Cleaning Up Light Pollution

January/February 2006
A version of this article appears in the January/February 2006 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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January 01, 2006
                    Much of the exterior lighting installed on homes and apartment buildings does little or nothing to increase visibility, security, and safety, but it often unnecessarily lights up the neighbors’ properties and the night sky. Unfortunately, current lighting practices also gobble up an excess of electricity while delivering poor lighting with glare, light trespass, and “up” light—light that is directed upward, where it can do nothing to aid pedestrians finding their way home at night.The organization I founded, the Dark Sky Society of Long Island, New York, provides information about how we can decrease the amount of light lost up into the night sky and how we can easily light the ground more effectively and efficiently.         At a recent monthly meeting of energy efficiency experts held at the Long Island Power Authority, I spoke about the environmental and financial costs of light pollution. At the end of my talk, one of the experts working with builders discussed a particular frustration she encounters on job sites. Because most energy efficiency programs do not include guidelines ...

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