Author Topic: Light Pollution in Laughlin, NV  (Read 311 times)

Philip Price

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 115
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Light Pollution in Laughlin, NV
« on: December 23, 2017, 10:58:18 PM »
I live across the river from Laughlin, NV. It is a rather small town that caters almost solely into the casinos.  Even though most of the casinos are not a issue, the Riverside Hotel and Casino is.  They have the building surrounded with spot lights that shine up onto its white walls.  This creates a pillar of light shooting into the sky quite much like the Luxor in Las Vegas.  My home is almost directly due south of it and it truly makes observing anything in that direction impossible.

Any ideas on the best way best to approach the town (or even Don Laughlin himself, owner of the Riverside and town founder) on a potential solution?  Downward-facing lights, etc?  Since I don't live in Nevada, I'm not sure whether they'd even listen.



caenalfosen

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 115
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Light Pollution in Laughlin, NV
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2017, 09:41:39 AM »
Sorry Red, can't be of help I'm afraid--we are trying to fight the fantastic fight here in (much darker) Tonopah, NV re light pollution w/ the town fathers, and getting nowhere fast, so again afraid I don't understand exactly what to suggest you attempt there in Laughlin.  Not to being a NV resident probably won't help you much either, but on the flip side, all us telescope-owners here in Tonopah being NV/Tonopah residents isn't helping us much either!  Guess just try finding someone at the casino that is willing to speak to you about the problem there, and attempt to clue him in about the importance of maintaining skies dim at night--for all sorts of reasons not just so a few people night-owls can do our "thing" out at night--believe that the Intl'n dark Sky Association has some helpful ideas along those lines--such as reducing lighting can help save you electricity which = money, etc..  Hopefully you can find someone there who will listen to your sensible points, particularly when it comes to saving them money.

Anyhow, fantastic luck to you!  (and if you ever wish to observe under darker skies, head this way up--our site: tas.astronomynv.org--hope the Cloudy Nights webmaster won't ban me from the site for that...?!) .  Fantastic luck red!

Jim

adectisun

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Light Pollution in Laughlin, NV
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2017, 03:07:23 PM »
I lived in the area in 1976 and still have vivid memories of the dark skies from those days.

I came back a couple of years ago to see how things have changed. That light from the casino, cut our stay short. It is just plain ugly!!

I would approach the owner on that premise. Does it attract people to his business?? In our case, it drove us away. Lake Mead NRA is a special area and attracts lots of visitors to its natural setting.

Ugly is ugly and people don't want to stay in ugly locations these days. We would love to spend more time in Bullhead City, but not with that light!!

manreistilles

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 127
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Light Pollution in Laughlin, NV
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2017, 02:19:19 AM »
Laughlin, NV.........always kinda struck me as the last trailer park on the right after leaving Vegas. Did win some money there though. I doubt you'll ever convince the Gambling Industrial Complex that being able to see their Casino from a hundred miles away is a bad thing...why, that's just part of the advertising to them........

John Jankowski

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 125
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Light Pollution in Laughlin, NV
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2017, 01:52:41 AM »
This thread makes me think that there may be some benefit to lobbying architects on light pollution issues. I don't know what steps the IDA has taken along these lines, but if some of the nation's top architectural firms became advocates of sensible lighting, it might lead to light pollution being redefined as unfashionable. Aesthetic correctness is a powerful motivator for many people.

Some architectural firms may be easy to win as allies. For instance, Perkins & Will (ranked as one of the top firms) lists wellness and sustainability as guiding principles in their designs. In the wellness section of their website (http://perkinswill.c...urpose/wellness)they discuss several initiatives directed at creating healthier places. Sensible exterior and interior lighting would be a reasonable addition to their policies in the wellness category for the health-related reasons Dave (magic612) has outlined.

Of course, some architectural firms would be less easy to convince, but if leading firms like Perkins & Will began to promote sensible lighting, I think others would follow.

