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.

Five pc increase in ”light pollution” in Delhi

Posted on November 29, 2010 by Noel

Article source

“Surabhi Gupta New Delhi, Nov 28 (PTI) There has been about five per cent increase in the phenomenon of ”light pollution” in Delhi this year as compared to last year, according to a new survey. Adverse effects of excessive artificial light including sky glow, light clutter, decreased visibility at night and energy waste are described as light pollution. A campaign — the Great Indian Star Count (GSIC) — was launched by Space Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE), an NGO, from October 29 to November 12 to make people aware of value of pristine dark skies.

School Children, amateur astronomers and the public took part in it. Initial analysis of the observations made from GSIC shows that light pollution levels have been on the increase in almost all the big cities, SPACE President C B Devgun told PTI. Approximately five per cent increase in the light levels has been recorded in Delhi, he said. More than 1,000 records of observations from 30 locations across the country were taken into account while compiling the data, he said. Due to light pollution, sky-gazers in Delhi miss nearly 97 per cent of stars which are visible to the naked eye as compared to their counterparts living in remote areas close to the national capital. Javer and Sakras, around 120 kms from Delhi, had much darker skies as compared to the national capital. Observers there were able to count many more stars (about 7 to 15) in the given constellation Cygnus than observers in cities like Delhi who could manage only 0 to 4, showing the effect light pollution has on celestial observation, he said.

GISC is a scientific survey to quantify light pollution by counting number of stars that can be seen in the sky. It is a campaign for better use of lighting in day-to-day lives, efficient use of electricity and saving of energy, he said. SPACE is conducting the programme in India on behalf of 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. Great Worldwide Star Count recommends a method of counting stars where an observer looks at known constellations like Cygnus, the swan, and tries to spot how many stars from this constellation can actually be seen in their sky.

The light pollution obscures the stars in the night sky for city dwellers, interferes with astronomical observatories, and, like any other form of pollution, disrupts ecosystems and has adverse health effects. Light pollution sources include building exterior and interior lighting, advertising, commercial properties, offices, factories, streetlights, and illuminated sporting venues. It is most severe in highly industrialised, densely populated areas of India.”

This is a reality nearly all of us on Earth are experiencing: light pollution is on the rise. A five percent increase may seem insignificant to most but consider the roughly 12 million people residing in Delhi. In addition, consider residents residing nearby, many of whom experience light trespass from Delhi. Fortunately, interest groups such as the Great Indian Star Count GISC and Space Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) exist as entities to collect data as well as inform the public of its findings. By doing so, we, the public can educate ourselves about light pollution and adaptable solutions to solve this growing crisis. We can do it!

Let there be night!

Town Creek to hold stargazing program

Posted on November 27, 2010 by Noel

Article source

“MOUNT GILEAD — Visitors can enjoy stargazing at one of the last dark-sky locations in the Piedmont region at Astronomy Night at Town Creek Indian Mount in Mount Gilead on Dec. 4, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The highlight of the night will be the Orion Nebula, found in the constellation Orion.

It will be peak viewing time as the constellation dominates the winter sky, since cold nights usually mean less turbulence in the atmosphere and better viewing conditions. Bring your telescopes or binoculars, and dress appropriately. The site telescope will be available also.

Reservations are required for this event. For information and reservations call (910) 439-6802.

Town Creek Indian Mound is located at 509 Town Creek Mound Road, Mount Gilead. It is within the Division of State Historic Sites of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities, and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social , cultural and economic future. Information on Cultural Resources is available at www.ncculture.com.”

Star parties are an integral part of viewing the night sky for experienced and inexperienced star gazers alike. Not only do star parties encourage community, but they’re a wonderful opportunity to interact with other passionate individuals, relax with your family, and enjoy the terrestrial and extraterrestrial sights. If you haven’t been to one, I’d highly recommend you try to go to at least one. Whether in an open field, at a science observatory or a backyard, knowledgeable individuals can offer insights regarding the infinite heavens above and help make sense as to what you are viewing. If you’d want to experience the night sky with a professional, then I’d suggest to attend your local university astronomy department. There, you can expect to hear and receive guidance from academic professionals. In addition, you’ll most likely have the opportunity to utilize University astronomy equipment, otherwise difficult or impossible for the public to use. But then again, that is the great thing about stargazing. Anyone around the world can simply look up and watch. Although, there is a more sinister force out there, causing the night sky to vanish, called light pollution. Light pollution, simply put, is light escaping into the sky. Without proper shielding, light continues to freely pollute our skies worldwide. There is some good news though: light pollution is 100% reversible. We have the technology to eliminate light pollution, once and for all, but we continue to use outdated and ineffective lighting principles. Here at Starry Night Lights, we are committed to eradicating light pollution and educating the public around the world about its effects.

