. The dish, which pivots, will be programmed to follow the sun, so most times the dish will be pointed straight up. In other words, as long as it’s functioning this won’t be an issue.

On the topic of Solar Lighting, Starry Night Lights offers Solar Solar Powered LED Lighting solutions, which:

  • Consume 0 energy
  • Run for years without maintenance
  • Can run for weeks in cloudy weather
  • Are 100% night sky friendly
  • Can be pole mounted
  • Can be wall mounted
  • Can be installed virtually anywhere

Dark Sky Enthusiasts, Mark Your Calendars!

Posted on March 1, 2009 by Marielle

Feel like you are alone in your passion for saving the night sky? Think again! Starry Night Lights is thrilled to draw your attention to two different events which will shed light upon the seriousness of light pollution and mankind’s role in this issue.

The first event will be taking place on March 3, 2009 at 3pm, Eastern time. The event, sponsored by GE, entitled “Light and its Impact on Human Health and Well Being: A Guide for Specifiers” will be given by Mariana G. Figueiro, PhD and assistant professor at the Lighting Research Center at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The event will delve into the ways in which light effects and influences human health and well being. It will carefully distinguish between the differing impacts of lighting on visual and non-visual systems. Accordingly, specifiers will be taught how to use light to improve and or increase health and balance both in their work environment and at home.

GE Logo

For individuals interested in participating click here.

Please provide your name and email, as well as:

Meeting number:
828 240 258
Password:
specifier
Conference number*:
888-677-1781
Passcode:
9063485

The second event to be looking forward to is a free webcast that will take place on March 11, 2009 at 4 pm. The event will be presented by Integrated Energy Solutions (IESSD); a company operating out of San Diego with specialties in building automation and energy management. The company’s adept abilities allow it to cater to projects as small as building a classroom and as large a construction projects.

IES San Diego

Mark your calendars… for these two wonderful events. Join in with other dark sky enthusiasts and explore the many inventive ways to protect the health of night-sky!

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