The Latest on Light Pollution

A nighttime photograph of the earth from space reveals many areas with wasted light production (Photo courtesy of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center).

Many villages, towns, and cities across Europe and in the United States have already adopted lighting mandates. Although these laws vary considerably in language, technical quality, and stringency, their goals are similar. By turning off lights, adding lighting control capabilities, or retrofitting fixtures and lamps with more efficient technology, they help to save money and energy while reducing carbon emissions. Yet, what may be even more important is their ability to reduce light pollution.

EC&M's March issue looks at how cities are reducing street lighting to save energy and fight light pollution. Light pollution is an unwanted consequence of outdoor lighting and includes such effects as sky glow, light trespass, and glare. The article reports that in the United States, it is estimated that light pollution continues to grow at a rate of 6% per year.

The article discusses smart street lighting and other replacement options. It also features a Light Pollution Glossary, diagrams and maps....