Check Out Our Advertisers!
     None  Accounting/Bookkeeping
     None  Advertising
     None  Attorney - Lawyer
     None  Auto
     None  Automotive Dealerships
     None  Aviation
     None  Banks and Credit Unions
     None  Barns and Steel Buildings
     None  Blacksmith
     None  Carpet Cleaning
     None  Chamber of Commerce
     None  Child Care
     None  Chiropractic Care
     None  Churches
     None  Computer Services
     None  Dentist
     None  Dry Cleaning
     None  Dryer Vent Cleaning & Repair
     None  Drywall
     None  Electric utility
     None  Equine Services
     None  Equipment Rental
     None  Excavating
     None  Eye Care
     None  Feed Stores
     None  Field Mowing
     None  Financial Services
     None  Firearms
     None  Flooring
     None  Florist
     None  Food Products
     None  Funeral Home
     None  Garage Doors
     None  Golf Courses
     None  Gutters
     None  Hair/Nail Care and Cosmetics
     None  Health Care
     None  Heating and Cooling
     None  Home Maintenance
     None  House Cleaning
     None  Insulation
     None  Insurance
     None  Internet Service
     None  Jewelry
     None  Landscaping
     None  Lawn Care
     None  Liquor Stores
     None  Locksmith
     None  Movers
     None  Music Lessons
     None  Orthodontist
     None  Painting - Interior/Exterior
     None  Paving/Asphalt
     None  Pet Grooming
     None  Pet Sitter
     None  Photography
     None  Physician
     None  Plumbing
     None  Portable Buildings
     None  Propane Delivery
     None  Propane
     None  Property Management
     None  Racing - Cars
     None  Real Estate Services
     None  Restaurants
     None  Roofing
     None  Schools
     None  Senior Citizens Services
     None  Septic Services
     None  Sheds, Outbuildings
     None  Shipping Services
     None  Small Engine Repair
     None  Specialty/Gifts
     None  Storage
     None  Tanning Salon
     None  Tax Preparation
     None  Tires
     None  Tractor, Trailer and RV Sales
     None  Veterinarian
     None  Window Replacement
     None  Windshield Repair

“I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.”
– Shirley Temple  
Contact Us | Advertise | Classified Ad | News Stands | Subscribe  

  Volume No. 14 Issue No. 12 December 2017  

None Black Forest News   None Book Review   None Business Briefs   None Community Calendar  
None Did You Know?   None FFPD Column   None FFPD News   None From the Publisher  
None Health and Wellness   None Letters to the Editor   None Marks Meanderings   None Monkey Business  
None News From D 49   None Obituary   None Pet Care   None Phun Photos  
None Prairie Life   None Rumors  
Front Page   |   Feature Stories   |   Search This Issue   |   Log In
  Lights polluting our skies?
  By Lindsey Harrison

   With the holiday season in full swing, residents in the Falcon/Peyton area are busy decorating their homes with festive outdoor lighting. Santa all lit up on the rooftop is not joyous to everyone. And year-round lighting like flood lights can be a big annoyance, too. There is such a thing as light pollution as well.
   The International Dark-Sky Association’s website states, “Light pollution –- the inappropriate use of artificial light at night –- is an environmental pollutant that harms our planet and robs us of the opportunity to experience the wonder of a natural night sky.”
   The IDA, a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1988, is the authority on light pollution and the leading organization combating light pollution worldwide, according to the website.
   John Barentine, a physical scientist and program manager for the IDA, said the concept of light pollution can be fairly subjective. For some people, skyglow or the brightening of the night sky that makes it difficult to see the stars, may be an acceptable consequence to being able to see at night, he said. For others, a single neighbor’s lights glowing from their property into the neighbor’s windows at night, called light trespass, is a major problem, Barentine said.
   The IDA receives many requests opposing holiday lighting because it contributes to light pollution, but Barentine said the organization must take a pragmatic approach to solving the problem. “We are not trying to turn the world’s lights off,” he said. “We know that is not a practical solution to the problem.”
   Regulating holiday lights typically falls under the jurisdiction of various municipalities across the county, like homeowner’s associations, Barentine said. They often set rules on how long holiday lights can remain lit past dark and how long they can stay up after Christmas.
   Because holiday lights are low-intensity, Barentine said in the grand scheme of light pollution, they are a minor contributor. However, other forms of artificial lights like flood lights can be damaging to the environment, he said.
   “There are consequences for the artificial light we use,” he said. “From a purely environmental perspective, there is no safe amount of artificial light. Life evolved in a world that did not have that extra light, and our biology just does not know what to do with it.”
   According to an article published online in the “Journal of Nature and Science of Sleep” Sept. 27, 2012, “Melatonin is secreted at night, and its synthesis is suppressed in a dose-dependent manner by light; greater suppression is produced with brighter light.”
   According to an article published on http://talkabout Aug. 23, 2013, melatonin performs a variety of tasks critical for continued health and longevity. An imbalance of melatonin can result in depression, a shorter life span and possibly cancer. “Melatonin in our system at the wrong time of day stresses our cells because it is telling them to pull back and shut down when we need to be active and energetic.”
   A resident of eastern EPC, who wished to remain anonymous, contacted “The New Falcon Herald” with his concerns about recently installed permanent outdoor lights on his neighbor’s house. He said the lights are so bothersome that his mental health has diminished, leading to anxiety and depression.
   The resident did not want to be identified because of potential further negative encounters with his neighbor.
   The resident said he decided to talk to his neighbor first, but to no avail. The neighbor just installed additional lights, and all of them are lit 24 hours a day, he said. The resident said he once had hopes to construct an observatory on his property so he could enjoy the stars, but the bright lights coming from the neighboring property have eliminated that option.
   Since EPC does not have an ordinance that addresses excessive outdoor lighting, the resident said there is nothing else he can do to resolve the situation.
   Barentine said the IDA does not have the authority to sue anyone over a lighting conflict. “We have chapters across the world working with local authorities to help change the way people think about artificial lighting, hoping that a change in behavior will be the result,” he said.
   The IDA offers suggestions for lighting and provides information they informally call the “Four Ps:” Proper place, proper time, proper amount and proper spectrum of lighting, he said.
   A searchable database with information on products that have the IDA’s Fixture Seal of Approval is available as well, Barentine said. According to the IDA website, the Fixture Seal of Approval program certifies outdoor lighting fixtures that minimize glare while reducing light trespass and skyglow, when installed properly.
   “It is our belief that by doing the right things with respect to lighting, meaning making the changes to benefit the environment and the night sky, it better achieves the goals for your lighting than what you had before,” Barentine said. “Targeting the light carefully means you will need less of it to get the job done, you will improve the night sky and environment, and you will be saving yourself money.”
Facebook print this page      

  © 2004-2017 The New Falcon Herald. All rights reserved. About | Contact | Advertise | News Stands | Privacy Policy