Author Topic: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."  (Read 576 times)

Jose Melo

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2018, 06:17:46 AM »
Ah ok, thank you very much!

It is very hard to find many shielded lights where i live or in my country in general, people want to have lights that can have wider coverage, even at least in their surround area either inside the house or outside, some lights has little circle coverage, but other lights are strong enough that i can see from long distances.

Francisco Hossain

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2018, 09:02:59 AM »
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"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!"

You are absolutely right; rich and poor is a red herring. Poor people are quite capable of being tasteful, and heaven knows that rich people are capable of being tasteless.

I don't think informed vs. uninformed is necessarily the right axis, however. Finding unshielded lights ugly is a gut feeling; it doesn't necessarily require information or education. Conversely, education doesn't necessarily prevent people from being obnoxious.

James Przystup

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2018, 01:07:29 AM »
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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.

Neighbor wife to husband: "How do you know Vic isn't an escaped vivisectionist?"

libulbinis

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2018, 05:14:07 AM »
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"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!"

You are absolutely right; rich and poor is a red herring. Poor people are quite capable of being tasteful, and heaven knows that rich people are capable of being tasteless.

I don't think informed vs. uninformed is necessarily the right axis, however. Finding unshielded lights ugly is a gut feeling; it doesn't necessarily require information or education. Conversely, education doesn't necessarily prevent people from being obnoxious.
The old saying "Your freedom ends where someone else's nose begins" is a good guideline that can lead to more considerate behavior.

Taste is usually a separate issue and a matter of opinion.

Lamar Davies

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2018, 05:53:49 AM »
"You are absolutely right; rich and poor is a red herring. Poor people are quite capable of being tasteful, and heaven knows that rich people are capable of being tasteless."

It's very disappointing to see here, people being judged as a group, according to their income. I would hope that members here do not feel this way, and be accepting of everyone, rather than judging them as "poor or rich" according to their "tastes".

"Finding unshielded lights ugly is a gut feeling; it doesn't necessarily require information or education."

I don't think the question in this forum is whether unshielded lights are "ugly", rather how they affect the night sky. Many shielded lights are so ugly, but work, cutting down light trespass. Gut feelings don't enter into it.

nalchsilnighnul

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2018, 05:58:18 AM »
The question posed at the beginning of this thread asks who is responsible for causing light pollution. Secondarily, what laws, ordinances, regulations, codes, etc., would need to be enacted not just in the cities, but in the suburbs, exurbs and especially rural areas to reduce, control or eliminate it.

Obviously, rural areas are the last stand for dark skies. When someone says there are no more dark skies left east of the Mississippi, that means that the rural areas are the most at risk and that little is being done there.

Matt Gibbs

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2018, 04:19:34 PM »
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The question posed at the beginning of this thread asks who is responsible for causing light pollution. Secondarily, what laws, ordinances, regulations, codes, etc., would need to be enacted not just in the cities, but in the suburbs, exurbs and especially rural areas to reduce, control or eliminate it.

Obviously, rural areas are the last stand for dark skies. When someone says there are no more dark skies left east of the Mississippi, that means that the rural areas are the most at risk and that little is being done there.

Well, it's a good question. It's not always the other guy's fault. Even if we are somewhat conscious of our lighting and have some idea of what it means for a dark sky (something others may not even consider), we still drive into lit communities to buy milk. We need light as much as the next guy. I think the trick is to share responsibility. Ask our neighbors to be considerate, then be responsible to block any direct trespass light that cannot or will not shield.If they think you're a vivisectionist, they might just comply.

I guess every municipality may have some form of laws on the books about being obtrusive in some form or another, beit sound, light trespass. And it;'s likely not all municipalities will nor will they be the same if they do. I am not directly aware of any state or federal laws, but some internet research or a trip to city hall may turn up some in your area.

