For many people, there isn’t anything more beautiful than the night sky. All those stars, constellations, even planets lighting up the sky like a gigantic Lite-Bright is a breathtaking sight. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t ever get to see that beautiful sky thanks to light pollution. Major cities keep lights on 24/7 365, and it completely drowns out a naturally lit up night sky. It seems almost hopeless to see the stars in a big city – that is until they discover dark sky lighting!
Dark sky light fixtures combat light pollution by containing the light it puts out. This means that all these specific fixtures have covers on the tops and sides of them as not to let the lights pour out and up into the sky. It is also a smart idea to install motion detectors for these lights and not a basic switch. This will ensure that no light is wasted if you forget to turn it off, as it will shut off on its own. It can also double as an alert when someone or something is near that part of the house.
The effect light pollution has on us isn’t just the annoyance of not being able to see the stars at night, it can cause health problems as well. This applies to humans and wildlife, though it’s mostly animals that get the rougher end of this. Animals such as newly hatched sea turtles who get confused by the glowing artificial lights and can’t find their way to water. Or birds who collide with the source of the bright lights, or even other birds in their states of confusion. With humans, it can cause disorientation if someone has trouble seeing at night already. Take Las Vegas; for example, all the glowing neon can make a person’s head spin if they’re already squinting as is. It can also severely mess with a person’s sleep schedule! A lit up sky at night can cause our circadian rhythm to go out of whack and keep you up at night if you’re not fortunate enough to have blackout curtains.
The International Dark-Sky Association is the group that certifies the fixtures deemed “dark-sky friendly” and will always include the IDA’s seal of approval upon purchase. If these types of fixtures were installed in major cities and parks, it would cause a humongous decrease in the light pollution put out. But as these lighting fixtures make their way more into the mainstream, you can make a difference by installing them into your home. Keep the night sky beautiful and turn down the brightness, become dark-sky friendly!