Its unfortunate that so many people just dont get it. They seem to feel the need to light and generally overlight everything. They light their homes and businesses. They light parking lots and walkways. They light trees and shrubs. They light just about everything and anything. As if this wasn’t bad enought, they tend to light them from dusk to dawn even though most everybody is sleeping during those hours and completely unable to see them anyway. A recent study by the National Park Service’s Night Sky Team showed that all of our nations National Parks are suffering from some degree of light pollution. These are some of the wildest, most remote places left and even they are feeling the effects of our improper exterior lighting habits.
What can we do about this? Well its pretty simple. Light pollution is one of the easiest problems to fix (technically speaking). Simply turn off the lights and the problem goes away. Of course, getting folks to break their addiction is much easier said than done as many people actually fear the dark. If turning off the lights is simply too much to ask then the next best thing would be to ensure that all of your exterior lights are night sky friendly lights. Night sky friendly outdoor lights put all of their light output on the ground with none shining directly up into the night sky causing sky glow or thoughtlessly across property lines in the form of light trespass. What a concept, huh? Put the light where its needed… and nowhere else. You’ll help to reduce light pollution… and save a few bucks in the process.
The night is a wonderful, magical time full of beauty and mystery. Star-filled skies are part of our heritage. With just a small effort, we can reap huge rewards.