Subject:  Light Pollution Internet Links
    

Please consider adding this link to your website. I volunteer spare time to discover and offer additional Internet resources to help bring a greater public awareness to the issues of Light Pollution.   It is a little known phenomenon to most of the general public.   Light Pollution occurs when an over abundance of light is spilled into the sky and beyond property lines.

Results of Light Pollution effect everyone in many negative ways.   Generation of electricity that could otherwise be conserved introduces more harmful greenhouse gases and other noxious chemicals into the atmosphere from the powerplants that consume fossil fuels.   These particles scatter ground based light emitted from fixtures and reflected upward from the ground and illuminate the night sky, thus diminishing our clear view of the Universe.   Good lighting is shielded, low wattage, and points downward where the illumination is needed.   These links help explain how to do the job with grace and elegance, and also explain the consequences when we do not.

Sincerely,


Cliff Haas
Author: Light Pollution Awareness Website (LiPAW)
Proud to be a Citizens for Responsible Lighting member!
Please visit http://www.crlaction.org today!

    

StudyWeb Award Winner

On December 2, 2000, the Light Pollution Awareness Website - home of this LiteLynx List - was selected as a featured site in Lightspan's StudyWeb® as one of the best educational resources on the Web!   StudyWeb® is one of the Internet's premier sites for educational resources for students and teachers.   Since 1996, Lightspan's expert reviewers have scoured the Internet to select only the finest sites to be included in StudyWeb's listing of educational links.

Griffith Observatory Star Award Winner

On October 25, 2001, the Light Pollution Awareness Website - home of this LiteLynx List - was granted the Griffith Observatory Star Award for presenting useful, thorough, and accurate information in a well-organized and attractive way, making the night sky more available to everyone.  

STELLAR LINK AWARD Best of the Web 2001
Click the image above to visit AstronomyLinks.com

The Lynx is always on the prowl for more Links! Click to send me quary... The LiteLynx List Index The Lynx is always on the prowl for more Links! Click to send me quary...
Actions Articles Crime Educational Health IDA Affiliates
Individuals Lighting Ed Technical Tools Misc Manufacturers
Laws Pep Talk Societies Observatories Bridge Photos Photos
Government State Laws Local Laws Zoning Codes Foriegn Laws Software
ANDSA Bill Energy Flora & Fauna GLARE! Lighting Info Security
Federal Regs Case Law Presentations Handouts DarkSky Parks Building Shields
IESNA Design Books Magazines Join IDA Skyglow Bottom of Page
Astrophotos SHIELDING LIGHTS ->> Shielding Tips PAR Shield FCO Lantern Traffic Research
Environmental Groups Gaslight Fixtures History of Lighting Security Lighting Physics Switchgear
Established 12-02-1999 ©1999-2006 Cliff Haas Last edited 05-11-06


Light Pollution Educational & Associations

Index

Featured Links:


A comprehensive collection of resources are available from the three sites above that include hundreds of Internet links, luminaire manufacturer contacts, and sample files to help you affect obtrusive outdoor lighting reform in your area.   Join the largest and most diverse Forum of this kind available and take a bite out of Light Pollution.
Search the Google Light Pollution Directory

Environmental Organizations

Index
Index

History of Outdoor Lighting

IDA Sections, Affiliates, and Other Organizations

Index

IDA Affiliates and Sections in Foreign Countries

Astronomical Societies Raising Awareness

Index

Individuals & Other Groups or Organizations Raising Awareness

Index

Observatories & Planetariums Raising Awareness

Index

Traffic Research and References

Index Search Google for Highway Safety links

Books and Design Guideline References

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Miscelaneous Educational

Index
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ACTIONS: Light Pollution Abatement, Sustainable Development Planning, and Proposals

Index

Petitions to Protest Light Pollution


Main Category

This type of citizens' action is really something special.   It is something that most private citizens rarely if ever does.   Bobby Thompson of Tennessee generously placed a full page color advertisement in EnviroLink Magazine in his grand effort to help raise awareness about Light Pollution and the International Dark-Sky Association. See the DarkSky Ad in EnviroLink Magazine

If you live in Tennessee and wish to join Bobby Thompson in his efforts to help raise awareness about light pollution and reform obtrusive outdoor lighting in that state you may contact him here for more details.   Best of luck to you Bobby!   You shine as bright as the stars you strive to protect.   Keep up the great work!

Regardless of where you live, one universal constant will always persist - One cannot win arguments against recommendations to use only good, well designed outdoor lighting!   Please visit the following resource and print several copies for leaders in your community.   Sky & Telescope Magazine has graciously provided this resource for everyone's benefit, whether you are an amateur or professional astronomer or not. The Good Neighbor Outdoor Lighting Brochure is a very well written resource that serves as an informative hand-out to help others learn about light pollution.   Pass it out like candy on Halloween but don't wait until October 31 to do it! Ask your community officials for their help assuring only unobtrusive outdoor lighting is permitted in your area.


