I came across an interesting article in an e-mail blast from USGBC recently. The focus was to give a glimpse of cityscapes at night if those cities went dark. While this is unrealistic, we do have some control over how much of the sky we can see at night. Now I’m not an extremist when it comes to “dark sky” regulations and reform, but if you have ever been camping in the mountains and seen the incredible views of a starry night sky, you can appreciate why decreasing light pollution is so important!
Preservation of the night sky, functionality, and enhancement of the architectural and natural beauty we work so hard to create can all be accomplished with a responsible lighting design. With the precise optical control and ever increasing affordability of utilizing LED technology in exterior applications, we have a viable option to keep light constrained to where it is useful. This approach also comes with the added benefit of low energy and maintenance costs, as well as fewer luminaires required on a site compared to traditional metal halide or high pressure sodium solutions. The technology is out there, let’s put it to use!