If you’ve ever viewed a map of a satellite in orbit, you’ve seen all the lights that are visible to the naked eye. So, why does it appear there are only a few stars to see when you look up at a night sky? How many are really hidden by light pollution? More people are beginning to ask that question as the problem of light pollution increases. One solution to this problem is “dark sky friendly lighting.”
Dark sky friendly lighting prevents light from being cast above a light fixture to provide a distinct lighting pattern. This solution casts lighting only towards the ground where it is needed. Dark sky lighting uses only the light levels needed (without over-lighting) and avoids casting the light back into the atmosphere. Turning these lights off when not in use also contributes to lowering light pollution.
Non-dark sky friendly lighting fixtures cast light in every direction, including upwards. Over-lighting wastes energy confuses wildlife and disturbs breeding patterns by it’s twilight effect. Over-lighting also produces a dangerous, distracting and tiresome glare for drivers.
Dark sky friendly lighting is crucial to solving the light pollution problem that disrupts our ecosystems and threatens our ability to study and learn from astronomy. Wasted energy costs around $2.2 billion per year, in the US alone.