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Presentation on theme: "LIGHT POLLUTION ISSUES AND ANSWERS Steve Pauley MD Ketchum, Idaho."— Presentation transcript:



3 2/3 of the US population and 1/5 of the world can no longer see the Milky way.

4 99% of the population in the lower 48 and the EU live in areas where the night sky is above threshold set for polluted status.

5 6


7 The Cost of Throwing Away Electricity
The USA spends over $1.5 billion per year in energy costs from wasted light. = 6 million tons of coal or = 23 million barrels of oil per year

8 Light Pollution Is the Easiest Type of Pollution to Fix.
Reduce It, Shield It, & Shine It Down. Light the Subject & Hide the Source. Follow IESNA rec. levels.

9 Light Pollution Outdoor lighting currently stands as one of the most inefficient uses of energy today. 30 to 50% of all light pollution is produced by roadway lighting that shines wasted light upwards and outwards. 5

10 Light Pollution We wouldn’t allow 30 to 50% of water from a hose to escape onto the pavement un-used. We wouldn’t run our electric heaters in winter with the windows wide open. 5

11 Light Pollution Then why do we allow 30 to 50% of light photons from outdoor lighting escape into space? We throw away electricity. 5

12 Three Million Years of Dark Adaptation
The same eyes we have today allowed our ancestors to live and hunt at night by the light of the moon and stars. Let’s be allowed to use our eyes at night.

13 Human Eye At Night 250 million years ago:
Evolution of the human eye’s binocular vision began with the appearance of mammals Smaller noses and less sense of smell; Better eyes with acute vision and depth of field 1

14 Human Eye At Night Two million years ago:
Early man huddled around the light of fires on the African savanna 500,000 years ago: Homo erectus used fire to cook food (China digs) 1

15 Human Eye At Night 150,000 years ago:
Homo sapiens used fire for cooking and warmth. They used the same eyes we have today to navigate, hunt, cook, eat, and give birth under the light of the moon and stars 20,000 years ago: Homo sapiens used shallow stone candles fueled with animal fat and with wicks of plant matter. Stone candles enabled stick figure art work on cave walls (France) 1

16 Evolution of Light Pollution
3000 BC: first candles Greeks, Romans through the middle ages: oil lamps 1784: hollow wicks used for brighter light Early colonists: fish & whale oil lamps 2

17 Evolution Of Light Pollution
1800’s: kerosene lamps 1801: first electric lamp -carbon arc lamp. Sir Humphrey Davy 1879: incandescent lamp. Thomas Edison & Sir Joseph swan

18 Evolution Of Light Pollution
1930’s: Mercury vapor (terrible beginnings) 1939: Fluorescent 1940: PAR lamps 1950’s: Tungsten Halogen The End of Night 1960’s: Metal Halide and HPS 1980’s Compact fluorescents (good – energy savers) 1990’s Electrodless (Induction) lamps 2000’s: Lighting designers run amok - laser shows; bridge lighting; tower lighting; beacons on buildings

19 We have the same eyes now that they
had then.

20 Thomas Edison Edison’s electric light in 1879 resulted, over time, in forming an industry dedicated to selling the public the idea that the more outdoor light, the better.

21 Today’s Lighting Industry
Harsh lighting is sold in the name of “security,” but more often it is used for advertising, and to sell bigger and brighter lighting fixtures. It has proven to be a visual insult to the human eye, and has gradually stolen the night away.

22 Space Needle Seattle, WA Lighting designers run amok

23 Steve’s Fundamental Laws of Light Pollution
First law: Without local lighting ordinances, bad lighting gets progressively worse Second law: A. Light pollution is directly proportional to improvements in lighting technology, and B. Inversely proportional to an awareness of the issues at the local level – city planners can reverse the trend 4

24 Steve’s Fundamental Laws of Light Pollution
Examples: Progressive eye insults beginning with incandescent bulbs, then HID lamps, then schemes to light up cities and bridges 4

25 Evolution of light pollution
In Los Angeles 1908

26 1998 What will we look like in 2098?

