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.

Campaign to help see stars in a new light

Posted on October 29, 2010 by Noel

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“SPACE, an NGO, will celebrate the Great Indian Star Count (GSIC) from October 29 to November 12 wherein school children, amateur astronomers and public will be involved in the project.

“Artificial light is essential for our modern society. However, its increased use can cause problems like light pollution,” SPACE Director C.B. Devgun said.

Light pollution is a concern on many fronts like safety, energy conservation, cost and health besides our ability to view the stars,” he said.

“GISC is a scientific survey to quantify light pollution by counting the number of stars that can be seen in the skies. It is a dedicated campaign for better use of lighting and illumination used in our day-to-day lives, efficient use of electricity and saving of electrical energy,” he said.

SPACE is conducting the programme in India on behalf of the Great Worldwide Star Count this year. GISC has been conducted for several years as part of Project Dark Skies to increase awareness of how light pollution affects visibility, he said.”

Over one billion inhabitants populate India today. As such, Indians represent a large portion of the global population. It doesn’t matter if you live in a village, town, city or metropolis around the world, light pollution is a global problem, with no borders. The more the general populace of the world understands the harmful effects of light pollution, the more we will all, as in humans, will want to eliminate it. Ironically enough, we can solve the problem – right now. Shielded light fixtures eliminate sky glare, glow and trespass.

Let there be night!

Oswestry council take dim view of lights switch off plans

Posted on October 26, 2010 by Noel

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“OSWESTRY is to ask for an urgent meeting over county-wide plans to turn off the street lights at midnight. The move which would see parts of Oswestry in darkness between midnight and 6am will save an estimated 35 per cent of lighting costs and reduce carbon emissions says the county’s Head of Technical Services. Town councillors said it would damage Oswestry’s night-time economy and prove a hazard to people walking home. Oswestry Town Council is responsible for some of the lights in the town and that could lead to anomalies, Councillor Martin Bennett explained. “It would be ridiculous to have lights off in some parts of Oswestry and on in others,” he added. Cllr Don Aldridge said he would be concerned at the proposals and said it was very dark on some of Oswestry’s estates. It could be very hazardous for elderly people,” he explained. Cllr Betty Gull said it was not just saving money but it was a question of light pollution. But she said that young people were only just going out when the lights were going to be turned off. “For me it would be acceptable but the younger generation will stay out a good deal longer than midnight,” she said. “If there were hundreds of people milling about at two or three o’clock in the morning it could be a problem. “There might be some areas where it could happen quite reasonably, but I do think that in town centres it might be quite dangerous,” she added. Town councillors agreed that they would ask for a meeting with Ron Buzzacott, Head of Technical Services at Shropshire Council.”

If you don’t need something illuminated, don’t light it. As simple as that may sound, places all over the world violate such a simple concept. Why use energy when you don’t need it? Laziness? Arrogance? Whatever it is, it sure isn’t common sense. Light pollution is a problem that could easily be solved if we really wanted to. Although, the price and the logistics seem to damper any progress towards reducing light pollution. Shielded lighting eliminates light pollution. Plain and simple. We can do this!

Let there be night!

Meteor Shower Tonight October 2010 – Witness Peak of Orionids

Posted on October 22, 2010 by Noel

Meteor Shower Tonight October 2010 – The Orionids, the most prolific meteor shower associated with Halley’s comet, is expected to peak tonight. They are called such since their radiant, the point they appear to come from, lies in the constellation Orion. Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office said that in the last three years, the Orionids meteor shower has produced more that 60 meteors per hour creating a “fireworks” show.

The Orionids meteor shower generally begin on October 15 and end on October 29, with its peak occurring during the morning hours of October 20-22. It is more visible in the Northern Hemisphere than on the Southern Hemisphere. If you want to witness the Orionids Meteor Shower tonight, the best time is after 11 p.m. Look to the East, towards the constellation of Orion. Be sure to take a spot where the skies are clear with no disturbing city lights and wear warm dresses to comfort you since the night is cold.

You don’t need any binoculars or telescope since the naked eye is usually best for seeing meteors. Orionids move very fast, with a tremendous spped of 147,300 mph. At such speed, the meteors don’t last long, burning up very high in the atmosphere. So don’t forget to look up in the sky tonight and let us know if you have witnessed these meteor shower later.

This should be a good one!

Let there be night!

Dark-Sky Park momentum continues in Emmet County

Posted on October 20, 2010 by Noel

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“In April, the Emmet County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to support the group’s effort for Dark-Sky Park designation. It would be the first in Michigan and one of only a few in the United States.