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Light Pollution Articles

Please Help Spread the Word!
If you know of any Light Pollution articles from magazines, trade publications, or newspapers that are available online please let us know so we can list them here. Send email to: ctstarwchr@aol.com. Thank you!
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Known Deaths or Injuries Caused by Decorative Light Fixtures and/or Glare

Acorn Success Stories - An Oxymoron? Hardly! Good fixtures ARE available.

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1996 & Older Media

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Lighting Trade Magazines

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Lighting Ordinances & Other Laws

Main Index Top of Category State Laws Local Laws General Codes Foreign Countries

Miscelaneous Laws, Regulations & Standards


Notes on Dillon's Rule versus Home Rule

A complex challenge restricting statutory authority is imposed by Dillon's Rule in 39 states.   This is a Nineteenth Century ruling by Iowa Supreme Court justice John Forrest Dillon, who in 1873 declared that because municipalities are created by State Government, local governments under their jurisdiction can only exercise what state laws specifically authorize.   In other words, they do not have any sovereign right to legally adopt or enforce local codes, ordinances, or regulations that pertain to their areas.   Dillon imposed this ruling due to his historical mistrust of local officials and it was meant to be an effective means of discouraging corruption and extravagent municipal mandates.   If an Act is not authorized by the state on a case-by-case basis, communities in Dillon Rule states cannot legally adopt or enforce their own codes.   In eight states, certain communities have been granted the right of operating under "Home Rule" by means of establishing an official Charter generally granted for a one-time one-subject purpose.   Communities in Home Rule states may be authorized to establish any law that is not prohibited by state statutes, however, only 10 states currently fall into this category and the rights are detailed in each state's Constitution.   More on Dillon's Rule can be found at the links listed below.   It may be one of the most complex, confusing and misunderstood aspects of municipal law that is not well known by many local officials.   The most comprehensive document on this topic was published in 2003 by the Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy and it was developed in conjunction with the Virginia Technical Institute.   Many certified city planners now use it for a legal reference.


State Laws - Existing and Proposed   Main Index   Top of Category   Local Laws   General Codes   Foreign Countries

One of the most effective ways to achieve significant light pollution reform is to address the issues at the state level because broad spanning changes will take effect over a large area sometimes all at once.   Some people prefer to believe the local approach by getting an outdoor lighting ordinance or zoning regulation passed in their town is the most effective way to achieve reform, but when considering the number of individually governed municipalities and counties in the US alone, taking the local approach appears to be counterintuitive.   It is indeed very effective at the local level and it does take much less work and coordination than achieving a state law, but the effects are only local until all communities around that area pass similar regulations.

Strive for obtrusive lighting on all levels and do not let this opinion discourage you in any way, but try to think of the bigger picture if only just for a moment. The problem with local legislation is that this only solves problems for a small area IF the regulation is written properly and then only IF it gets enforced.   All towns and cities around that area may still have a noticeable deletarious effect on the night sky unless they have similar regulations in effect also.   This often causes problems for design professionals because of a patchwork affect where one law in this area is vastly different from another law a town away, when in fact, most designers are used to not having any laws to govern their choices for common lighting practice.   That lack of municipal management is what got us into this mess in the first place! Pandamonium fosters chaos and lighting regulations put everyone in a given area on an even playing field, albeit often not following the same rules when playing on the court of a neighboring community.   Well written state laws put everyone on the same field playing by the same set of rules and they can, if written with care and attention to technical detail, provide significant reform and outstanding management tools and guidelines.

Let's explore the math briefly to see whether it might be more effective to get a state law passed opposed to taking the easier approach of passing a local regulation.   According to the US Census Bureau there are:


Cities, Towns, and Special District Governments
County Governments3,043
Municipal Governments19,372
Township Governments16,629
Special District Governments34,683
Total Governments73,727
 

The table above gives clear indication it makes the most sense to address this problem at the state level, but you should not stop there! Also address the problem locally for the most comprehensive level of relief.   As a citizen of any state, one of your greatest responsibilities is to help elect the legislators who represent you and the state's many other residents.   Your role in the democratic process does not end at the polls if you desire any broad spanning reforms to take effect.   By sharing your concerns and ideas with your representatives and senators in your State Capitol, you help them decide what to do about the issues that affect us all.   Legislators value your suggestions and frequently encourage you to express them.

Keep in mind, however, your legislators receive a huge amount of phone calls and mail from their constituents.   Full agendas limit their ability to personally read and respond to all contacts.   How can you improve the chance that your voice is heard?   Here are some tips to help you get the most impact out of your communications with your representatives in in the State Capitol.

