Outdoor Lighting Control: A Win-Win Situation!
The opportunity exists to reclaim vast amounts of energy currently wasted inadvertently into the night sky by poorly designed outdoor lighting fixtures and installations.
• COSTS: $10's of billions in electricity costs are currently wasted upward at night in the United States annually. These numbers do not include the costs of harvesting fossil fuels to generate electricity.
• SOLUTIONS: Reclaim waste using fixtures and installations with lower wattage light sources, and fixtures designed to distribute light to where it is wanted.
• GOOD LIGHTING IS AVAILABLE NOW: The lighting industry currently designs and manufactures such fixtures, recognizing the opportunity for savings.
• SECURITY: There is no conclusive evidence demonstrating a relationship between lighting and crime.
• HEALTH: New studies point to dramatic health consequences from the disruption of human "circadian rhythm" among populations living in or near cities. Loss of the day/night cycle reduces the efficacy of the immune system.
• SAFETY: Vision is impaired by "glare" from overly bright light sources, especially with elderly eyes.
• LOSS OF NIGHTTIME SKY: The heritage of dark night skies is rapidly being lost. Generations are growing up having never seen the Milky Way. Sky glow resulting from artificial lighting dramatically hinders the science of astronomy.
• REGULATION: Thousands of communities world-wide have adopted outdoor lighting ordinances including the "New Mexico Night Sky Preservation Act" signed into law by New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson in 1999.
• NATIONAL ENERGY SELF-SUFICIENCY: Using good lighting for new installations, and replacing old, poorly designed fixtures with more efficient ones can be a big part of a national "green" initiative.
• GRASS ROOTS ORGANIZING: Hundreds of groups have formed in recent years dedicated to promoting quality, cost-efficient outdoor lighting. Such organizations represent a major opportunity for energy savings nationwide. An excellent resource is the International Dark-sky Association.
Good Outdoor Lighting Fixtures:
LED Lighting (Extremely Cost Efficient):
The wave of the future! Here are Google search results for: “lighting outdoor LED”:
Solar Powered Lighting:
Circadian Rhythm, Human Health and Outdoor Lighting:
Major press outlets are playing an increasing role in informing populations of both problems and solutions. For example:
National Geographic Magazine: "The End of Night"
The Wall Street Journal "Star Parties Far From Hollywood"
"It's All About the Lighting"
"Light Pollution Veils Starry Skies"
New York Times: "Preserving the Starry Night in the Glare of Light Pollution"
Santa Fe New Mexican: "Night Sky Protection Gains Global Attention"
NASA: "The Fading Milky Way"
More on Health Issues and Lighting: