The noise post from a while back got me to thinking about how the light each of us makes impacts others. As you can infer from my blog’s tagline, “Suburban survival for the stupid“, I live in the suburbs, so there is a lot of light around here. To see the Milky Way I need to get into the woods, beach or up to the great north.
If your neighbor has a big motion activated metal halide, that’s going to impact your space. Your neighbor’s light will prevent you from seeing the night sky like you otherwise could if he didn’t have the gulag light blaring down on you. Light can even make someone lose sleep.
At night light travels for a real far distance. So a little light can have a great impact. If you have a floodlight outside try to have some respect for your neighbors and how your floodlight can impact them. If you are driving towards people walking at night dim your lights.
When you leave a room shut off the lights. Shut off any unnecessary lights anytime you can.
This picture above is the night sky looking at Orion from dark skies and from the Orem/Provo, Utah area. (Courtesy of Light Pollution, Wikipedia.) You can see how much light interferes with the environment.
Shutting off unnecessary lights also saves energy. Which saves $. You look at a picture of a city at night and you know that most of the offices with lights still burning in them are now empty. The worker bees having left the hive hours ago.
As civilization and urbanization continue to spread the problem has definitely and will continue to get worse. I wonder if the day may come when our kids’, kids’, kids may not even be able to see the stars at night.
This is a picture of the continental United States at night. You can see the cities and highways all lit up. And just because you don’t see your neck of the woods lit up, doesn’t mean that light pollution is not a problem around you. I can’t help but wonder how much of the light is necessary and being used right at the moment this picture was taken. How much light is the on at dusk off at dawn variety.
Okay, that was all the neighborly stuff, now for the Suburban Survival stuff. The other thing about light is that, like water, it will find small opening to seep through. Light travels out of windows and cracks under doors. At night people going by your house will be able to see light leaking through small openings. Light also lets others look into your house and if you look out you won’t be able to see them in the darkness. Be careful of making yourself a silhouette. Don’t make yourself a silhouette. In other words be aware when there is a light behind you. If the lights ever go out for a long period you best be careful to seal up all the cracks and hang thick blankets over the windows. Through a towel under the door. Being the only one in town with lights burning could turn out to be a dangerous thing. Nothing wrong with having some extra stuff on hand to reduce the amount of light you emit: plywood for windows, duct tape, tarps, maybe some black paint, caulking. Don’t forget over flat treeless terrain a lighted house can be seen for a very far distance. And to someone hungry, cold or hurt light means the end to all of their suffering. You can also use it to your advantage because light will draw people like moths to a flame.
This last picture was taken during and after a large east coast power outage. You can see how much of the night sky is visible when the power is off, and how much is hidden whan the floodlights and house lights come back on. If someone were standing in front of the window in that house, you’d be able to see them standing there plain as day.
GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY!!
This bunny was even too small to eat. Then again maybe I just wasn’t hungry enough. I bet I got within ten feet of him. What works for me is to not look at an animal as I’m approaching it. Also, just like when fighting never approach straight direct, move at angles.