  • Visit your state web site to research how ideas become laws in your state.   The process is similar in most states but each state has its own operating protocols.   You stand the best chance of achieving success by studing how the process works before diving in.   This can help you achive more effective reform, so it is worth the time and effort to explore.
  • Visit your State Capitol to become familiar with where the laws get negotiated before they go to both Houses for a final vote.   Some states have legislative office buildings where most of the work on new Bills get worked out as they pass through various committees before a formal vote by either House.
  • Discover who your representatives are in both Houses.   Get their mailing address and telephone number.
  • Write a short and polite letter briefly expressing your concerns and ask to have your representative or their staff contact you to discuss the issue farther.   If you write a long rambling letter more than one page on your first contact it is unlikely you will get a follow-up call.   Be sure to include your contact information and the best time to reach you.   Hand written letters get the best response but write neatly as possible.
  • Be patient!   Good things come to those who wait, but if you do not hear back in three weeks to a month consider trying a more aggressive approach, or you might try emailing a short note if your representative has email.
  • Telephone your representative's office.   If your representative is not available speak to the staff and ask to set up an appointment to meet with your legeslator to discuss your concerns at their convenience.   Be polite and try to be understanding about your representative's busy schedule, but your concerns are important.
  • Be persistent!   The squeaky wheel gets the grease, but try to not be too oppressive or overbearing.
  • When you get an appointment to meet with your representative prepare a one-page fact sheet concerning your issue to give to your legislator.   This will help him or her better retain what you present.

You will find some excellent advice on how to comtact your representatives at the State of Florida's Legislative Branch Information area.   Click on the following link for: Effective Communication With Your Legislators

Main Index Top of Category State Laws Local Laws

County, Town & City Laws - Existing and Proposed  Main Index   Top of Category   State Laws   General Codes   Foreign Countries

Local Laws by State Index
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Please Help Spread The Word!

If you know of any Lighting Ordinances that are available online please let us know so we can list them here.   If you have a digital copy of an outdoor lighting ordinance and it is not available online please send it as an email attachment so it can be made available for others to access.   Send email to: ctstarwchr@aol.com. Thank you!

World renowned author Phil Harrington earned his Masters' Degree in environmental engineering with a thesis on how to control light pollution! He has some great ideas!

Design of an Energy Efficient Outdoor Nighttime Urban Lighting System by Phil Harrington.   This is a 310 kb Adobe Acrobat file and will take a bit of time to download but is well worth the read.

The listings of local ordinances by state do not represent ALL lighting regulations that have been established in every community.   What is represented here are those regulations or regulatory bodies that have been found on the Internet.   Check with your local Secretary of State to find out what governing bodies affect utility companies in your area if you do not find them listed below.

Alabama   Local Laws Index   Main Index   General Codes   Foreign Countries

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Arizona   Local Laws Index   Main Index   General Codes   Foreign Countries

Arkansas   Local Laws Index   Main Index   General Codes   Foreign Countries

California   Local Laws Index   Main Index   General Codes   Foreign Countries

Colorado   Local Laws Index   Main Index   General Codes   Foreign Countries

Connecticut   Local Laws Index   Main Index   General Codes   Foreign Countries


Connecticut State Laws Governing Outdoor Lighting

Mayors, Selectmen, Aldermen, Town & City Managers, Licensed Building Officials, architectural review boards, architects & engineers, developers, business owners, and all electrical contractors please take notice! You are the first links who are responsible for the compliance with and enforcement of the following State Laws throughout all municipalities in Connecticut. No municipality has the legal jurisdiction to waive or provide any variance for these laws per statutory requirements in the CT General Statutes governing Municipalities.

  • Public Act 01-134 - Requires full cutoff lighting for all Connecticut roadways.
    CT General Statutes Chapter 238, Title 13, Section 13a-110a
  • Public Act 03-210 governs leased floodlighting for private properties along state rights of way.
    CT General Statutes Chapter 238, Title 13, Section 13a-143d
  • CT State Building Code - Requires full cutoff outdoor lighting throughout 169 municipalities. See page 89 of PDF or contact the CT Department of Safety to purchase copies of the codes.
    CT Amendments to 2003 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) referenced by 2003 International Building Code (IBC)
  • ANSI/IESNA/ASHRAE 90.1-2004 US National Energy Code mandates electrical power limits for certain outdoor lighting based on watts per square or linear foot of illuminated area.
    Energy Policy Act (EPact) 2005; 2003 IBC references ANSI/IESNA/ASHRAE 90.1-2001 soon likely to adopt 90.1-2004 in 2006

Additionally, the US Green Building Council (USGBC) has included Credit 8 'Light Pollution' in LEED 2.0, 2.1 and 2.2 voluntary sustainable design standards for buildings that currently permits up to 80% of all outdoor lighting power densities defined in specific usage categories of the ANSI/IESNA/ASHRAE 90.1-2004 National Energy Code standard.