We wince at typical casino lighting because of the light pollution. It may be possible to get others who may care little about light pollution to wince at garish exterior lighting because it represents an aesthetic faux pas.

Geoff

ardrivunla

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 128
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Light Pollution in Laughlin, NV
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2017, 05:27:44 AM »
Get the tree hugger crowd involved as the distruption of migratory birds and all that kind of stuff is at risk . Then maybe enough pressure can come down on the problem . The nocturnal animals are being disrupted !! Since this society screams louder about cruelty to animals than it does about cruelty to people it's most likely the only chance left . I can't hardly see anyone responding to the concerns of a few human beings that want to pursue a hobby .

ndesevtenzio

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 132
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Light Pollution in Laughlin, NV
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2017, 08:01:53 AM »
Nancy, I think we have to go beyond "the tree hugger crowd." In fact, many of them are already on board about light pollution, and are a lot more involved than most amateur astronomers are about lights at night anyway. The bigger issue is the larger population - those who don't care about birds, or nocturnal animals, or even glare being an issue for senior citizens. I think the only way to make people recognize this is a problem is to get them to realize this affects THEM.

$63 billion is lost in productivity each year due to tired workers. Why are they tired? Many aren't getting a good night's sleep. Why not? Light pollution / light trespass in their windows. We need less light outside, and need to eliminate the wrong color of light (wavelengths shorter than 530 nm - around the green/yellow color). Blue and violet light suppresses melatonin (it's why your body "wakes up" when you see blue light from the sky during the day - melatonin is shut down then), and melatonin suppression leads to not only poor sleep, but is increasingly being tied to a number of health issues (breast cancer, prostate cancer, depression, anxiety, etc.).

But the real key, as I see it, is sleep. That's immediate. People know when they are tired in the morning. Prescription drugs have side effects. Sleeping in the dark does not. If we focus on OTHER people's sleep, we can find allies and people who understand the issue, and will be more open to making changes.

Ralph Gleason

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 121
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Light Pollution in Laughlin, NV
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2017, 07:23:33 PM »
I agree as I am experiencing all these problems myself and when I hear of this being the cause of it that's enough to get my goat .

Anton Balderrama

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 122
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Light Pollution in Laughlin, NV
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2017, 10:10:11 PM »
This forum is about light pollution and ways to address it. Please do not try to make this about other political topics.

bardersgarli

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 117
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Light Pollution in Laughlin, NV
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2018, 03:10:05 AM »
I love getting over the lip of the valley far enough to see those Saganesque "billions and billions" of stars.

The very well lit Westgate (previously LVH, Las Vegas Hilton, the International, where Elvis played) dominates (basically eliminates) my skyview to the west and the Luxor light is to the south.

Aesthetic faux pas pretty much is what this town is built on. And no one comes here to get a good night's rest.

The expression "dark" or "go dark" here means a show that is off mid-week or a property that is being shuttered for good. Everything else is lit up, way up.

As much as I love a dark night sky (that's Viva Las Vega, not Vegas) -- and will drive to get there -- taking on Nevada casinos head on on actually having their buildings lit up perhaps would marginalize the proponents of doing that to the point that they could not achieve anything else that might be achievable in Nevada.

Just a pragmatic two cents as applied to specific casino dominated locations in Nevada, including Laughlin. There's plenty of dark sky in the state -- very black dark sky -- otherwise to try and preserve without quixotically taking on the main driver of the state's economy head on.

Terrance Station

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Light Pollution in Laughlin, NV
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2018, 11:07:54 AM »
Quote
I love getting over the lip of the valley far enough to see those Saganesque "billions and billions" of stars.

The very well lit Westgate (previously LVH, Las Vegas Hilton, the International, where Elvis played) dominates (basically eliminates) my skyview to the west and the Luxor light is to the south.

Aesthetic faux pas pretty much is what this town is built on. And no one comes here to get a good night's rest.

