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.

Opinion: Light pollution

Posted on June 30, 2010 by Noel

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“If you look up at the night sky along the Wasatch Front, you won’t see the expanse of black velvet covered with diamonds that you expect. Instead, you will see a pink-orange firmament and 70 stars at best. This is a result of our failure to use reasonable amounts of light and to properly shield outdoor fixtures.

Gas stations and car lots, the most egregious light polluters, are brighter at midnight than at noon. The glow cast into the sky is visible from Great Basin National Park, more than 200 miles away. This light pollution affects migration patterns in birds and has potentially serious health implications for people through changing sleep patterns and reduced levels of melatonin. The Prairie Astronomy Club in Nebraska estimates that about $1 billion is wasted through light pollution each year.

When I bought a new car last month, I used a car dealer that used light responsibly. I challenge others who care about their health and the quality of life to do the same. If these businesses start hearing that customers want them to save money and reduce their impact on the world around us, maybe they will reduce their light pollution. – Matthew Flitton, West Jordan”

Well said.

In my opinion, light pollution is surreptitious form of pollution. Since the advent of street lighting, electrical technology and rising global population, the sky has slowly become more polluted over time. Now, many inhabitants on Earth have never even seen the Milky Galaxy in all its glory. As each year passes, certainly there’s more light pollution, but there’s certainly increased awareness from inhabitants yearning for darker skies. Increasing awareness is the first to identifying a global problem. Light pollution may seem harmless, but scientific research suggests otherwise. It’s also been proven to be financially irresponsible. As population increases, environmental pressure increases. Ergo, solutions are needed to help lessen or offset our environmental impact. Proper lighting fixtures, utilizing shielding and motion sensors, offers a substantial reduction in electrical bills, better health and well-being and eliminates light pollution 100%. Shielded lighting is not a ‘bandage’ solution to a problem, but rather, a cure to a ubiquitous ailment.

Let there be night!

Streetlights on through day spark action calls

Posted on June 28, 2010 by Noel

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“The ones in Horsehay have been on for at least six weeks and maybe longer.There are a few more further up that road that have been on for months. They may have even been left on since the road was completed which was more than six months ago. It’s not just the cost which needs looking at. There’s the environmental side of things as well.” – David Hopkins, resident of Horsehay

“We are charged on the hours the streetlights are supposed to be burning at. However, it is not just the cost issue but also the amount of light pollution. The lights between Horsehay and Lawley Common are presently on because the control equipment is being replaced with remote radio control and monitoring equipment. However, there has been an equipment failure between the computer software and radio system. This will be replaced and the system will be up and running by Monday next week.” – A council spokesman

A technical problem for a day, no problem. But for weeks? Unforgivable. Excess lighting at night warrants no benefits; excess lighting during the day is just plain ludicrous. I can see why local Horsehay and Lawley Common residents were upset at the lack of repairs. No thing or one benefits from excessive lighting. Millions upon millions of dollars every year are wasted on powering inefficient, unshielded lighting fixtures around the globe. Plans are in the works of “to switch off 1,350 streetlights between midnight and 5.30am” and council members predict an estimated savings of £76,000 in energy costs and eliminate light pollution.

Let there be night!

Mark Your Calendars: Bryce Canyon National Park’s Astronomy Festival is July 7-10

Posted on June 25, 2010 by Noel

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“Bryce Canyon National Park will celebrate its dark night skies in July during its 10th Annual Astronomy Festival. And there are two bonuses to this event: One is free entrance to the park for the festival for Utah residents, the other is the keynote speaker is the author of Stars Above, Earth Below, A Guide to Astronomy in the National Parks.

This year’s festival will be held Wednesday, July 7 through Saturday, July 10. Dr. Tyler Nordgren, 2010 keynote speaker, kicks-off the event with a talk about his book. That talk will be July 7 from 8:30 p.m.-9:45 p.m. in Ebenezer’s Barn and Grill in Bryce Canyon City adjacent to the park. Tickets are $2 per person, or $5 per family, and will be sold at the door. Following the indoor presentation, free stargazing with telescopes will be provided back in the park, courtesy of the Salt Lake Astronomical Society and the “Dark Rangers” of Bryce Canyon.”

