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Demonperformer

email to my councillors

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Not sure how much good it will do, but here is the content of an email I have sent to my ward councillors about the new streetlighting they are installing.  I will keep you updated with any responses/results :rolleyes:. [The photo mentioned was the one in this post: http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/254368-led-street-lights-are-bad-for-astronomy/page-3#entry2776797].

Dear Councillors


As an amateur astronomer, I was most interested to read the article on page 4 of the latest Poole News on the replacement of streetlights within the Borough of Poole over the next few years.

Contrary to what may be the popular conception of the amateur astronomer, I am not totally opposed to all forms of streetlighting!

However, I do feel the need to express the hope that, as you are going to the expense of replacing all the streetlights, the new ones will be properly shielded. Light that is given off horizontally or above is light that is wasted (along with the increased costs of generating that light and the knock-on 'global warming' consequences). Similarly, light cones of excessive width have the same effect (my front garden apparently requires no fewer than seven streetlights shining on it to provide adequate illumination!). When considering the increased running costs that are involved in lights that pump light out where it is not wanted or needed (while still needing to produce the same amount at ground level where it is wanted and needed), I hope that Poole Borough Council will see the value in the use of proper shielding in the lights they install.

To illustrate the concept, I am attaching a photograph taken by an associate of mine, during the installation of LED streetlights in his area. You will note that the LED light over the red car at the end of the road, while adequately illuminating the ground around it, is emitting far less wasted "atmospheric glow" than the sodium lamp on the left of the picture.

As a basis for comparison, I have measured the amount of light, from the streetlight opposite, entering my (first floor) bedroom window through closed curtains (i.e. the light given off "horizontally"), using a Unihedron Sky Quality Meter. This is approximately 17.8 mag/arc-sec2. I shall be most interested in the comparative figure when the new lights are installed.

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Ye good luck with you Quest i have much the same issue down here i feel there is too many streetlights in the area where i live, really bright and not well shielded at all.

All the best. Scott

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Good luck, think that there is an opportunity to pool our collective successes / failures in dealing with planning and councils.  

One SGL member Neil aka Stub Mandrel has been very helpful with his advice and time - we are all going to be facing increasing development / lighting pressures on our skies, so a repository of useful info / documents might be the way forward?

Chris

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Good luck with it but personally I think you will most likely be blown off and ignored because the councils as a majority (at least around me) are all self serving, corrupt and looking out only for their own interests while doing less for their community and charging more in the form or rates for the "privilege".

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You should speak the the Commission for Dark Skies about it.  Last I heard they had also expressed concerns about the lighting in Poole being overly bright and incorrectly shielded.  These LED lights are white light so impossible to filter out with LPS filters.  Even if they are shielded from emitting light above the horizontal plane, the over-powered LED's still reflect off the ground and back up to the sky.

Good luck and please keep us posted on any responses.

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Good luck.

I did manage to get my Parish Council to shade the rear of a sodium lamp to prevent it shining backwards into my property.

I offered to pay but it was done free of charge.

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Thanks for your support.

I'm inclined to agree that it may be less than effective. I think we can do little more than appeal to economics (and environment). The fact that the scheme is already in place, it may well be a case of "too little, too late", but I do think I had to try. Whatever happens, I'm sure my astro-activities will adapt to the conditions in which they find themselves.

Thanks.

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Very good letter. We are currently having new LED street lights installed. I have spoken to the engineer responsible for this and have been promised the appropriate shielding. We will see. Hope you are successful.

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These LED lights are white light so impossible to filter out with LPS filters.  Even if they are shielded from emitting light above the horizontal plane, the over-powered LED's still reflect off the ground and back up to the sky.

I do take the point. But the reality is that they are going to be installed, and an email along the lines of "please don't install them" would be bound to fail. And I would maintain that, for all the problems that remain, a shielded white light will be better than an unshielded white light. And the advantage of measuring the light given off by my current streetlight, is that I will have a basis to push for the power to be reduced if that value gets worse.

Edited by Demonperformer
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I'm going to have a street light down the road in the place i'm about to move into that is shining into my yard where the scope will be setup.. all I'm going to do is put up a sield that will block it from shining in, that should give my my dark little corner.

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