Let there be night!

Posted on November 25, 2010 by Noel

Article source

“The problem of obesity isn’t confined to just humans,” Livescience.com reports. “A new study finds increased rates of obesity in mammals ranging from feral rats and mice to domestic pets and laboratory primates. ‘We can’t explain the changes in [the animals’] body weight by the fact that they eat out at restaurants more often or the fact that they get less physical education in the schools,’ ” said lead study researcher David Allison of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “… There are several theories as to why animals and humans might be getting fatter. … Pathogens could be to blame: A virus called adenovirus 36 has been linked to obesity in both humans and animals. … The change could be something as simple as our increasingly artificial environments, Allison said. Light pollution and sleep disruption have been linked to obesity. It’s even possible that air conditioning and central heat are to blame.”

There’s some credence to the notion of linking light pollution with obesity: light helps regulate our bodies’ circadian rhythm or biological clock. If the said clock were disrupted, it’s possible that our bodies would experience changes in behavior and habits. For example, remember the advice from your parents regarding eating or drinking to late or else you’ll stay up? Of course, all of us do that all the time but if we do eat before going to bed, our bodies process food substantially slower at rest rather than when we’re awake. I think these ‘minor’ inconviences surmount to major biological problems: our body clocks being off, insufficient rest, variance in mood, unmanageable stress, depression, etc. Light pollution is quickly becoming a major problem for many inhabitants around the globe. Here at Starry Night Lights, we’re committed to completely eliminating light pollution and educating the public about light pollution.

Let there be night!

Star gazing at the world’s clearest skies: Atacama, CHILE

Posted on November 23, 2010 by Noel

Article source

“Star gazing at the world’s clearest skies: Atacama, CHILE

Online PR News – 22-November-2010 – Star gazing at the world’s clearest skies: Atacama, CHILE

The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is a dream destination for stargazers, with high altitude, a virtually cloudless climate, and sparse settlements that minimize distracting light pollution and radio interference. Light years above the desert, the night sky burns with the astronomical highlights of the Southern Hemisphere, including the Southern Cross, the southern Milky Way, and even points in the North.

Explora en Atacama, has a brand new observatory located in the hotel property, just 100 meters from main building. Inside, guests can now gather beneath an observation dome measuring five meters in diameter. The new Meade LX200R is a first-class telescope, generously accessorized with Premium-grade optical glass, a Super Wide Angle Eyepiece, and a “piggyback bracket” enabling the mounting of digital cameras for spectacular astrophotography. If all that weren’t enough, the Meade 16” also ranks as one of the largest “aficionado-level” telescopes to be found in Chile. For day time adventurers there is plenty to do under the sun at explora en Atacama, including climbing high mountains, horseback riding, and hiking and walking through the stunning lunar landscape of the Atacama Desert. For the night time adventurers, the moon, stars, clear sky, constellations and galaxies are now among the many exciting possibilities”.

This is the real deal folks: pristine skies located in picturesque Atacama, Chile. Much of the Atacama desert remains sparsely populated, so one can enjoy the grandeur of the night sky. Light pollution is a serious though 100% preventable form of pollution. Every night around the globe, the majority of towns and cities still strictly adhere to anachronistic light fixture philosophy of ‘more is better’. Well here is the solution: shield it. By shield it, make sure the light is directed downward and can not escape upward. When light is shielded properly, it concentrates the light, thereby increasing its effectiveness of illuminating the surrounding area. Ergo, lower wattage light bulbs combined with proper shielding elements can illuminate the same or better than a standard, unshielded light fixture. We can do it. I know we can. Starry Night Lights is committed 100% to eradicating light pollution once and for all. We have the tools and knowledge to fix this problem, yet choose to idly sit by and watch our night skies disappear.