Glare Light Trespass Sky Glow Air pollution Energy waste Confusion and clutter


29 Types of Light Pollution
Glare Light that beams directly into your eye from an annoying light fixture Blinding glare: gas stations, theater effect Disability glare: scattering of light – elderly with cataracts Discomfort glare: annoyance, fatigue 7

30 Light Trespass When Light Crosses Property Lines
The Spillover of Light Where It’s Unwanted and Unneeded Light Trespass: a Neighbor’s Unwelcome Light Can Reduce the Value of One’s Property.

31 Light Trespass

32 Skyglow lights up birds and planes

33 Types of Light Pollution
Air pollution: greenhouse gasses from fossil fuel power plants Light confusion and clutter: too many kinds of different fixtures and colors of light 7

34 GLARE Gas Stations Glare is never good Good on left, bad on right
Who is “safe” here?

35 Can you find the “bad guy?”
This tree is “safe” Glare lighting does not allow the eye to see into the shadows

36 The acorn trap They look their best in daylight.

37 Original globes had soft,
incandescent lights Today’s globes and Acorns have glare producing HID lamps (hps, mh)

38 Globes and acorns light the trees better
than the ground

39 Glare from acorn light

40 No lighting awards here
Turning night into day while insulting the eye with glare

41 What Is Good Lighting? It lights for the human eye using only the amount of light needed (follow the IESNA guidelines). 8

42 Good Lighting It lights the subject and hides the light source (lamp).
It provides adequate light for the intended task, but never over lights. 8

43 Good Lighting It uses fully shielded light fixtures.
It minimizes adverse impacts (light trespass) on adjacent property. It uses high efficiency lamps while considering the color and quality as essential design criteria.

44 Illuminance: The perceived brightness measured in candelas/sq meter.
The visual effect that luminance produces. Measured in Footcandles = lumens/sq foot Or Lux = lumens/sq meter

45 Illuminance Foot-candles (fc)= lumens / sq foot. We use fc in the USA
Lux = lumens/sq meter A local gas station’s lights peak at 270 fc = over 10,000 times the light from a full moon. The IESNA minimum safe light levels for an urban gas station = 10 fc; rural = 5 fc Lighting ordinances should specify limits in lumens not watts 9

46 Lumens And Watts Idaho Power residential now about 5.7 cents/kwh
A watt = one joule per sec., Or a current of one amp. Under an electrical pressure of one volt. Idaho Power residential now about 5.7 cents/kwh USA’s avg. Rate = 8 cents/kWh. A lumen = a unit of luminous flux or a measure of the intrinsic brightness of a lamp. (An isotropic point source of luminous intensity of 1 candela emits one lumen into a unit solid angle of one steradian (sr), or 4 pi lumens on the spherical surface surrounding the point source).

47 A Light’s Efficiency Is Measured in Lumens Per Watt 70 Watt Incandescent Bulb = Lumens 70 Watt High Pressure Sodium Lamp = Lumens Watt Incandescent Bulb = Lumens 15 Watt Compact Fluorescent Bulb = Lumens Lighting Levels Are Best Expressed in Lumens, Not Watts. All HID Lamps Today (HPS, LPS, MH, MV) Are Over 1800 Lumens

48 Light Sources, Watts, and Lumens
Source Watts Lumens Life Lu/W Incandescent , hrs 17 Tung-Halogen ,000 2, Comp. Fluorescent , , Merc. Vapor , , Metal Halide , , Metal Halide , , HPS , HPS , , LPS , , Street lights are on 4100 hrs/year. HPS & LPS lamps will last 5.8 yrs

49 Pole Heights and Lumen Limits
Pole Height Lumens 6ft (Incandescent, PAR, 8ft fluorescent, halogen) 10ft 12ft 16ft (begin HID lamps) 20ft 24ft 28ft 32ft 36ft 40ft


51 Useful Reference Levels for Foot-candle Values
1. Full moon fc 2. Living room fc 3. Sitting at my computer fc 4. Schools fc 5. AAA league baseball park fc 6. Today’s gas stations fc 7. Jewelers counter fc 8. Operating table light fc 9. Sunlight ,000 fc 13

