” “KUALA LUMPUR, March 11 (Bernama) – Remember the popular nursery rhyme ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’?
The rhyme goes as:
“Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky!”
The lyrics were taken from an early 19th-century English poem, “The Star” written by by Jane Taylor.
NO MORE STARS AT NIGHT?
“I don’t see many stars lighting up the night sky now. Worse still, I can’t see any star during most of the nights,” said businessman T.S. Wee.
Wee, also an environmentalist stays in Kota Damansara, near here. The 55-year-old businessman said he still could see some stars when he returned to his home village near Tumpat in Kelantan.
The father of four said he remembered sitting outside his house or by simply looking out from the window of the house to see many stars lighting up the night sky during his boyhood days.
“My primary school science teacher also told us about the various constellations of stars like the Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Big Bear and Orion The Hunter that could be pictured by looking at the stars. Now it is rare to see these stars,” he said.
WHY IS THAT SO?
“I think it is due to light pollution particularly in the urban areas. That is why we can see more stars in the night sky when we are at rural villages that have less lightings as compared to towns and cities.
Light pollution is defined as any illumination of the night sky caused by obtrusive artificial light.
Experts say that much of the lighting that causes light pollution is unnecessary. Among these light sources are the streetlamps, stadium lights and advertising boards.
However light pollution can be controlled, according to experts. Authorities can draw up regulations to reduce the unneccessary lightings while housing and building developers can work on utilising energy efficient lighting and fixtures.
Over illumination is one of the causes of light pollution. Over illumination is the use of artificial light beyond its specified purpose.
Social activist Gurmukh Singh said it is excessive to leave the workplace lights on after working hours.
“If we switched off the lights after working hours, we can also save the energy,” he said.
Gurmukh Singh also said the light pollution in the atmosphere is getting worse nowadays due to the illumination from the street lamps, outdoor advertising, homes, airports and other sources.
“Every night millions of lighted sources send their energy skyward where air molecules, airborne dust, and water vapour droplets reflect much of the light back to Earth,” he said.
According to Gurmukh Singh exterior home lighting is a primary source of light pollution.
“Street lamps, stadium and sports fields, advertising boards and parking lots, when not in use, also contributed to the problem.
He said not enabling to see stars in the night sky is most troubling for children.
“Just imagine if generations of children in cities and suburban areas growing up without knowing what a sky full of thousands of stars might look like.
“People used to describe their beautiful experience in viewing the night time sky. And now I am afraid that these people can count on their fingers the number of times they have seen a night with many stars.” “
Yes. There existed a time when all could see the naked night sky above, unobstructed by any artificial sources. Now, in most urban areas around the globe, most residents can not claim to have seen dark pristine skies above their home. Unfortunately, light pollution is a consequence of living in a city. If you want to see darker skies, one must leave the city towards the countryside. Cities and dark skies don’t have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, they’re not, but why have we made them so? Poor lighting principles. The belief ‘more is better’ is a fallacy. The reason we have so many commercial and residential lights erected, is because they lack proper shielding. Folks. I can’t stress the importance of shielding enough. Without proper shielding, light escapes upwards, where we don’t need it. Proper shielding directs the light downward, where we actually need it. Since proper shielding concentrates the light downward, we don’t need as many light fixtures to illuminate an area. Traditional lighting principles relied on many lights to illuminate an area, due to the lack of proper shielding. Which would you rather prefer? Do more for less? or Do more for more? I for one, would always choose the former. Here at Starry Night Lights, we’re committed to eliminating light pollution around the globe and educating consumers and retailers the benefits of shielded light fixtures.
Let there be night!