The good and the bad light

Rather surprised I read in my daily newspaper a few days ago that Slovenia is the only country in the world that has a law against bad lighting and light pollution.

Therefore, I dug a little into the matter and found some illuminating facts, especially at the site of the British Astronomical Association.

Now, according to them light pollution is artificial light which shines where it is neither wanted, nor needed. It can be a problem due to distant bad lighting (also known as skyglow, the orange smog that hangs over towns and cities at night) or immediate, local lighting. So, bad lighting shines outwards into homes, and upwards into the sky, good lighting shines onto the ground.

Some of the problems of light pollution are: disappearing stars, health problems, sleeping problems, environmental costs, threat to wildlife (such as migratory birds circling around lighted oil rigs until exhaustion), and more. The British Astro Org has them all listed.

Watch an ant's view of light pollution:

There's a Starlight Declaration, in defence of the night sky and the right to starlight.

A village in Austria has applied for the first starlight oasis in Austria, in connection with UNESCO's Dark Skies Awareness Initiative.

Here you can see light emissions.

Solutions to the problem are relatively simple. See here.

According to my newspaper the measures in Slovenia are not very cost-intensive, for example they use light denseness measuring-devices and replace the street lamps' arched reflectors by flat ones that light the streets only.

For years, my mother complained about the street lights in front of her bedroom. Some days ago, I slept in this very room and had a restless night, even with the blinds down.

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