Author Topic: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."  (Read 269 times)

Daniel Ross

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"Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« on: December 27, 2017, 01:05:18 PM »
"Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."

If you use a bright unshielded light on your large acreage out in the country, probably no stargazers will be affected by it, so don't worry.

If you use a bright unshielded light on your city or suburban lot, probably no stargazers will be affected by it, so don't worry.

In either case, it's just one light, right?

So how do we start to solve this problem, if no one is causing it?



Michael Dinelli

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2017, 03:43:46 AM »
Unshielded lights are inherently ugly and ineffective. Low-class. Poor people have unshielded lights; tasteful people have shielded lights.

Of course, this doesn't help with people who pride themselves on being ugly. Of whom there are many. Unshielded lights, military-style SUVs, pickup trucks with oversize wheels, cars and motorcycles with intentionally loud exhaust systems are all examples of intentional ugliness. When your intention is to be obtrusive rather than to see what's below them, unshielded lights are indeed quite effective.

isveheartle

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2017, 03:06:13 PM »
I don't use any of those because they affect me even when I am not observing. I like to look at the sky, anyway. While observing, I turn off all lighting I possibly can, anyway, including the streetlight on my corner which I managed to get control over (long story.)

But, even if I had a bright unshielded light (and I don't), I know there are no stargazers within miles of my suburban residence. Still, I don't use obnoxious bright lights just because...

I think I get your point, though. We use lighting just like everyone else. I suspect we're, more often than not, somewhat conscious of very bright lights. Maybe we should be more conscious? Walk the walk?

ocgisfulctel

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2017, 01:28:14 AM »
"When your intention is to be obtrusive rather than to see what's below them, unshielded lights are indeed quite effective."

Last year they put up a small strip mall a block from my house and hung LED lights everywhere in the parking lot for security and parking. They were so bright and obtrusive, they lit up my bedroom, observing site, and the side of my two story house at night and a block away.

I explained to the installation crew the glare prevented the guards from getting a good look at any perp because of the intense glare. And that lighting the ground would be more helpful for drivers to see the parking lot. He agreed and aimed them down instead of into his guard's eyes...and into my bedroom, which I explained, as well...and showed him some houses lit up behind the mall.

But, when talking to others in the neighborhood, they didn't notice the intrusive lighting like I hoped they would. Just me, I guess. Anyway, the problem is mostly fixed without them. Thankfully, no one has bothered to re-aim the lighting, including the engineer of the complex. I am sure they never even thought of these things.

Michael Washington

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2017, 03:22:26 AM »
Quote
Unshielded lights are inherently ugly and ineffective. Low-class. Poor people have unshielded lights; tasteful people have shielded lights.

Of course, this doesn't help with people who pride themselves on being ugly. Of whom there are many. Unshielded lights, military-style SUVs, pickup trucks with oversize wheels, cars and motorcycles with intentionally loud exhaust systems are all examples of intentional ugliness. When your intention is to be obtrusive rather than to see what's below them, unshielded lights are indeed quite effective.

I have, in fact, run into poor people who still have good taste. I would agree that people with unshielded lights have poor taste, even if they are rich. It is even possible that some amateur astronomers have very poor taste, even if they shield their lights or better yet never use them at all. Present company excluded, of course.

Now about them motorsickles. Imagine, if you will, if ALL vehicles made that much racket!

"Them tires is too big for that truck!"

fronenfiten

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 08:18:04 PM »
Quote
"When your intention is to be obtrusive rather than to see what's below them, unshielded lights are indeed quite effective."

Last year they put up a small strip mall a block from my house and hung LED lights everywhere in the parking lot for security and parking. They were so bright and obtrusive, they lit up my bedroom, observing site, and the side of my two story house at night and a block away.

I explained to the installation crew the glare prevented the guards from getting a good look at any perp because of the intense glare. And that lighting the ground would be more helpful for drivers to see the parking lot. He agreed and aimed them down instead of into his guard's eyes...and into my bedroom, which I explained, as well...and showed him some houses lit up behind the mall.

But, when talking to others in the neighborhood, they didn't notice the intrusive lighting like I hoped they would. Just me, I guess. Anyway, the problem is mostly fixed without them. Thankfully, no one has bothered to re-aim the lighting, including the engineer of the complex. I am sure they never even thought of these things.

Another thing for lighting "engineers" to consider is that at night our eyes dark adapt and much less light is needed in the first place.

Your neighbors, and some of mine, have probably been trained to stay indoors at night, so of course they don't notice the lights, to them it's normal. I must have been out sick from school on the day that lesson was taught.