“Astronomy is fast becoming a big part of Bryce Canyon’s international appeal. People come from all over the world to see our stars and yet many Utahns have yet to experience the beauty of our night sky. So, that’s why I’m extending an invitation to all of my fellow Utahns. For the duration of our Astronomy Festival, I’ve authorized that Bryce Canyon’s $25 entrance fee will be waived for all non-commercial vehicles operated by a driver with a valid Utah Driver’s license.” – Superintendent Kathleen Gonder

Calling all Utah, hell, all residents of Earth: if you have not gone to Bryce Canyon, please do so posthaste. Bryce Canyon is one of Utah’s natural treasures and offers some of the best night skies on the planet. Bryce Canyon’s beauty remains unparalleled and pictures certainly do it no justice. One most experience Bryce Canyon and let it leave an indelible mark upon your very being. The National Park’s Astronomy Festival should be an incredible oppurtunity, especially for those you have not experienced Bryce Canyon. Round up the kids or pack a car with your buddies and head on down to Southern Utah to experience some of the most unique, geographical phenomenons on the planet. Just a word of caution: it may change your life.

Let there be night!

McDonald Observatory Introduces Dark Skies Initiative With Video, Radio Programs

Posted on June 23, 2010 by Noel

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“FORT DAVIS, Texas — The University of Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory is kicking off a campaign to promote awareness of the causes, effects and solutions to light pollution — stray light shone into the sky where it’s wasted, rather than down on the ground where it’s useful.

The observatory will be promoting dark skies awareness through its nationally syndicated StarDate radio program, its Spanish-language radio program Universo and through online video and summer programs on-site at its home in West Texas.”

“McDonald Observatory is fortunate to have the darkest night skies of any professional observatory in the continental United States. The sky out here makes this a great place for big telescopes and research. For years, we’ve put on public programs and worked with schools to bring the wonders of the universe to as wide an audience as possible. Now we want to share the message that dark skies are what makes our work possible, and preserving dark skies is worthwhile for everyone.” – Dr. Tom Barnes, McDonald Observatory superintendent.

According to the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), Americans alone spend an estimated 10 billion dollars a year on wasted electricity. Increased lighting does not deter crime or improve health. Frankly, it encourages the opposite. Studies have shown that excessive lighting encourages more crime than otherwise normally lit areas and light pollution is correlated with breast cancer in humans. Perhaps, most importantly of all, wasted lighting increases CO2 emissions substantially. There are absolutely no laudable effects. Just contempt. That’s why shielded lighting fixtures are a necessity to completely eliminating light pollution from the globe. Just imagine, being able to see the Milky Way Galaxy, in all its glory, anywhere in the world. Shielded lighting would make that possible, even in the largest of metropolises. Everyone in the world could enjoy this activity that humankind has done for thousands of years. The heavens above remind us of how beautiful and precious life is on Earth and how incredibly small we are compared to the known universe. Perhaps, the stars may not inspire one to philosophically muse over human existence, but, disregarding semantics, the stars will always be there no matter what. The mere consideration of shielded lighting fixtures is a positive step in the right direction. If you have any questions, any at all, Starry Night Lights is here to help you! We are lighting experts committed to darkening the night sky, one light fixture at a time.

Let there be night!

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For those interested, here is the link for the McDonald Observatory’s Youtube Channel.

Partial lunar eclipse will be visible in Southern Utah

Posted on June 21, 2010 by Noel

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“Imagine anything getting in the way of the sun’s reflection on the moon; that thing that is getting in the way is the earth.

In 2012, a unique solar eclipse will be visible in Utah. He said because of the angles of the earth, moon and sun, the moon will cover the sun but will appear smaller, creating the appearance of a donut-shaped sun for about four minutes.

Lunar eclipses differ from solar eclipses in that instead of the earth blocking the reflection of the sun onto the moon, the moon travels between the earth and the sun, blocking the sun’s light.