CT Municipal Laws Governing Outdoor Lighting

Deleware   Local Laws Index   Main Index   General Codes   Foreign Countries

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Wyoming   Local Laws Index   Main Index  General Codes   Foreign Countries

The state of Wyoming introduced a Light Pollution law to the legislature that was to become law in July of 2000 but it failed to pass the state Senate due to not enough public urging and support.   The initiative has been reawakened and will be voted on again on January 15, 2000.

  • Albany County, Wyoming Outdoor Lighting Regulations
  • Albany County, Wyoming Outdoor Sign Regulations
  • Proposed lighting regs for Albany County, Wyoming, courtesy of the Laramie Astronomical Society and Space Observers (LASSO)
  • District of Columbia

    Municipal Codes Online

    Main Index

    It is important to note that many of the codes listed by the services below carry a disclaimer stating that the codes and ordinances listed within their websites are not always up to date.   It is best if using these codes for professional design purposes, or to cite zoning violations for legal purposes, to always contact the local municipal zoning department directly for the most recent copies of their regulations.

     

    Lighting Laws and Ordinances in Europe and Elsewhere

    Federal Regulations & Standards


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    Dark Sky Parks

    ALERT!!! YOUR HELP IS NEEDED!!!   PLEASE HELP SAVE THE NIGHT SKIES OVER CHERRY SPRINGS STATE PARK!   Click Here To Provide Your Comments to the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Regarding the Leasing of State Forest Lands For Fossil Fuel Exploration.   Details on what is happening at Cherry Springs State Park in PA (June 2002) is Available Here: Click Here For Details   Please help by writing with your concerns!!!

    Outdoor Lighting Information, Supplies & Manufacturers

    Manufacturers and Catalogs

    Index

    Gaslight Fixtures


    Security Lighting Information and Resources

    Everyone wants good security for their homes, businesses and families.   The common misconception is a belief that adding lots of bright lighting will automatically make an area safe and crime free, however, this could not be farther from the truth.   The eye always adapts to the brightest object in the field of view, but if this happens to be a glaring light fixture, all everything else not directly illuminated by light of equal brightness will appear dark and very hard to see.   The best lighting does not distribute harmful glare because the source of light is shielded so its illumination is distributed only where it is needed - on the ground and not into our eyes!

    Traditionally when most people think of security lighting the first thing that comes to mind is bright glaring light that spills all over the place.   In fact, that kind of lighting is the least effective way to ensure good security or surveillance because the glare hampers both the eye and the security camera's ability to "see" what is going on!   What would you think about security lighting that was invisible?   Would invisible lighting be effective for surveillance?   Would it be less obtrusive to the nighttime environment and the surrounding neighborhood?   Does it cost less than traditional visible lighting?   The answer is yes in all three cases!   Just because you cannot see it does not mean it is not light visible to an infrared sensitive camera.   Visit the links below to learn more.


    Index Top of Category Top of Page Bottom of Page

    Switchgear

    Manufacturers Offering Eye Friendly Lighting

    Outdoor Lighting Information

    Index

    Lighting Design Software

    Index

    Lighting Related Associations & Universities

    Index

    Measuring Devices - Luminance & Illuminance Meters

    Index

    Luminance Meter:   A type of photometer calibrated in luminance units (candles per square unit, or lamberts).   In photography an exposure meter contains a luminance meter to record the average luminance of a scene.   For more information please also refer to CIE: Division 2 - Physical Measurement Of Light And Radiation.

    Measuring Pollution and Calculators


    Index

    Optical Physics

    Laws of Physics govern how luminaires distribute light as well as how telescopes collect light. The study of optical Physics is a fascinating subject dealing with visible light. Rather than include the following links in the Tech Talk section, since the year 2005 was declared the World Year in Physics, we decided to dedicate a special section to laws and postulates that govern how outdoor luminaires are designed and how light refracts, reflects, and scatters. Some of the basic principles are animated with Java aplets, and others provide equations with brief explanations in the links below.

     

    Outdoor Lighting Tech Talk, References and Advice

    Index

    Lighting and Crime

    Index

    It is a common but misguided assumption that bright lights prevent crime.   The fact is, many crime studies have been performed over the years and none have ever offered positive scientific evidence indicating bright lighting has anything whatsiever to do with crime prevention or reduction.   This is because no adequate control groups were ever employed and also because numerous changes (not just lighting) were employed at the same time.   In conjunction with other measures, when lighting was improved (not necessarilly increased) certain types of crimes were reduced and other types of crimes increased.   Vehicle thefts and break-ins generally increase when roadway or area lighting levels are increased.   This curious phenomenon may be due to criminals being able to identify tempting contents better inside of vehicles when the lighting is brighter.