The designation would identify the Headlands as an area with proven commitment to dark-sky preservation and as a place with exceptional night-sky viewing opportunities. The designation also signifies the park’s owners are committed to preserving nocturnal habitat, as well as providing a venue for professional and amateur astronomy.

The Headlands is a 600-acre parcel that is largely undeveloped. There are two large houses on the property that are available for rent, but aside from those structures the acreage is densely populated with trees and wildlife. The property also includes miles of undisturbed Lake Michigan shoreline.

Because of its situation in northwest Emmet County, nearby development is also sparse. The Village of Mackinaw City is about 2 miles to the east and the expanse of Lake Michigan forms the western border.”

“We’re preparing to present all the necessary materials and reports to the International Dark-Sky Association in the next few weeks.; Once they receive our materials and letters of endorsement – and we have many – representatives from the association will make the mandatory trip to our area.”

“That’s one of the most exciting aspects of the Dark-Sky Park designation – educating others about the importance of protecting what we all love about Northern Michigan. I’m confident Emmet County will be a strong candidate for this coveted recognition and, if successful, we will have innumerable opportunities spring from it. This is a very special place, and this will give us the opportunity to share that with others on an international level.” – Mary Stewart Adams, a Harbor Springs night-sky enthusiast

Here at Starry Night Lights, we salute individuals who cherish our night skies and wish to preserve them for future generations to enjoy. For many eons, men and women, have gazed upon the stars. This uniquely human activity has inspired many generations to inquire about not only the nature of the universe, but also the nature of humanity within the universe. When the night sky is illuminated, millions upon millions of humans can not see the stars. We are losing a critical cultural heritage; it is not to late to reclaim it back. Light pollution is 100% reversible. Proper lighting principles eliminate the main culprit of light pollution, unshielded light fixtures. We can reverse this process by letting our representatives know how important our skies are to our communities.

Let there be night!

Light Pollution Erases the Stars From Urban Night Skies

Posted on October 18, 2010 by Noel

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“Which night sky do you fall under?” (Photo: Courtesy of Stellarium)

“If you happen to inhabit a major metropolitan city—say Los Angeles—you might see a passing airplane or a spotlight for some distant movie premiere.

What you probably won’t see are any of the 400 billion stars populating the night sky.

A 2008 study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy estimated that, in 2007, stationary outdoor lighting consumed more than 178 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually.”

It’s true. ‘Excellent dark sky sites’ are quickly becoming increasingly rare around the world. As population increases, light pollution increases. Unless lighting principles are changed, the darkness of the night sky will continue to diminish. One small change to a light’s design can single-handedly eliminate light pollution: shielded fixtures. How? Shielded liht fixtures direct the light downward, where it is needed the most. Traditional lights possess no such design and thus, emit unnecessary amounts of light into the sky and require significantly more energy to power. Combining energy efficient light bulbs with shielded fixtures and motion-sensors, creates a perfect balance of decreased energy consumption, increased security and low maintenance. It’s a win-win-win situation.

Let there be night!

What is the IDA?

Posted on October 15, 2010 by Noel

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“What is the IDA?

The International Dark-Sky Association was established in 1988. It is a not-for-profit group dedicated to protecting and preserving the nighttime environment and our heritage of dark skies through quality outdoor lighting.

1. Stop the adverse effects of light pollution

2. Raise awareness about light pollution, its global effects and its solutions;

3. Educate about the values of quality outdoor lighting.

Any adverse effect of artificial light, including sky glow, glare, light trespass, light clutter, decreased visibility at night and energy waste.”

The IDA stands as the definitive authority on light pollution. Light pollution itself is a scourge and requires immediate eradication. Proper education, regarding lighting principles, will foster a better understanding of light pollution and its adverse effects.

Let there be night!

Too much light may be making people fat: Study

Posted on October 13, 2010 by Noel

“A lack of darkness could be contributing to growing waistlines, according to a U.S. study.

The Ohio State University study says exposure to light at night leads to weight gain in mice.

Television screens, computer screens and even light pollution from street lamps appear to be interfering with circadian rhythms that control sleep and metabolism, the study found.

“Clearly, maintaining body weight requires keeping caloric intake low and physical activity high, but this environmental factor may explain why some people who maintain good energy balance still gain weight,” said study co-author Randy Nelson.

The mice that were exposed to relatively dim light — the equivalent of what a TV screen gives off — at night over eight weeks gained about 50% more body mass than the mice allowed to be in the dark.
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“Although there were no differences in activity levels or daily consumption of food, the mice that lived with light at night were getting fatter than the others,” said lead author Laura Fonken in a release.

The mice living in the dim light at night also showed higher levels of epididymal fat and impaired glucose tolerance, markers of pre-diabetes.

Even low levels of light at night disrupt the timing of food intake and other metabolic signals, which can lead to excess weight gain, the study found.

The study’s findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”

Nearly all life on Earth possesses circadian rhythms, which help regulate our day and night cycles. When these cycles are disrupted, humans, as well as other creatures, experience side effects. Such as, depression, insomnia and breast cancer. Now, chalk weigh gain to the list. Light pollution disrupts life, all life, more than we think. Perhaps, from this knowledge, people will begin to consider how illuminated our skies are and how we, particularly westerners, are becoming more obese.

Let there be night!

New guidance on reducing light pollution

Posted on October 11, 2010 by Noel

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“NEW guidance has been published to help people around the Blackdown Hills people reduce light pollution and protect the view of the galaxy.

The Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty team has produced a series of information sheets which are now available to download.

In May of this year, the Daily Telegraph named the Blackdown Hills as one of the UK’s top locations for night sky watching.

To download the light pollution guidance, go to the ‘looking after’ pages of the Blackdown Hills AONB’s website – click on the Related Link below.”

Light pollution is a bane to not only astronomers, but also to inhabitants around the globe. The adage, knowledge is power, is the key to eradicating light pollution. Shielded lighting prevents light from escaping into the heavens and directs the light downward where it is needed most.

Let there be night!

Astronomers seeking help to cut light pollution here

Posted on October 9, 2010 by Noel

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“A group who specializes in educating those interested in the cosmos will speak to the Porter County Board of Commissioners Tuesday on the issue of controlling light pollution.

Audrey Fisher of StarPals will brief the commissioners on what effects light pollution has on the environment and speak about a possible resolution endorsing the reduction of light pollution.

According to the group’s Web site, Fisher started the group in 2007 to educate elementary students about astronomy.

Also on the agenda, county information technology director Sharon Lippens will give an overview of allocated funds to the county’s new digital telephone system and also the savings associated with the current system.

Emergency Management Director Phil Griffith will hold a discussion on emergency backup power source for county buildings. He will also give an update on the county’s outdoor emergency siren service plan.

Both the IT and EMA items were tabled from the commissioners’ previous meeting on Sept. 21.

Another item includes an approval of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant requested by the Porter County Sheriff’s Police.

There will be no additional Plan Commission business.

The county commissioners will meet at 6 p.m. in the Porter County Administration Building (155 Indiana Ave., Valparaiso) in Suite 205.”

Educating our children about Astronomy will help usher in a new wave of scientists, dedicated to studying the heavens above. Teaching light pollution as a major inhibitor of modern astronomical study to children, will help brighten their future and their future generations’ lives. Why? The dark sky has been a source of entertainment, leisure and inspiration throughout human history. Why take that away from all of us? We can reclaim our night skies and live better lives.

Let there be night!

Provisional dates announced for switch-off of village street lights

Posted on October 6, 2010 by Noel

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“VILLAGES in Misterton and Bingham have been announced as the first areas to have their street lights switched off overnight as part of a money-saving project.

Notts County Council hopes to save £1 million a year and cut carbon emissions and light pollution when it switches off some street lights between midnight and 5.30am, dimming some between 10pm and 7am and switching others off entirely.

Villages in Misterton will be the first to take part in the project from December and then villages in Bingham from January 2011.

The council expects to save 26 per cent of the energy presently used, 5,800 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and an estimated £1.25 million on electricity bills – at present prices.

Councillor Richard Jackson, cabinet member for transport and highways, said: “Where this work has been carried out by other authorities, collisions and crime have not increased. We will continue to light crime and accident black spots.”"

Chalk this up as another example that we overuse too much light. Of course, we are beginning to figure this out when usage increases, monetary expenses also increase. Shutting off unnecessary lights is a step in the right direction, but not the final destination. The remaining lights, which haven’t been shut off, still emit light pollution nightly. Retrofitting these remaining lights, with proper shielding, would direct the light downward, where it’s needed the most. By doing this, all can enjoy the beauty the night sky has to offer. Let your village, town and city representatives that dark skies matter to your community by letting your voice heard!

Let there be night!

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