Also, unlike many astronomical events, viewers do not need any special equipment to see the eclipse. Lunar eclipses are not harmful to look at.” – Patrick Wiggins, NASA Solar System Ambassador to Utah

Though not limited to just Southern Utah, a partial lunar eclipse will occur on Saturday morning, June 26, between the hours of 4:17 a.m. and 5:38 a.m. Fortunately, for residents residing in areas with large concentrations of light pollution, fear not. No special equipment is needed for lunar eclipses and unlike solar eclipses, they’re not harmful to look at. Lunar eclipses are one of the few remaining astronomical phenomenons visible to the naked eye. A shame, really. The Milky Way Galaxy is a wonderful phenomenon to watch at night. To think, generations ago, night was night and day was day. There was no artificial light to obscure our perception of what constitutes day and night. Fewer and newer generations will find it increasingly burdensome to travel far away to dark sky refuges across the globe. Who knows, perhaps these refuges will dwindle in numbers due to light encroachment from surrounding areas. The future hasn’t been written yet. As environmental problems begin to compound, shielded lighting offers a practical solution to completely eliminating a profoundly detrimental form of pollution. Furthermore, shielded lighting, coupled with energy efficient light bulbs, reduces electrical consumption/costs, reduces sleep disorders and reduces the chance of breast cancer.

Let there be night!

Comments sought on plans to install sports field lights

Posted on June 19, 2010 by Noel

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“ENCINITAS — A neighborhood meeting will be held June 24 to discuss lighting for the sports fields at the planned Encinitas Community Park in Cardiff.

Some residents have expressed fear that 90-foot light poles will block ocean views and cause light pollution.

The meeting will be from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Encinitas Community Center Banquet Hall, 1140 Oakcrest Park Drive. The purpose of the meeting is to gather residents’ comments which will be presented to the Planning Commission at a meeting to consider a lighting plan.

The 44-acre park will be west of Interstate 5 and south of Santa Fe Drive. It is planned as five soccer fields that overlap with two baseball fields, as well as a dog park and skate park, framed by a buffer of landscaping, pathways and gardens between the park and neighborhood. Future phases include a teen center and a swimming complex. The park design envisions field lights in a range of heights, from 40 feet to 90 feet tall.

The City Council approved the park in 2008.

For more information on the meeting, call (760) 633-2743.”

These lights certainly don’t have to block ocean views if they’re properly shielded. Shielded lighting is absolutely essential to eradicating light pollution 100%. Without shielded lighting, even the most technologically energy efficient light bulb would be a moot point – the light would still escape upwards. Shielded lighting on the other hand, directs the light downard, where it is needed most. No one or thing benefits from shinning unnecessary light upwards. In fact, many homes, towns and cities across the world waste billions of dollars on unnecessary electricity emitted from poorly designed lighting fixtures. Not only would people save billions of dollars by switching to shielded lighting fixtures, the health benefits would be innumerable. Light pollution affects all organisms possessing a circadian rhythm (nearly all sentient life on Earth). Studies have linked light pollution with insomnia and breast cancer in humans, as well as altering behavior of many nocturnal organisms. Starry Night Lights is proud to carry shielded light fixtures which eradicate light pollution 100%.

Let there be night!

Astronomers, Dark Sky Fans and Sun Spotters Convene in Tucson, AZ

Posted on June 18, 2010 by Noel



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Lunt Solar Systems will have an array of Solar Telescopes setup outside (weather permitting) so that anyone can take a look at our nearest Star… the Sun. The Outdoor Solar viewing will be FREE to the General Public. Bring the kids and enjoy a few hours outside in the warm sunshine watching the weather of the Sun change… right before your eyes. Possibilities include Solar Flares, Solar Prominences, and maybe we’ll get lucky and witness a Solar Mass Ejection.

Exhibits and vendors — Telescopes, binoculars, books, videos, jewelry, apparel, software, posters and more are on display in the exhibits and vendors area. Learn about professional observatories and other astronomy organizations. http://ALCon2010.astroleague.org/sponsors.php

The World at Night photo exhibition features stunning images of the night sky seen over the world’s landmarks. University of Arizona student Soha Namnabat made it possible for these amazing photographs to come to Tucson. http://www.twanight.org/newTWAN/index.asp

[Amateur] Astronomers of Arizona rejoice! Tucson, AZ will host ALCON (Astronomical League Convention and Expo) from June 25-27, Arizona Solar Conference, June 25-27 and International Dark-Sky Association Meeting, June 27 at the Tucson Hilton East concurrently. See the latest astronomy telescopic equipment, listen to astronomy lectures from various individuals possessing doctorates degrees, hear some of the latest astronomy news, see some stunning night sky photography and more! This should be an exciting event all ages should enjoy!

Let there be night!