Let there be night!

Let there be light

Posted on November 22, 2010 by Noel

Article source

“STREET lights in Hampshire will not be switched off, despite recent media speculation about local councils turning off lights to save money. Hampshire County Council is replacing or upgrading all 150,000 street lights in a multimillion pound 25-year project. The new street lights will result in significant energy savings and reduced carbon emissions. The project also includes introducing remote monitoring technology to enable the lights to be dimmed and the council council’s policy presently is to introduce a 25 per cent dimming between 12 midnight and 5am when the new lighting is in place in each area. This follows trials completed earlier to find the best options. The award-winning project will have a wide range of benefits, including less light pollution and clearer night skies, targeted lighting in areas of high crime, safer streets and a minimum target reduction of 15 per cent energy consumption over the first five years. This is due to the replacement of the old orange sodium lamps with energy efficient white ‘natural’ lighting which is directed downwards on to roads and pavements which also reduces light pollution, meaning the night skies are clearer.”

Good on Hampshire County Council’s lighting upgrade. Hopefully, by retrofitting their preexisting light fixtures, they provide adequate shielding to direct the light downward, rather than upward. Without proper shielding, light from light fixtures illuminate our skies, obscuring our observable universe for all to see. Light pollution is a serious issue, which continues to grow, worldwide. Numerous studies have shown its ill effects on humans and other Earth creatures’ health, its ineffectiveness to combat crime and its rapacious appetite for energy resources. The solution is simple: shield our lights, save our skies. Sure, the initial cost to update fixtures would be high, but consider the long term savings and benefits. In my opinion, the positives far outweigh the negatives. Yes, let there be light, but more importantly,

Let there be night!

Leonid meteor shower to peak tonight

Posted on November 17, 2010 by Noel

Article source

“The Leonid meteor shower — a yearly event that in the past has produced some spectacular displays — will peak Wednesday night, with about 15 meteors per hour expected.

To get a good look, Bay Area skywatchers will have to contend with an unhelpful moon, encroaching clouds and the usual light pollution.

Meteor showers occur when the Earth passes through the debris produced by a comet — in this case, the comet Tempel-Tuttle. The Leonids appear to radiate from their namesake constellation, Leo, toward the north.

Occasionally Leonids reach the status of meteor storm, say the experts at NASA, with thousands of meteors per hour. A burst of Leonid activity produced spectacular displays from 1998 to 2002, but these events generally recur in cycles of about 33 years.

Wednesday night, the waxing gibbous moon, three days away from full, will interfere with viewing, and it won’t set until around 4 a.m. And at that point, predicted increasing cloudiness could hamper predawn skywatching.

(Weather note: The partly cloudy Thursday is a precursor to a wet weekend, with rain likely Friday night through Saturday nights, the National Weather Service says. The chance of precipitation will diminish Sunday and Monday, but cooler temperatures those nights — lows will dip into the 30s at higher elevations — mean the local mountaintops could get the season’s first dusting of snow.)

Even if the Leonids are a disappointment, meteor satisfaction might be just a few weeks away: The Geminids, which generally are among the best showers of the year, will peak on the night of Dec. 13, with about 50 meteors per hour predicted by the meteor-watching guide of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Time of optimal viewing is 2 a.m.”

This should be an exciting event for Bay Area sky gazers. The Leonid meteor showers are an annual, natural phenomenon that has been occuring for many, many years. Even if you can not witness this particular meteor shower, there are other meteor showers which occur throughout the year. The significance of viewing this event is simple: you are an advocate for darker skies. Sure, there is natural phenomenon which can obscure our view of the stars, but consider the human phenomenon, light pollution. Light pollution is 100% reversible. We have the tools to reverse this process, yet fumble to build a more sustainable dark sky. Inform your local and national representatives about the virtues of a darker sky: reduced energy consumption, improved circadian rhythm cycles, reduced risk of breast cancer and increased wildlife protection.

Let there be night!

Light up the night with updated porch fixtures

Posted on November 15, 2010 by Noel

“LOOK AT THE OPTIONS

Consider alternatives to clear glass. Textured glass, such as seeded, etched or rippled, along with opaque and coloured glass, are becoming more popular, says Bob Wilson of Wilson Lighting. “Texture adds to the look and feel of the fixture,” he says, and helps camouflage energy-efficient CFL bulbs and reduces glare, while amber light gives a warm glow.