    People often *feel* safer outdoors when in uniformly illuminated areas, however, recent studies have concluded that areas brighter than one footcandle do not offer people any greater sense of security as brightness increases.   Areas lit to high levels with glaring floodlights often makes people feel less safe than when they are in areas lit to lower illumination levels with well shielded fixtures.   This feeling of greater security may be due to people's ability to see better when lighting is shielded to remove glare, thus allowing them to see better in areas of shadow that are not directly illuminated.

    There are many good resources for crime statistics.   For national numbers, refer to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports (view data by state), and the Bureau of Justice Statistics Web page.   In 1996 the National Institute of Justice commissioned a comprehensive crime research project that resulted in an abstract titled, "Preventing Crime: What Works, What Doesn't, What's Promising" that was presented to the US Congress in 1997, from which come the following exerpts...   "Is street lighting an effective approach in the reduction and deterrence of crime?   The answer is inconclusive.   The paucity of reliable and uniform data and the inadequacy of available evaluation studies preclude a definitive statement regarding the relationship between street lighting and crime." (Tien, et. al. 1979, page 93, emphasis in the original) and, "Not much has changed since Tien and his colleagues (1979) gave their critical assessment of the impact of lighting on crime.   In part this is due to the lack of research on lighting, particularly in the United States.   However, the limited research on lighting continues to use weak designs (typically without control areas) which fail to substantially reduce our uncertainty about the effect of lighting on crime. We may speculate that lighting is effective in some places, ineffective in others, and counter productive in still other circumstances.   The problematic relationship between lighting and crime increases when one considers that offenders need lighting to detect potential targets and low-risk situations (Fleming and Burrows 1986).   Consider lighting at outside ATM machines, for example.   An ATM user might feel safer when the ATM and its immediate surrounding area are well lit.   However, this same lighting makes the patron more visible to passing offenders. Who the lighting serves is unclear." ©1996 National Institute of Justice.


    Lighting, Glare, Safety and Health

      

    The day and night cycle resulting from our Sun and its interaction with Earth's rotation has dictated certain specific aspects of biological evolution since the dawn of time.   This unchanging and predictable cycle of naturally occurring light governs a number of health aspects and triggers certain biological responses through highly specialized photochemical sensors in mammalian eyes known as photoreceptors.

    Nearly all species in the plant and animal kingdoms have developed some form of photoreceptors to help aid with their survival and daily function.   Even one-celled Protozoa like the Euglena and Paramecium interact with light in their daily lives.   Life forms like the common flatworm have photoreceptors that govern specific patterns of their behaviors which may govern other aspects of their pathological responses as well.

    It is imperative that we learn to treat unnaturally occurring light with great care and respect to assure the optimum benefits of good health.   It is equally imperative that we treat outdoor lighting with the same respect, for it has demonstrated a very significant negative impact to numerous species of plants and animals living in the natural environment.

    As we age our eyes change their ability to rapidly adapt to extremely bright and darker conditions.   The physiology of vision demands a certain degree of contrast between surroundings and items appearing within those surroundings that reflect light back to the eyes thus allowing us to see. Learn more about, "The Aging Eye," from the International Dark-Sky Association to see how the negative effects of obtrusive outdoor lighting directly affect your safety as you grow older.   The deletarious affects of glare usually begin to take their toll at around the age of 40 and grow significantly worse in the years beyond.   Light Pollution affects EVERYONE in society, not only astronomers wishing to see the stars!   Most imposing of all is how unnatural light at night seriously affects the secretion of melatonin in our bodies, and that can have direct and very serious negative implications on our health.

    Featured Article: Lighting For Human the Circadian Clock. Why the Lighting Industry Must "First Do No Harm," written by Dr. Stephen M Pauley, MD
     
    Health Index
    Main Index Cancer Research Circadian Rhythm Human Vision Low Vision Misc. Health

    Cancer Research

    Main Index   Health Index

    Circadian Rhythm

    Main Index   Health Index

    Human Vision

    Main Index   Health Index

    Low Vision - Visual Anomalies

    Main Index   Health Index

    Miscelaneous Health

    Main Index   Health Index
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    Photos of Light Pollution, Lighting & Luminaires

    Index

    Nighttime photography of outdoor lighting or skyglow is an art that takes a bit of practice, but it is well within the reach of anyone who owns an SLR (single lens reflex) camera that is capable of manual override settings.   Some digital cameras can offer very impressive results as well.   If you are interested in photographing nighttime lighting or the hideous glow that looms over most populated areas the following website locations offer some excellent tips that will help get you off to a good start.



    Bridge Photos at Night


    Images of the Cosmos

    Index

    Brought in for your enjoyment and visual pleasure are some excellent images of what the International DarkSky Association was originally formed to protect.   As time and knowledge progressed we came to realize the quest to preserve our natural heritage of dark night skies involves much more than the view of the cosmos.   Light Pollution actually affects many aspects of everyone's daily lives whether they appreciate the stars or not, and it also affects the safety and appearance of our communities as well.



