Ways you can help

 Is light pollution killing our birds? - Challenge magazine, Summer 2006.

There are a lot of very simple things you can do that would help reduce and even eliminate light pollution, save energy and reduce the effects on wildlife. You really can help to make a difference.



Keep UNNECESSARY lights off

A huge amount of energy is consumed just by having the lights on at night. A recent report estimated that 19% of all global power generation is used for night time lighting. The main culprit in consuming energy is the familiar incandescent bulb. If the whole UK switched to low energy bulbs we could reduce the amount of electricity used by more than half.

Don't Turn Me On And Then Just Leave MEEEE! An idea from the Carbon Trust. 

Turn Out That Light! This from Air Raid Warden Hodges of Dad's Army, BBC TV!

Defintion of UNNECESSARY from Collins English Dictionary. Unnecessary = not necessary. Necessary = 1. needed to achieve a certain desired effect or result, 2. resulting from necessity.............


Switching off UNNECESSARY streetlights

Do we really need every streetlight to be on all night long? How many people in your area are up and about after 1 a.m.? Some local councils are now proposing to switch off streetlighting in the early hours of the morning. Essex County Council has estimated it could save 44 million kilowatt hours of energy. This would have a dramatic effect in reducing light pollution. There is no need to plunge neighourhoods into total darkness - if just every other streetlight was switched off then the effect would be dramatic.

Take your cue from Calgary, Alberta, Canada!

  • Energy and money savings. The new flat lens fixtures use less energy, which helps to keep operating costs down. Cost savings from reduced energy consumption alone are estimated at $1.7 million per year, while energy savings are estimated at 25,000 MWh. By 2011 or 2012, it is estimated The City will regain the cost of installing the new fixtures from energy savings.
     
  • Greenhouse gas reductions. Using less electricity reduces the emissions produced by gas and coal-burning generators.

 


Downward directed lighting

Here is a total "no brainer". If half of the light produced at night is going up then it is not illuminating the ground where it is needed. If 100% of the light was aimed down then bulbs could be half as powerful to achieve the same effect as removing 50% of these lights! So it is very easy to achieve a reduction in electricity usage and a reduction in light pollution. A win-win situation by any standards, but do politicians understand science? What is needed is to write to your MP and your local council and demand that lights are converted to downward-directed reduced wattage lighting! In the UK, many motorway light fittings are being changed already. In Canada the city of Calgary has started a civic lighting project and it is already reaping the benefits, both financial and aesthetic.
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