Older eyes become more sensitive, and instead of providing safety, glare from a porch light can be detrimental when trying to navigate steps, says Jeff Dross, senior product manager at Kichler Lighting.

Go for energy efficiency. Easiest to do? Replace your incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps. “CFLs are generally very good until extreme cold hits with temperatures consistently at zero,” Dross says.

He finds exterior lighting a great place to use fluorescents, which offer the most light for your buck.

Keep the skies dark. The dark sky movement started a decade ago in western states to fight light pollution. “There’s a whole shift in how we light the out of doors,” says Tom Patterson, director of product development at Hinkley Lighting.

Instead of light leaking up and horizontally, the light from porch lights shines down, illuminating where you’re walking. The International Dark Sky Association even gives its seal of approval to lights that pass muster.

“You can do with one-third of wattage used,” Patterson says. “Tie it in with fluorescent, and the fixture is even more efficient while still safe and effective.”

Look for different metals. Porch lights were once polished brass, but that finish fails to weather well in some climates.

Aluminum has become a popular choice, and it can be painted different colours. Dross says he’s seeing more neutral-tone grays. Other popular metals are nickel and brushed nickel, stainless steel and dark bronze.

SIZE IT UP

The scale of the fixture is so important, says Shirley Allen, owner of the Light Shop in Kansas City, Mo. “Don’t under size. You need a grown-up fixture.”

Here are the rules of thumb:

For a single lantern, choose one that’s one-third the door height.

For two lanterns, choose fixtures that are around one-fourth the height of the door.

Mount the lanterns about 1.6 metres (66 inches) above the door’s threshold.

Your lanterns will look about half of their size when viewed from 15 metres (50 feet) away, so what may seem enormous in the showroom will appear just right from the street.

Remember, too, that although house size peaked in 2007, interior ceiling heights have increased, adding to the height of the home. Coupled with an oversized front door, that additional height calls for proportionately larger porch lights, says Jeff Dross, senior product manager at Kichler Lighting.”

Let there be night!

Green Good Design Award for DesignworksUSA and Landscape Forms

Posted on November 14, 2010 by Noel

Article source

“BMW Group DesignworksUSA has been awarded a 2010 “Green Good Design Award” for two streetlights from a collection of site furnishings designed on behalf of American based client Landscape Forms. The award is initiated by the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum and given out in 2010 for the second time. It complements the “Good Design Award”, the oldest and most important awards program worldwide.

Hi-Glo, a 12-foot pedestrian light and Lo-Glo, a 3-foot pathway light, feature LED cartridge technology that delivers energy efficiency, high performance, longevity and economy. Innovations in light color and reduced light pollution support the circadian cycle and human health. Both styles meet lighting requirements and help define identity in settings such as business districts, campuses and parks, or can be used as stand alone lighting.

“In past days, eco friendly products used to present a green look and feel. Nowadays designers are facing the challenge to define new aesthetic experiences for products that incorporate new values of sustainability,” said Laurenz Schaffer, President of DesignworksUSA. “Sustainable design solutions integrate social and user needs, intelligent technologies, new materials and processes. With the design of Hi- Glo and Lo-Glo we have made the attempt to integrate these aspects as part of a comprehensive line of site furniture with a light and animated aesthetics that fits globally with agile and modern urban environment. We are proud that our design convinced the Good Design jury, and that we were awarded with a “Green Good Design Award‟ right in its second year of existence.”"

Perhaps, for some people, this design is too ‘modern’ or futuristic, but I think the heart of the idea is what’s important: a new aesthetic for a new generation of lights. It’s 2010 and we’re experiencing the heart of the digital age. Changing the aesthetic status quo to reflect our modern taste celebrates innovation and change. Good on DesignworksUSA for the win and may your design inspire others’ imaginations around the world.

Let there be night!

Nano-Injected Trees to Light Up the Night Sky

Posted on November 11, 2010 by Noel


“Tomorrow’s trees just might earn their keep by lighting up pedestrian pathways. (Photo: Fabrizo Bensch/Reuters)”

Article source

“Here’s an easy question.

In one fell swoop, how do you lower electricity costs, encourage a massive tree-planting program, cut C02 emissions, reduce light pollution in major cities, and light up the night sky like never before?

The answer is super obvious—you simply inject gold nano-particles into the leaves of trees, causing them to give off a luminous reddish glow.

The discovery occurred by accident, reports Earth Times. A Taiwanese scientist was trying to develop a less-toxic version of the efficient and increasingly-popular LED technology in use today.

Yen-Hsen Su, a post-doctoral student at the Research Center for Applied Science in Academia Sinica, Taiwan, implanted the gold nano-particles into the bacopa carolinian plant, inducing chlorophyl in the tree to color the leaves red.

“In the future, bio-LED could be used to make roadside trees luminescent at night. This will save energy and absorb CO2 as the bio-LED luminescence will cause the chloroplast to conduct photosynthesis,” said Su, to Chemistry World.

The discovery is still just that—a discovery. Don’t expect to do any night reading in the woods just yet.

Still, we’re all for any invention that compels mankind to keep trees where they belong—in the ground!”

What a novel idea. Assuming one could control the bio-LED luminescence output levels from these trees, then this could impact future urban developments worldwide. I cautiously embrace this idea, because of the ‘reduced light pollution‘ claim mentioned in the article. Modern lighting fixtures require proper shielding to effectively eliminate light pollution. Yet, if the bio-LED luminescence proved to be 100% effective at completely eliminating light pollution and after numerous scientific studies to demonstrate such a task, we may have a winner here. The pure ingenuity can not be denied, that’s for sure. Although, as to whether it can effectively and completely eliminate light pollution is another thing. Starry Night Lights is dedicated to completely eliminating light pollution worldwide. Period.

Let there be night!

Light up the night with updated porch fixtures

Posted on November 8, 2010 by Noel


Minka Lavery – Great Outdoors Large Wall Light $129.99

Article source

“KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The glow of a porch light does more than light up the night, providing safety and security. It’s a decorative element that adds to your home’s total look, and porch lights are evolving to reflect energy efficiency and light pollution concerns.

Here’s what local and national experts have to say about the latest in porch lights.

Consider alternatives to clear glass. Textured glass, such as seeded, etched or rippled, along with opaque and colored glass, are becoming more popular, says Bob Wilson of Wilson Lighting. “Texture adds to the look and feel of the fixture,” he says, and helps camouflage energy-efficient CFL bulbs and reduces glare, while amber light gives a warm glow.

Older eyes become more sensitive, and instead of providing safety, glare from a porch light can be detrimental when trying to navigate steps, says Jeff Dross, senior product manager at Kichler Lighting.

Go for energy efficiency. Easiest to do? Replace your incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps. “CFLs are generally very good until extreme cold hits with temperatures consistently at zero,” Dross says.

He finds exterior lighting a great place to use fluorescents, which offer the most light for your buck.

Keep the skies dark. The dark sky movement started a decade ago in western states to fight light pollution. “There’s a whole shift in how we light the out of doors,” says Tom Patterson, director of product development at Hinkley Lighting.

Instead of light leaking up and horizontally, the light from porch lights shines down, illuminating where you’re walking. The International Dark Sky Association even gives its seal of approval to lights that pass muster.

“You can do with one-third of wattage used,” Patterson says. “Tie it in with fluorescent, and the fixture is even more efficient while still safe and effective.”

Look for different metals. Porch lights were once polished brass, but that finish fails to weather well in some climates.

Aluminum has become a popular choice, and it can be painted different colors. Dross says he’s seeing more neutral-tone grays. Other popular metals are nickel and brushed nickel, stainless steel and dark bronze.”

Starry Night Lights offers a variety of shielded lighting fixtures for any style and budget. These not only help direct the light downward, but make your home a better investment for the future. Even better, if you use motion sensor lighting fixtures, one can reduce their energy consumption even more as well as help improve their home security system. Really, it’s a win-win situation. You, as the consumer, have the greatest power of all: choice. Do the research, find the facts and work out the best solution for your home. Starry Night Lights will continue to fight the good fight against light pollution and will always advocate for darker, more pristine skies!

Let there be night!

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