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    Artificially Generated Lighting vs. Flora and Fauna

    Artificially generated light has provided many great benefits to humanity, especially when it is designed well and installed correctly.   When outdoor lighting is not executed and managed properly devistating effects will often occur.   Sometimes these effects are very obvious and other times they are not immediately apparent.   For instance, the effects of unnatural light on aquatic microorganisms as research by Dr. Marianne Moore indicates cannot be seen by the naked eye.   Naturally occurring photoperiods govern many aspects of our lives.   Modern research has indicated that modifying these natural photoperiods by artificial means can have negative affects on our health.

    Scientists have been studying the effects of darkness on biosystems for over 100 years.   Recent research within the past decade has indicated artificially generated light has many negative effects on humans, plants and animals. A new field of biological study called scotobiology has evolved as a unique class idiom for scientists who research the beneficial effects of darkness. Read more about this at the "Ecology of the Night" and the Urban Wildlands Group web sites.

     
    Flora and Fauna Index
    Main Index Birds Cats Fish Insects Mammals Plants Turtles Wildlife

    *** NOTICE ***   A special meeting of several research scientists specializing in photobiology are meeting with the Urban Wildlands Group at the UCLA campus in February 2002! A listing of the speakers' abstracts are available... Click Here.   As research continues, more profound effects of artificially generated outdoor illumination are being discovered.   Mounting evidence suggests that some impacts introduced by obtrusive outdoor lighting may be contributing to the extinction of certain endangered species.

    Effects on Birds   Main Index   Fauna Index   Top of Category

    Effects on Cats   Main Index   Fauna Index   Top of Category

    Effects on Fish and Aquatic Life   Main Index   Fauna Index   Top of Category

    Effects on Insects   Main Index   Fauna Index   Top of Category

    HELP!!   We are seeking research information or articles on the effects of outdoor lighting on insects and invertibrates. If you are aware of any Internet links on this subject please contact Ctstarwchr@aol.com

    Effects on Mammals   Main Index   Fauna Index   Top of Category

    Effects on Plants   Main Index   Fauna Index   Top of Category

    HELP!!   We are seeking research information or articles on the effects of outdoor lighting on plants. If you are aware of any Internet links on this subject please contact Ctstarwchr@aol.com

    Effects on Turtles   Main Index   Fauna Index   Top of Category

    Wildlife   Main Index   Fauna Index   Top of Category


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    Energy, Conservation, and the Environment


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    Atmospheric Optics: What causes skyglow?

    Skyglow is the atmospheric phenomenon caused by stray ground based light being scattered and reflected by airborne particles suspended in the atmosphere.   The result of this scattering diminishes the view of the cosmos much like turning on the lights in a movie theater while the film is still rolling.   Atmospheric optics defines two main types of scattering known as Rayliegh and MIE scatter.   An exploration into origins of quantum mechanics allows one to develop a better understanding of this man-made phenomenon.   Scientific research has recently indicated numerous harmful effects occuring to our natural environment having severe impacts well beyond the view of the stars.

    Rayleigh scatter occurs when participating mediums are smaller in diameter than the wave of light interacting with them.   The effect of Rayleigh scatter is inversly proportional to the fourth power of the wavelength, therefore, short wavelengths are more likely to be scattered than long ones.   Rayleigh scattering effect makes our daytime sky appear blue.   Rayleigh scatter also causes the haze seen at low angles near the horizon and is also what makes the sun and moon take on an orange hue when they are near the horizon.

    MIE scattering occurs when the particle size is equal or larger than the wavelength in size.   Water vapor and dust particles are participating media for MIE scattering effects which tend to influence longer wavelengths than Rayleigh scattering does.   Rayleigh scatter usually takes precidence under most conditions, but MIE scatter dominates during overcast conditions.   Scattering redirects photons without diminishing their intensity, which might help to explain why light emitted at low angles above the horizontal end up showing negative effects as far as 100 miles away in remote and otherwise dark locations.

    This information section is included on the LiteLynx List in order to provide researchers with resources to use in their calculations so we may better understand the specific causes of skyglow.   As with any research, opinions vary considerably, sometimes due to a lack of understanding about atmospheric optics on the part of people working in the lighting industry.   Since atmospheric scattering and meteorology are general curriculum for professional astronomers they tend to have a keener sense of the reactions but sometimes lack the breadth of understanding about light fixtures.   This information will hopefully help both sides of the fence meet in the middle to find common ground to eventually discover sound solutions for this growing problem.

