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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.



7 The Cost of Throwing Away Electricity 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.

10 Light Pollution We wouldnt allow 30 to 50% of water from a hose to escape onto the pavement un-used. We wouldnt run our electric heaters in winter with the windows wide open.

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

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. Lets be allowed to use our eyes at night.

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

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)

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)

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

17 Evolution Of Light Pollution 1800s: 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 1930s: Mercury vapor (terrible beginnings) 1939: Fluorescent 1940: PAR lamps 1950s: Tungsten Halogen The End of Night s: Metal Halide and HPS 1980s Compact fluorescents (good – energy savers) 1990s Electrodless (Induction) lamps 2000s: 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 Edisons 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 Todays 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 Steves 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

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

25 Evolution of light pollution In Los Angeles

26 1998 What will we look like in 2098?

27 TYPES OF LIGHT POLLUTION 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

30 Light Trespass When Light Crosses Property Lines The Spillover of Light Where Its Unwanted and Unneeded Light Trespass: a Neighbors Unwelcome Light Can Reduce the Value of Ones 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

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

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

36 The acorn trap They look their best in daylight.

37 Original globes had soft, incandescent lights Todays 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).

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

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 Luminance : The perceived brightness measured in candelas/sq meter. Illuminance: 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 stations 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

46 Lumens And Watts 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 USAs 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 Lights Efficiency Is Measured in Lumens Per Watt 70 Watt Incandescent Bulb = 1200 Lumens 70 Watt High Pressure Sodium Lamp = 6300 Lumens 60 Watt Incandescent Bulb = 900 Lumens 15 Watt Compact Fluorescent Bulb = 900 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 SourceWattsLumensLifeLu/W Incandescent1001, hrs 17 Tung-Halogen3006,0002, Comp. Fluorescent 261,80010, Merc. Vapor1757,90024, Metal Halide1008,07510, Metal Halide40036,00020, HPS , HPS25026,00024, LPS18033,00024, Street lights are on 4100 hrs/year. HPS & LPS lamps will last 5.8 yrs

49 Pole Heights and Lumen Limits Pole HeightLumens 6ft (Incandescent, PAR, 8ft fluorescent, halogen) 10ft ft ft (begin HID lamps) 20ft ft ft ft ft ft


51 Useful Reference Levels for Foot-candle Values 1. Full moon.02 fc 2. Living room10 fc 3. Sitting at my computer 12 fc 4. Schools fc 5. AAA league baseball park 85 fc 6. Todays gas stations fc 7. Jewelers counter fc 8. Operating table light 490 fc 9. Sunlight 10,000 fc

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

53 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.

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

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


60 Aluminum shielding over canopy lights

61 Security Issues

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

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

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

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

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)

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 Why an Ordinance? Enhances the quality of life for all. Sets a uniform code for all outdoor lighting. Architects dont need to guess what what you want – saves them time and the clients $$$. Enhances safety and security by reducing glare Reduces light pollution.

71 Allows redress for citizens exposed to a neighbors 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 4. 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 & Zs 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

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

85 Ketchum Dark Sky Ordinance 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 all drop lens street lights to these fco lights. This has reduced glare, sky glow and light trespass without compromising safety. Old drop lens light

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

94 1550watt 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


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

120 Light Pollution

121 29 inch brown Silver Creek Dry Fly JAWS

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