Bright Green Comet Easy to See This Week

Posted on June 17, 2010 by Noel


Comet McNaught streaks across the sky in 2009 (file photo).
Image courtesy Michael Jäger

Article source

The green colored Comet McNaught will be cruising across the sky 105 million miles (170 million kilometers) away just before sunrise from June 16-24th. To be precise, an hour before sunrise is the best viewing times for this natural phenomenon. Ideally, when viewing such a phenomenon, one should view in an area without any light pollution and on a clear, moonless light. But many experts agree that this year, the McNaught Comet should rival that of the Big Dipper constellation in illumination. All and all, the McNaught Comet should put on a great show over the next few days.

Perhaps, if current lighting trends continue, constellations will become a thing of the past in most urban areas. No Orion’s Belt, no Big and Little Dipper, no Andromeda, nothing. I at least hope, that areas of refuge, such as national parks, will still exist in the future, so future generations may view the majesty of a clear night sky. Yet, there is always the chance it may not. I don’t know. What I do know is that light pollution, which was once regarded as a minor nuisance, is now becoming a serious problem. It causes detrimental health effects, endangers species with circadian rhythms and blurs the natural ebb and flow of nature, specifically night and day. Reading or hearing about light pollution is the first step to becoming aware of this otherwise ‘surreptitious’ problem. If I may be cliche, knowledge is power.

Let there be night!

Light pollution is

LA Area Military Facility Receives LEED Gold Certification

Posted on June 15, 2010 by Noel

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EL SEGUNDO, CA – The Los Angeles Military Entrance Processing Station in El Segundo has received LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Gold Certification from the US Green Building Council, making it the first building in the City to achieve LEED Gold Certification.

“Among the environmental and energy-saving features include low-flow toilets and faucets, light-pollution controls, and energy efficient structures and heating/cooling systems. In addition, Mar Ventures used approximately 30 percent of reclaimed or recycled materials in the construction.”

“LEED is a third-party certification program administered by the Green Building Certification Institute and is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. To achieve Gold LEED certification, a building must receive between 60 and 79 out of a possible 100 points in a complex rating system that addresses such things as location and planning, sustainability, water and energy efficiency, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation and design.”

LEED certification represents all that modernity should strive towards: efficient electronics, environmental sustainability and progress towards a cleaner future. Considering the win ‘The Los Angeles Military Entrance Processing Station in El Segundo’ achieved with LEED, the GOLD award challenges past building layouts, designs and aesthetics yet encourages not only an increased awareness about the environment, but rather heralds exceptional plans with prestigious awards. Now, it is worth mentioning that a level above GOLD exists, Platinum, though an exceptionally small percentage of buildings possess such an award. Though do not scoff at GOLD – it requires a considerable effort to achieve and is by no means considered unworthy. Cheers to another building adapting to present economic, environment and social pressure and setting a precedent for future buildings. Starry Night Lights will always support environmental endeavors, which eliminate light pollution once and for all, so future generations may know the grandeur of a pristine, dark sky.

Let there be night!

Experts criticize upgrader proposal

Posted on June 9, 2010 by Noel

“Central Alberta has one of the highest levels of light pollution in Canada, save for Montreal and maybe Toronto, because of street lights and a high density of petrochemical plants.”

Light pollution is a health hazard. Nerve endings in eyes trigger the internal body clock, which regulates biological processes, and being exposed to excess light at night can upset those rhythms. At petrochemical plants, that lighting can come from lights on towers to flares, to general lighting of the grounds.” – James Benya, principal of a lighting design consulting practice in the United States.

Fort Saskatchewan, AB seems to have an unusually high health admittance rate (doubled) compared to its surrounding counties. Health investigators suspect that air pollution is to blame from larger, surrounding countries lingers. In addition to the air pollution investigation, an inquiry into light pollution will also be conducted. As mentioned above, light pollution affects all organisms possessing circadian rhythms. Translation: nearly all forms of life on Earth. A disruption in an organism’s circadian rhythm leads to decreasing levels of melatonin. Melatonin is a naturally occurring chemical, released by the brain which helps govern the day-night cycle. If melatonin levels are low, then expect to experience insomnia, a weakened immune system or worst case scenario, develop breast cancer. Yeah. Cancer. Light pollution ‘tricks’ organisms into believing that it’s day when it’s quite the contrary. I admit, light pollution is a rather recent human phenomenon. As every year passes, more studies have proven light pollution to be more than a benign tumor of society. No. It’s implications are far greater than we originally thought. Yet compared to other environmental pollutants, light pollution is 100% irreversible.

Let there be night!

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