Being a Dark Sky Community does not mean we are averse to lighting at night. Smart lighting allows us to maintain necessary illumination for safety and nighttime activities while minimizing our contribution to light pollution.
Smart lights minimize glare that causes light trespass, temporary blindness for drivers, and skyglow. This includes using fully shielded lights that direct illumination downward to the exact spots where it’s needed. It also includes warm-colored lights that reduce light scatter and protects wildlife and the human ability to safely see at night. Timers and dimmers also help put the light where you need it, when you need it.
Implementing smart lighting practices does not diminish your nighttime lighting needs, but rather makes it more functional and less wasteful. Each year, the U.S. emits about 15 million tons of CO2 to power residential lighting. That’s the equivalent of emissions from 3 million passenger cars. To offset all that carbon dioxide, we would have to plant about 600 million trees every year.
Bad lighting results in a loss of about $3 million per year of energy. About 35 percent of light is wasted by unshielded and poorly-aimed lighting.
When purchasing lights, look for the “IDA Dark Sky Approved” logo to ensure you are getting the most dark sky-friendly lights.
For more information, visit fhdarksky.com.