“ Marfa ( Down ) Lights !” The City of Marfa , Texas eliminated wasted upward light and reduced glare by installing downlighting , improving safety and attractiveness of the area as shown by the before ( left ) and after ( right ) images .; Bill Wren
At worst , overly illuminating certain areas may have unintended effects , such as making property more easily visible to criminals : if you can see it , so can they . Improper light at night can also create night blindness , outward glare , or render the area beyond the lit area boundary less visible .
High traffic public areas where people unfamiliar with the terrain might be walking or driving require illumination that is safe and well-directed . The Hotel Limpia in Fort Davis reduced glare and improved visibility by installing downlighting and amber bulbs , with great results .
It may seem counter-intuitive , but in some cases not illuminating an area might be safer than leaving lights on . Using timers and motion detectors are considered more effective than leaving lights on full time . Shielding illumination sources reduces glare and improves visibility , directing light to where it is most useful . Ultimately , the goal is to strike a healthy balance between illumination , location and duration appropriate to the demands of the individual circumstance .
WHERE TO START ?
A nighttime lighting assessment can be illuminating ! The International Dark Sky Association recommends the following : light only what you need and only use artificial light when and where needed . Turn off lights when not in active use , use timers and motion-activated lights instead of leaving lights on full time to deter criminal or nuisance animal activity . This saves energy cost , protects night skies , and results in a more effective use of light .
Technology and practices such as downlighting and shielding cut glare , improve illumination quality and spare the night sky
Visualizing Glow , Glare and Trespass Light Pollution , International Dark Sky Association
view . This prevents artificial light from shining upward or outward and being wasted into the sky . Choosing bulbs and lighting sources that have warmer colors , such as warm white or amber bulbs , helps . LEDs come in an array of colors and some are programmable , ranging from cold , hard blues and bright whites ( less desirable , less healthy ) to warm white or amber tones ( more desirable and healthier ). Also , since indoor lighting can escape outdoors , take measures to prevent spillage . A good guide to remember is : If you can ’ t see the bulb , glare can ’ t escape into eyes or the skies .
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10 Cenizo Winter 2021