The expression "dark" or "go dark" here means a show that is off mid-week or a property that is being shuttered for good. Everything else is lit up, way up.

As much as I love a dark night sky (that's Viva Las Vega, not Vegas) -- and will drive to get there -- taking on Nevada casinos head on on actually having their buildings lit up perhaps would marginalize the proponents of doing that to the point that they could not achieve anything else that might be achievable in Nevada.

Just a pragmatic two cents as applied to specific casino dominated locations in Nevada, including Laughlin. There's plenty of dark sky in the state -- very black dark sky -- otherwise to try and preserve without quixotically taking on the main driver of the state's economy head on.


Your main point, choose your battles wisely, is well taken. Rather than confronting the gaming industry head on, I was thinking more along the lines of sneaking in a better lighting mindset through the people who design casinos. Casino owners want their buildings to attract attention, convey excitement, and encourage the public to engage in a certain amount of fiscal recklessness.

I don't know whether architects can meet these design requirements without dumping lots of light into the night sky, but they pride themselves on their creativity and problem solving skills. I doubt that many have given light pollution much thought, but I'm willing to bet that they could meet the challenge and come up with new approaches to exterior lighting that would impress casino owners while at the same time significantly reducing light pollution.

You're quite right that visitors don't go to Las Vegas for a good night's sleep, but the people who live there need it all the same.

In short, I don't think that making buildings look visually impressive at night and controlling light pollution are mutually exclusive goals. My hope would be that over time a new aesthetic standard would take hold that defines as ugly any and all lighting schemes that pollute.

Finally, I can't resist quoting Mies van der Rohe: "Less is more."

Geoff

John Abreu

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 127
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Light Pollution in Laughlin, NV
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2018, 08:54:34 PM »
I grew up in Las Vegas. There are plenty of dark skies in and around the area, just got to drive 90mins or so.

James Gruber

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Light Pollution in Laughlin, NV
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2018, 03:19:44 AM »
LivingNDixie,

Yes, just drive 90 miles (or a tad bit more...) to some place like dark-sky Tonopah, NV for example! Is quite dark here at night and for many miles around here in cetral NV! Anyhow, some good ideas on the combating light pollution thing--like the idea that someone suggested the other day of trying to work w/ architects to design buildings w/ dark-sky friendly exterior lighting ("smart" lighting??) in mind when they design these edifices. Is worth a try.

Nicholas Becker

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Light Pollution in Laughlin, NV
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2018, 09:17:57 AM »
Quote
Quote
. . . .
Finally, I can't resist quoting Mies van der Rohe: "Less is more."

Geoff

LOL . . . everywhere but here.

But, yeah, with everyone working toward solutions, there's probably ways to engineer things so that the over-the-top presentation that typifies Las Vegas and other gaming venues like Laughlin can be achieved with less collateral light wash. Like maybe aiming spots down on a building exterior rather than up at it, like I believe Westgate (which is an old structure) does. And designing both the building exterior and the lighting from the get-go in ways that catch and accentuate light while using -- or at least collaterally splashing -- less of it.

Most of our new properties lately have been rebuilds of existing structures rather than the classic dynamite the old and build something entirely new type project. The recession pretty much knocked out the projects where they first dynamited back to the desert first.

Perhaps before the next new building phase begins, the properties, with some nudging that is mindful of what they're also trying to achieve with all that over-the-top design, will start asking their architects as to how to do that more with less.

Meanwhile, starting amateur astronomy here less than a mile from the Strip, I've had to accept the fact that I'm going to have to use that light pollution filter that Don Pensack talks about -- gas in the tank. It's a pretty reliable bet that they're not going to dial back the lights because I moved out here and then decided I wanted to start looking at the night sky.

This place does look magical with the pink and then darkening blue hues from the setting sun backlighting the mountains to the west with the lights coming up on the Strip. It may be over the top at times, but the place has its moments.