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"I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars."
Og Mandino

Hi-Resolution Image of the Moon (Tony Gondola)

  
Light Pollution Facts

Light Pollution Solutions

Lighting Examples


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Solutions

Fortunately, Las Cruces and New Mexico consider their night skies to be a natural resource and have enacted codes to preserve them. Since 2000, all new outdoor lighting in Las Cruces has been required to utilize full cut-off designs. Existing outdoor lighting (installed prior to 2000) must be brought up to code by 2010.

Like the switch to energy-efficient fluorescent lighting, there will be some costs incurred in upgrading your outdoor lighting, but these expenses will be more than offset by the cost savings that the newer, more energy-efficient lighting designs will offer.

What distinguishes well-designed outdoor lighting from poorly-designed lighting? Several examples of good and bad lighting designs are illustrated to the right. More examples may be found here.

You can help! Make sure your outdoor lighting (and your neighbor's) complies with State, County and City codes. The Las Cruces code can be seen here.

Replace inefficient, energy-wasting and light-polluting lighting with cut-off lighting. Ask lighting resellers such as Home Depot whether the lights they're trying to sell you are in compliance with the city's lighting ordinance.

Remember to turn off lights when they're not needed.

An excellent resource to learn more about light pollution and what can be done about it is the International DarkSky Foundation.

 

A car lot with non-glare cut-off lighting

A car lot in Tucson utilizing modern cut-off lighting. Huge reduction in light pollution and saved lots of energy.

 

Cut-off lighting lights the sidewalk, not the sky

Low-pressure sodium lights with full cut-off. Lights the walkway, not the sky.

Bad Lighting (image by S. Henderson)

Poorly-designed light. The light from ths fixture shoots in all direction (including, unfortunately, up)

Bad Lighting (image by S. Henderson)

Another poorly-designed light

Good Lighting (image by S. Henderson)

A well-designed full cut-off light. All light is directed down toward the ground. Only a scant amount of reflected light should affect the night sky.

Good Lighting (image by S. Henderson)

Another example of a well-designed light.