Jim Snyder

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2018, 12:08:59 AM »
I gave the technician a quick, crash course straight from the internet. Just in case he missed school that day.
I offered to buy a shield for my neighbor's obstructive porch light, but my wife could not understand and threw a fit. If I had a brass pair, shoulda just did it, anyway. But, they were chillin in the freezer that day.
Instead, I did something more expensive she could understand, apparently. Contructed a 360 degree light shield. Works great, except the neighbors must think I'm a vivisectionist or something. Can't see out nor see in. You know how neighbor's get with a vivisectionist in the neighborhood.
Was gonna hang a sign saying, "amateur astronomer at work." But I felt the payoff wasn't worth it. Let them think what they will.

Steven Autio

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2018, 07:56:19 PM »
Quote
I gave the technician a quick, crash course straight from the internet. Just in case he missed school that day.
I offered to buy a shield for my neighbor's obstructive porch light, but my wife could not understand and threw a fit. If I had a brass pair, shoulda just did it, anyway. But, they were chillin in the freezer that day.
Instead, I did something more expensive she could understand, apparently. Contructed a 360 degree light shield. Works great, except the neighbors must think I'm a vivisectionist or something. Can't see out nor see in. You know how neighbor's get with a vivisectionist in the neighborhood.
Was gonna hang a sign saying, "amateur astronomer at work." But I felt the payoff wasn't worth it. Let them think what they will.

Astronomy is the new ancient witchcraft. Unless you do it as a profession, up on a mountain or desert somewhere, so no one has to see. Keep the concept as abstract as possible.

stimtinpaso

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2018, 10:50:53 AM »
"If you use a bright unshielded light on your large acreage out in the country, probably no stargazers will be affected by it, so don't worry."

As I mentioned, large acreage farms & ranches are private property, so few would be looking thru a scope where these lights would affect them. Most farmers/ranchers don't have the time in their lives to consider astronomy, so don't consider shielding their yard lights. There are two of them some distance across the lake from me; they don't bother my skies in the least, considering my SQM readings average 21.5.

As I also mentioned, the larger acreage lights are no doubt there for safety. I always turn on my super-duper floods when I go out at night with my dog. I do not want a wild animal attacking us, or a rattler be where my dog walks; with the lights I can see quite well around the area we go out in. No, I only have them on when we have to go outside after dark. So I suppose I'm affecting other stargazers on my 20 acres, considering I have only 1 year around neighbor that has zero interest in astronomy. I will always put safety ahead of any hobby, yes including astronomy.

David Williams

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2018, 06:18:37 AM »
"Poor people have unshielded lights; tasteful people have shielded lights."

I guess "poor people" cannot be tasteful? I think this derogatory statement could better be phrased, "Uniformed people have unshielded lights, informed people have shielded lights!"

specconcheckre

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2018, 09:13:37 AM »
In my country we have a clear sky, but not a dark sky, so i sometimes wish if we have dark sky but not clear, at least we can manage to do something even in one day, but with light pollution it is like there will never be dark sky even the sky is clear.

Because of oil, my country is trying to make street lights everywhere as possible even in villages or countryside far from the city, and most of the time we hate to drive far for darkness if we can find, and no one here care about the dark sky at all, so if you in North America or Europe manage to turn off lights to have dark skies it will never happen in oil country.

ermaudyvi

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2018, 12:15:18 AM »
By the way, what is unshielded light and shielded light?

Jason Muse

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2018, 09:39:02 PM »
Quote
By the way, what is unshielded light and shielded light?


Take a look at this information from the International Dark Sky Association (IDA). It helps explain shielded vs. unshielded lights.

http://darksky.org/l...ighting-basics/

caenalfosen

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2018, 05:28:26 AM »
Quote
By the way, what is unshielded light and shielded light?

Quickly, unshielded light has no covering or shield that blocks light from going upwards into the sky and horizontally/downwards onto neighboring properties.

A shielded light would block light from going upwards and horizontally and also be designed to be able to keep light off of neighboring properties.

If you can see the bulb itself from neighboring property then it isn't shielded.

Jeff Jubenville

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2018, 11:57:32 PM »
The point in the original post should be clear. Any given wattage, type and configuration of light will cause the exact same damage to the sky regardless of where it is installed, whether that be a city park, a suburb or a rural farm or state park. In fact, tall buildings might block much of the effect in the city park, sometimes, but don't count on it.

The number of people actually affected is not germane to this philosophical, moral and ethical issue. Neither is the actual darkness of the sky under which the light is installed and used.