52 Native Hog Steelhead -- Steve Smith
Salmon River near Stanley April 2000

53 The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.
IESNA = The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America. Sets Minimum Foot-candle Levels Needed to Provide for Safety and Security for Specific Situations, I.E. Parking Lots, Walkways, Roadways, Gas Stations, Etc. 14

54 IESNA Recommended Practices (RP) Publications

55 Full Cutoff Shielding Essential remedy for glare and skyglow
No light rays from the fixture go above the horizontal At least 90 percent of light is blocked in the near-sideways range from 0 to 20 degrees below the horizontal


57 $35 Sky Cap shield placed to cut glare, trespass, & skyglow Typical 175 w mv unshielded yard light

58 Recessed canopy lights
Yes. Big Oil can do these canopies


60 Aluminum shielding over canopy lights

61 Security Issues

62 SECURITY More than meets the eye i.e. not just glare lighting
More light does not = better security. Security = effective, non- glare lighting.

63 Lighting and Safety More light does not equate to better, safer light.
You can have less but more efficient lighting and not compromise safety at all.

64 We’re Not Saying Let’s Turn Out All the Lights.
Glare From Poor Lighting Allows Criminals to Hide in Dark Shadows. Shielded, Non Glare Lighting Allows One to See in the Shadows. We’re Not Saying Let’s Turn Out All the Lights. Lighting for Security Means Effective, Shielded, Non Glare Lighting That Meets the IESNA Minimum Light Levels. 15

65 Lighting and Crime A complex issue
No study proves that more light decreases crime More light does give people the feeling of more security 11

66 Lighting and Crime Most crimes take place during the day
Two congressional crime task forces (1979 & 1997) found no relationship between lighting and crime “There are simply no good scientific studies that convincingly show the relationship between lighting and crime.” - (Ref - IDA information sheet 42; 4/98) 11

67 Crime Deterrents at Night:
Best: dog (pit bull?) Next best: shielded, infrared motion detector flood lights combined with a video camera. Some schools have gone dark, used this system, and vandalism has decreased

68 Total solar eclipse Zimbabwe June 21, 2001


70 Enhances the quality of life for all.
Why an Ordinance? Enhances the quality of life for all. Sets a uniform code for all outdoor lighting. Architects don’t need to guess what what you want – saves them time and the client’s $$$. Enhances safety and security by reducing glare Reduces light pollution.

71 Allows redress for citizens exposed to a
neighbor’s bad light It can lead to cost savings

72 Without Lighting Ordinances, the Bad Practices of the Last 100 Years Will Simply Escalate in the Name of Economic Progress and “Safety.”

73 12 Points For A Good Lighting Ordinance
1. Promote good lighting without compromising safety or security. 2. Convert street lights to full cut-off fixtures. That can result in reduced lumen levels, lower wattage lamps, and a savings in electric bills. Can reflectors be used instead of street lights? 3. Address glare from unshielded flood lights.

74 Address light trespass. Use Kennebunkport formula, not light police.
H = 3 + D/3 5. Require that only the minimum IESNA lighting levels be reached for a given situation – follow the IESNA RP guidelines 6. Prohibit upward lighting of all types

75 7. Require signs to lighted from the top down.
8. Educate all parties on what good lighting should be. 9. Promote the use of motion detector lighting and timing devices. Suggest all non essential lighting be turned off by 11 PM. 10. Allow local P & Z’s to require lighting for the human eye and safety using IESNA minimums, rather than up lighting for trees, rocks, and buildings. Down light flag poles. 11. Never allow for more lighting than what is really needed. Make lighting controlled, efficient, and effective. 12. Enforce all lighting ordinances with fines.

76 Cost of Retrofitting Often recovered in three years. Depends on formula your utility company uses to bill for light pole maintenance. San Diego is saving $3 million a year in power bills by retrofitting its street light fixtures to LPS.