I try to explain and share responsibility with my immediate neighbors, then shield what's left. Hard to do much about the city glow in the north as that would take a concerted and prolonged effort with local city hall and a lot of money they are not willing to spend fixing the problem just for me. You may be right, maybe there is not much outcry in rural areas where it's still kinda dark. So, not much gets done and light encroaches unregulated as communities grow. Maybe start early with city hall to enact some ordinance and require the property owners to pay for specific lighting requirements.

elunmolunch

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2018, 12:28:37 AM »
Quote
Quote

The question posed at the beginning of this thread asks who is responsible for causing light pollution. Secondarily, what laws, ordinances, regulations, codes, etc., would need to be enacted not just in the cities, but in the suburbs, exurbs and especially rural areas to reduce, control or eliminate it.

Obviously, rural areas are the last stand for dark skies. When someone says there are no more dark skies left east of the Mississippi, that means that the rural areas are the most at risk and that little is being done there.

Well, it's a good question. It's not always the other guy's fault. Even if we are somewhat conscious of our lighting and have some idea of what it means for a dark sky (something others may not even consider), we still drive into lit communities to buy milk. We need light as much as the next guy. I think the trick is to share responsibility. Ask our neighbors to be considerate, then be responsible to block any direct trespass light that cannot or will not shield.If they think you're a vivisectionist, they might just comply.

I guess every municipality may have some form of laws on the books about being obtrusive in some form or another, beit sound, light trespass. And it;'s likely not all municipalities will nor will they be the same if they do. I am not directly aware of any state or federal laws, but some internet research or a trip to city hall may turn up some in your area.

I try to explain and share responsibility with my immediate neighbors, then shield what's left. Hard to do much about the city glow in the north as that would take a concerted and prolonged effort with local city hall and a lot of money they are not willing to spend fixing the problem just for me. You may be right, maybe there is not much outcry in rural areas where it's still kinda dark. So, not much gets done and light encroaches unregulated as communities grow. Maybe start early with city hall to enact some ordinance and require the property owners to pay for specific lighting requirements.
You are making some good points.

I usually do shopping during daylight hours, so lights in store parking lots are not my direct responsibility. I don't need anywhere near as much light as provided to get from the car to the store and back on the occasions that I do shop or go anywhere else at night. So I am going to absolve myself of blame there and invite all other amateur astronomers to do the same.

Reducing light pollution in cities would help get rid of light domes at rural observing sites. But rural sources of light pollution are damaging too, ultimately more so. It could be that city slickers moving or retiring to rural areas are carelessly bringing their city lighting habits with them.

Statewide laws, if properly written, are the answer?

Corey Gibson

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2018, 03:42:25 AM »
"Statewide laws, if properly written, are the answer?"

Possibly. The problem is getting them passed. Some towns in Montana have LP ordinances; however a few years ago, a State-wide LP law didn't survive at all. As far as I know, none have been introduced to the Legislature since then. It seems since the population is so sparse in the State, that LP hasn't been a concern.

imlukaro

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2018, 11:31:08 PM »
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"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.


It depends on the terrain and location of the light. On flat land with belt of trees/windbreak between the light is not likely to be an issue on adjacent property and it will contribute surprisingly little to sky glow. For 160 acre farms that would mean a light about every half mile. Lights used when one is out and about/active are not the real problem, since they will be off most of the night. It is the dusk-to-dawn insecurity lighting that is the greater problem.

Back home my grandparents' security light was a real pain as it lit up the whole front of the hill and fields around. I had to observe in the shadow of the house to get away from it...either that or dispatch the light for the visit. (It also spoiled July 4th show.) A switch would have been a better solution, but the REC wouldn't allow it. In addition I could see two of the neighbors polelights from the best fields for observing since they were on hills facing that way. They were far enough away that it wasn't as much of a problem, but it was still an annoyance.

My current low altitude dark sitehas a big problem with glare from half a dozen big unshieldedpole lights mounted in sets of two. They are 1 mile away and create a lot of perpendicular glare as there is nothing in between. At times they literally shine right in my eyes requiring a hood, or they reflect off of the focuser board or my eyepiece, or into the back of the focuser depending on which way the scope is turnedBut if one can get out of their glare theSQM-L reading overhead is quite darkon winter nights at 21.5.Thereis a horse camping spotabout a mile awaythat I can use and get away from these lights duringmuch oflate fall/winter/early spring until it starts getting used again. Unfortunately, that mile is in the direction of the city and over the small ridge that blocks some of that sky glow...so there are trade offs.

