"The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power." - unknown
Here are some simple solutions for what you can do to help... right now.
*Inspect the lighting around your home for inefficient, poorly installed and unnecessary outdoor lighting. Poor lighting not only creates glare and light pollution, but it also wastes enormous amounts of energy and money. (See diagram above).
* Use dark sky friendly lighting that fully shields the light well below the horizontal surface. Look for the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) Fixture Seal Of Approval on any outdoor lighting you purchase. (See diagram below).
* Reduce the brightness of the light with lower lumens or wattage. The smaller the difference between the light/dark contrast, the easier on your eyes and the better you can see.
* Buy bulbs that are 3000K or less. Warmer light doesn't have as many negative effects as bright white (day time) lights.
* Turn your lights off when you are not there or set up a motion sensor or timer. For the most part, lights do not keep criminals away. Most burglaries and break-ins occur in the afternoon. The listed light options below will also save you money and you'll won't be wasting as much energy.
* Talk to your friends, family and neighbors about the value of dark skies and about avoiding light trespass. Solving the light pollution problem involves education and awareness.
* Join IDA. Better yet, become an active member of the Oregon Chapter. From tabling at events, measuring darkness, to helping with International Dark Sky Place nominations, there are several ways to be an active member.
* Advocate for lighting codes and ordinances in your community. If your community already has dark sky lighting codes or ordinances, make sure that they are getting enforced.
* Participate in the Citizens Science dark sky measurement program at: Globe At Night
* Visit an IDA Dark-Sky Place. IDA’s Dark Sky Places program recognizes locations with exceptionally dark skies and local efforts to keep them that way. Many of these places are state or national parks. By visiting these locations your tourism dollars help sustain and protect these rare and fragile locales for the benefit of future generations. Click HERE for a full listing of ALL International Dark-Sky Places throughout the world.
AHHHH!!!! My Neighbor's Lighting...
Yep we all have that neighbor. The one that leaves the lights on 24/7, shining directly into your bedroom. Please click on THIS link for some ideas on how to hopefully solve this issue. We can not recommend highly enough to keep it positive, don't verbally attack your neighbor and maybe even ask them for a solution.
Here is a Sample Letter to Your Neighbor. Maybe this will help things get started.
Deschutes County has put together a FAQ page regarding Outdoor Lighting. At the bottom of the document is "How do I Talk to My Neighbor". There's some good ideas and pointers which may be useful.
"Good lighting design will ramp up/down the light levels in the transition areas, giving the viewer’s eye some time to adjust to the changes. We (IDA) think this is a fundamental public safety issue, and that poor design in this respect can be as dangerous as no lighting at all. The decision to light an area in the first place should be based on safety, but the design that follows must be as careful in order to ensure that lighting doesn’t make a situation worse.” - John Barrentine, IDA Policy Director