    Please refer to the following for more information:

     
    Main Index

    Presentation Materials   Main Index

    One of the most effective ways to get stricter, more comprehensive outdoor lighting regulations established in your community is to make effective presentations to your local government officials and member based groups and organizations.   People are often reluctant to do this simply for the lack of well made professional looking materials.   A collection of good presentation materials have been gathered here to help you reach out to raise the awareness of others.   Giving presentations before member based organizations like the Sierra Club, Audubon Society, Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce, etc., helps to get more people within your community in favor of obtrusive outdoor lighting reform.   Your message will always be better received if referring to glaring lights as obtrusive rather than bad. No designer or installer will accept the fact they have created a bad lighting design.   It is all in the delivery.   Raise as much awareness as you can!

    PowerPoint Slide Presentations


    Main Index Top of Category PowerPoint Slide Presentations Presentation Handouts

    Presentation Handout Materials   Main Index   PowerPoint Presentations

    If you have created handout presentation materials to raise awareness about Light Pollution and would like to share them to help other people spread the word please send copies as attachments to: CtStarWchr@aol.com so they can be listed here.   Thank you!

    Main Index PowerPoint Slide Presentations Top of Category Bottom of Page

    Links to Government - Write to your representative today.

    Index

    LP reform will never happen on its own without your help!   Take Action!

    Only you can prevent Light Pollution.   Without your help this condition is bound to perpetuate and possibly get worse by shining light into drivers' eyes so they cannot see pedestrians, hampering law enforcement officials when they are on night patrols, wasting more precious energy without any benefit, belching more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, adding more acid rain to our environment needlessly, etc.   Curing Light Pollution only takes four easy to follow steps!

    1. Always distribute illumination by using properly shielded fixtures that prevent the source of the light from entering your field of view.   This is done by using fixtures or supplementary shielding that keeps all of the illumination below the horizontal plane.
    2. Do not overlight!   Never use more illumination than needed for the task at hand.   Using a 400 watt floodlight to illuminate a small parking area or a flag at night is like using a sledge hammer to pound in a thumbtack and it wastes an enormous amount of energy, too.   If lighting is properly shielded and adjusted, what would usually take 1000 watts to illuminate could be done just as well using 250 watt luminaires!
    3. Always aim lighting downward keeping all of its distribution within the property lines and below the horizontal plane so it does not shine glare.   Light trespassing onto adjacent properties is not only unnecessary it is very inconsiderate!   Be a good neighbor and let surrounding property owners get a good night's sleep by keeping your light out of their windows and yards.
    4. Do not burn lighting all night long to improve security!   The only security you are improving is the off-peak hour profits of the utility company that is providing the electricity.   Using infrared motion sensor controlled lighting that comes on instantly when someone approaches a building or a storage yard area is very effective to improve security dramatically.   That rapid change of the surrounding environment draws immediate attention of everyone in the surrounding area, including security and law enforcement personnel on patrol.   It also makes anyone with ill intent feel uncomfortable enough to usually run away.   Lighting that stays on all night long draws absolutely no attention and just wastes money and energy!

    We truly need a national law in America that will require all communities to regulate the application of outdoor lighting in their areas.   Such a law would greatly benefit the long-term sustainable development of all communities in the country and vastly improve the quality of life for all citizens.   In 1996, the International Dark-Sky Association located in Tucson, Arizona, estimated only the wasted light escaping into the night sky to be over one billion dollars annually in the US alone!   With urban sprawl driving the growth of outdoor lighting installations and inflation rising gas and fuel oil prices, that 1996 figure can conservatively be estimated to be well over two billion dollars annually today.   This figure does not even consider the stray light that needlessly crosses property lines, areas that are grossly overlit like most automotive dealerships and gas stations or fast food outlets either.   Adding those factors into the equation, we can conservatively estimate the total amount of electricity wasted annually by obtrusive outdoor lighting alone to be somewhere in the neighborhood of eight billion dollars per year.

    That wasted illumination provides absolutely no benefit to anyone and destroys the view of the stars also!   That view has been with this planet since the dawn of time itself and everyone has the inalienable right to experience it at their leisure right from their doorsteps.   Effectively controlling the application of responsibly applied outdoor lighting in every community will achieve this, and it will save billions of dollars each year along with reducing an enormous amount of greenhouse gas emissions in our atmosphere at the same time.   One can also perform this achievement in their own community by contacting local officials insisting on new zoning regulations and outdoor lighting ordinances that require obtrusive outdoor lighting to be addressed and controlled.   Please learn as much as you can about the subject of Light Pollution and share your wisdom with everyone else around you.