Jose Lukeson

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2018, 12:03:29 AM »
"It could be that city slickers moving or retiring to rural areas are carelessly bringing their city lighting habits with them."

I agree with that. I guess the solution is to let them carelessly move into the region that has light pollution ordinances in place. Before they arrive in mass and the problem get's too big and the local, small town authorities can be more easily influenced (I think.) Rural folks are likely more understanding.

There is a green zone not far from my house. The problem, maybe like you describe, is the entire area is dotted with small outposts with bright lights. Not much overhead, but boy, when you look around it's hard not to see some cement factory or other facility standing alone each with it's own little light dome. Was thinking to set up out there, but cannot escape the very bright direct lighting that can cross open fields and a river bed.

A group of land development entrepreneurs are building an entire stand alone city on pristine land not far from here, too. It's well into a green or blue zone. An industrial park, housing area, schools, shopping district. It's being billed as a place to be, to live, etc. Maybe a bedroom community for the big city (Manila) a few hours down the expressway. As this thing develops, I know another huge light done will develop with no concern for light pollution. As they build it, I will be resettling in the opposite direction to a less developed area. As a renter, I have that option. No big deal, really.

Sam Citadelle

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2018, 02:18:23 AM »
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It could be that city slickers moving or retiring to rural areas are carelessly bringing their city lighting habits with them.
In my part of the world (Columbia County, New York), it is the city slickers who have good lighting practices and the locals who are likely to use glare bombs. I suspect this is typical of much of Appalachia.

People who grow up in this area tend to take the rural environment for granted. Life is tough, jobs are few, young people tend to leave. When the locals are at home, they tend to stay inside and watch TV. The only really popular outdoor activities are ones involving guns.

The transplants move to the area specifically in search of a rural environment. For them, the outdoors is sacred. They're much less likely to hunt (more's the pity -- we have a gross overpopulation of deer) or disturb the outdoor environment in obvious ways, including lighting it up at night. They're much more likely to walk on the rural roads; after all, people from New York City grow up walking as their major form of transportation. Rural people drive to get to their nearest neighbor's house.

I see things from both sides, being a 3rd-generation city transplant, and many of my cousins having lived here all their lives. Needless to say, I don't use glare bombs -- and didn't even before being interested in astronomy.

Steven Tolbert

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2018, 10:23:32 AM »
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"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!"

I would put it
"Classy people have shielded light. Tacky,classless people have unshielded lights. "

obinspumtou

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2018, 11:32:57 AM »
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Quote
It could be that city slickers moving or retiring to rural areas are carelessly bringing their city lighting habits with them.
In my part of the world (Columbia County, New York), it is the city slickers who have good lighting practices and the locals who are likely to use glare bombs. I suspect this is typical of much of Appalachia.

People who grow up in this area tend to take the rural environment for granted. Life is tough, jobs are few, young people tend to leave. When the locals are at home, they tend to stay inside and watch TV. The only really popular outdoor activities are ones involving guns.

The transplants move to the area specifically in search of a rural environment. For them, the outdoors is sacred. They're much less likely to hunt (more's the pity -- we have a gross overpopulation of deer) or disturb the outdoor environment in obvious ways, including lighting it up at night. They're much more likely to walk on the rural roads; after all, people from New York City grow up walking as their major form of transportation. Rural people drive to get to their nearest neighbor's house.

I see things from both sides, being a 3rd-generation city transplant, and many of my cousins having lived here all their lives. Needless to say, I don't use glare bombs -- and didn't even before being interested in astronomy.
Looking at that region on the Light Pollution Map, I see much more evidence of outdoor lighting in a lakefront subdivision, than in the farmland regions a short distance away.

The long term trend has been for those growing up in rural areas to move out and be replaced by city people moving or retiring out to the rural areas. And light pollution in rural areas has been growing. YMMV.

Lamar Davies

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Re: "Light pollution is always the other guy's fault."
« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2018, 01:14:00 PM »
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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.

  Pompous attitudes are quite tasteless and will have little to no good effect on light pollution. People do what people do for various reasons no matter what their economic status.