77 Other Benefits Looks pleasant. Smooth, uniform illumination.
Reduced glare is safer for motorists You can see pedestrians and objects more easily. The elderly with cataracts are less affected by glare and will be safer drivers.

78 Light at Night and Human Health
Researchers have shown a definite link between exposure to light at night and lower melatonin levels – in all living things.

79 Light at Night and Human Health
Exposure to light at night = decreased melatonin levels. Part of our circadian system of light-dark rhythms. Nightly melatonin production by the pineal gland is needed for good health.

80 5 Retrospective Studies
Totally blind women with no light perception have a roughly 30% less incidence of breast cancer. Human breast cancer cells implanted in rats grow faster when the rats are exposed to light at night. Melatonin levels are reduced by exposure to light at night. Breast cancer rates are highest in industrialized nations where night lighting levels are also the highest. Researchers are pursuing these connections. No cause and effect can be made now. Nightly melatonin production in humans is beneficial to our health. Light exposure interferes with that.

81 “Light is a drug and that by abusing it, we risk imperiling our health
Dr. Russell J. Reiter University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX 12

82 Everybody Wins With Good Lighting
Enhances the quality of life for all No compromise to safety or security Can save money Less pollution

83 Everybody Wins With Good Lighting
Less glare, light trespass & sky glow Restores dark skies for stargazing Prevents the pervasive spread of light pollution Preserves the night skies for our children

84 Steve’s Modification of the Iroquois’ 7 Generations Principle
We should not pass through this life just to make our own lives easier at the expense of our natural world and future generations of humans. We are OF this planet, not unique to it. We are charged with acting as stewards of our natural world. We must take actions today that better the lives of those who, in 110 years, replace today’s entire population on earth. Each of us can do just one small thing to better the lives of those who will be here 110 years from now –i.e. preserve the night sky.

85 Ketchum Dark Sky Ordinance- 1999
Incandescent(w) Up to 260 lumens (20w) May be unshielded 260 – 1000 lumens (20-60w) No bulb showing; opaque top 1000 – 1800 lumens (60-120w) = *Floods 0ver 1800 lumens Must be full cutoff fixtures with no (all HID lamps) light above the horizontal *Floods: Lights from lumens: Must have shielding and opening may not tilt upwards more than 25 degrees from horizontal. Timers and motion sensors are encouraged. Motion sensors must go off in 5 minutes.

86 Ketchum Lights

87 In Sept. 2001, Idaho Power completed the retrofit of
Old drop lens light In Sept. 2001, Idaho Power completed the retrofit of all drop lens street lights to these fco lights. This has reduced glare, sky glow and light trespass without compromising safety.

88 Guardco Lights

89 Ketchum FCO Parking Lot - Metal Halide
Guardco Lights

90 Good FCO Lighting In All Places

91 There are exceptions

92 Overkill – too much full cutoff lighting

93 This bldg. has 15 50 watt hps at 4000 lumens each,
21 ft apart and 9 ft high. Ridiculous lighting. Total Overkill. These should be compact fluorescents And only 3 per side of the bldg.

94 Overkill 50watt hps lamps 10 ft high, 4000 lumens each, 21 ft apart.
60,000 lumens of light surrounding the bldg. Overkill

95 Unfortunately this is legal under
the Ketchum Ordinance since these are all fco lamps.

96 Overkill

97 Perfect Lighting




101 Bad Wall Pack

102 Better Wall Light

103 Better Wall Light

104 Ketchum Post Office


106 Back lit sign with too much
white. Neighbors complained.


108 For most business sign lighting, a down-shielded light under 1800 lumens is all that’s needed.

109 These quartz-halogen floods are not shielded,
are over 1800 lumens, and therefore illegal

110 Good FCO Lights

111 Opaque cover diffuses light better

112 FCO lights at entry

113 An elementary school parking lot with
no lights. No problems.

114 29 inch brown Silver Creek Dry Fly


116 END



119 $35 Sky Cap shield placed to cut glare, trespass,& skyglow Typical 175 w mv unshielded yard light

120 Light Pollution

121 JAWS 29 inch brown Silver Creek Dry Fly

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