    US Government Contacts Telephone & Email Addresses

    • White House Comment Line - 202-456-1111
    • White House Fax Line - 202-456-2461
    • The President's e-mail - president@whitehouse.gov
    • The Vice President's e-mail - vice-president@whitehouse.gov
    • White House Address - 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC 20500
    • US Capitol Switchboard - 202-224-3121
    • To contact your senators - http://www.senate.gov/contacting/index.cfm
    • To contact your representative - http://www.house.gov/writerep/


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    Case Law

  • New Twist in Carwash Case Sparkle Plenty Car Wash in Stuart, Florida vs. Thomas Lyons and Lynn Lewis
  • Take a Shine to Smarter Lights - $15,000 judgement in favor of Thomas Lyons and Lynn Lewis mentioned above.
  • Whiteco Outdoor Advertising v. City of Tuscon, 193 Ariz. 314, 972 P.2d 647 (Ct.App.Ariz. 1999)
  • Waco Puts Brakes to "Mini Indy" - Sierra Club Newsletter May 2000
    Seeking Sponsor For Federal Light Pollution Reform Legislation
     

    In the arena of nighttime outdoor lighting, anarchy still reigns supreme in most locations.   As an effort to prevent this eye abuse from continuing to hamper our nighttime safety and visual acuity, along with destroying our starry night skies, I have been writing to members of Congress requesting a Sponsor for a new Bill titled the American National Dark Sky Act.   This Act would mandate all states, counties, and municipalities to adapt comprehensive outdoor lighting ordinances for their areas that would adhere to a fair minimum Federal standard.

    The ANDSA endeavor would serve to:
    • Enhance long term economic sustainability for states and communities.
    • Improve net profits for business by reducing operating costs.
    • Vastly improve everyone's quality of life in a number of areas.
    • Save an enormous amount of energy, fossil fuel and other natural resources.
    • Reduce light trespass onto our properties and into our windows at night.
    • Provide a safely lit nighttime environment for everyone without the vision robbing glare that we are all so familiar with.
    • Improve nighttime vehicle traffic safety and reduce accidents by improving visual acuity, especially during inclement weather.
    • Provide more efficient security lighting allowing better nighttime vision from the reduction of glare.
    • Improve nighttime visual acuity by reducing eye strain and eye abuse created by overlit environments.
    • Allow each respective area to establish and enforce its own outdoor lighting laws taylored to suit the needs of specific areas.
    • Beautify the nighttime community environments through installation of better designed, more efficient outdoor lighting applications.
    • Minimize nighttime skyglow and reduce luminescent clouds passing overhead.   If your clouds are visible at night you have Light Pollution and serious waste perpetuated in your community!   A comprehensive outdoor lighting ordinance can cure that problem.
    • Return pristine views of stars that have been with Earth since the dawn of time for everyone to enjoy.   The starry night sky is one of Earth's most fragile natural resources and it deserves to be preserved and protected for all future generations yet to come.
    • Enable and enhance continued astronomical research in the visible spectrum by professionals, universities, and amateur astronomers alike.
    • Help prevent global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reduce acid rain contributed from the electricity generated by burning fossil fuels.

    Glare is an adversary of all who travel in the night.   Glaring lights greatly hamper good nighttime vision because the eye always adapts to the brightest object in view, thus greatly affecting visual acuity and everyone's safety.   The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America drastically reduced the recommended nighttime illumination levels in 1999 with an effort to address this safety condition.   To achieve the best energy savings, bulb wattage should be reduced to absolute minimums whenever possible, adequate shielding should be used to direct the illumination more effectively, and lighting should only be used where it is absolutely needed and only used for as long as needed.

    Bright security lights that produce glare do not prevent crime.   No crime study ever commissioned by the Department of Justice has been able to substantiate this claim.   The best that can be claimed is that bright lights merely make people "feel" safer.   Any good security expert will tell you that a rapid change of the surrounding environment is the most effective for this task.   Infrared proximity and motion sensors connected to security lighting or alarms is the most effective solution for burglary prevention because when lights go on suddenly it draws immediate attention from others.   Bright glaring lights that stay on all night long go unnoticed because most people who see someone approaching under those conditions usually believes the person belongs there.

    Please review Iowa House File 265 to see an example of what would make a fair minimum Federal law that all comunities could adhere to.   This will achieve the goals of reducing pollution, improving nighttime vision that offers better safety and security, and it will save everyone including businesses and municipalities an enormous amount of money in the process.

    With outdoor nighttime lighting, the most waste of our natural resources occurs when the majority of the population is sleeping!   Light pollution costs less to cure than it does to perpetuate.   When unwanted light crosses property lines uninvited it is a condition known as light trespass.   It should be your inalienable right not to suffer this kind of abuse.   The New Millennium should be a time of reform with a commitment to save energy and natural resources.   The starry night sky is one of our most fragile and precious natural resources that deserves our continued protection.   Please write to your representatives in Washington asking them to address the light pollution and light trespass issues that have been reducing your quality of life for decades.   Federally mandated light pollution reform is a win-win situation for everyone including private citizens, businesses and municipalities, also.   Please consider writing to Congress today.

    Sincerely,

    Cliff Haas

    CtStarWchr@aol.comProud to be a CRL member! Please visit http://www.crlaction.org today.  


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