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Garden street light block / filter


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Hi All,

New to astronomy, so bought an 8" newt and started off observing from back garden. Main problem, which may be common to many, is an annoying street light shining into garden.

To cut a long story short, built a cheap light block out of commonly available materials which has cut stray light by about 95%. Have researched commercialy available option but came to expensive, hence designed my own.

Hope idea may be of use to others.

See attached pictures for description, in summary:

Light = target to block

Ground = attachment to wedge device firmly in place

Shield = Light shield put together

Roughly 4m tall by 3m wide.

Advantages are:

- significantly darkens garden for observing

- cheap

- lightweight

- rolls up and easily stored away

- can be used in light winds

- parts can be bought from diy stores

- came to about £40 total for parts

Let me know if any questions or comments to improve design.

J

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nice, i have the same problem with a street light looking over the fence, was thinking of a much cheaper option, air rifle ! then blame it on kids l.o.l

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That's a great bit of ingenuity - although watch out for high winds!

It might also be worth having a word with your council. They have something of a responsibility these days not to interfere with your property with their lighting, and there are a few tales on this forum of people who got shields added to street lights simply by asking (most people just don't notice it's a problem, and some will respond positively when it's pointed out). Have a look also at CfDS - The Campaign for Dark Skies. An Anti Light Pollution Organisation.

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Great idea

I've toyed with the idea of a bit of waterproof gaffa tape along one side of the bowl, just enough to block it above the fence in your case. You can even get the colour to match the rest of the unit

I have exactly the same problem in my street, some of these fittings blaze light in all directions

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Thanks for advice!

i've tried other options too - have sent council some emails too and awaiting their response on shield.

Air-rifle interesting option - but i guess it would just be fixed within a few days so ruled that one out :eek:

Heard high power laser (~10mW) on light module may switch off but only for 10mins.

wind has proved to be a pain at times hence strengthened with extra poles bolted on as shown. does turn into windsock if high winds hence only when winds are low (and skys clear!)

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i've tried other options too - have sent council some emails too and awaiting their response on shield.

Have yout tried this:

1) with simple tools (nr 10 hexwrench I think) unlock the shielding of the electronincs.

2) remove plastic cover for the fuse.

3) unscrew the fuse, light goes out.

4) NICE and DARK.

5) Afterwards just retighten the fuse and the light pops on again.

OK, this may be a little bit bending the law, but in my case it works. Although I have to confess that my streetlight is not directly facing a streetside, but is at the end of an passage to an inner garden of our building. If it was facing the streets I would probably be less tempted to do this, but for me it currently works.

See pic below with the light still on.

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I had to click on this thread cause i had the same problem nice invention though. I cant tell you guys what i did to take care of my street light problem, but if i could i bet u would have a laugh:evil6:

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When neighbours have their bedroom lights/outdoor lights blazing into my garden, I use a modified blackout blind attached to poles that go into a couple of metal patio umbrella bases.

Makes me wonder that people who observe in a truly dark place must be an absolute minority on this forum....

Edited by Beulah
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outdoor lights are the worst!

trying to work out how 'light polluted' the sky is in my area - i can almost see all stars of ursa minor which apparently is quite a good view - i.e. can see if look hard enough

Agree, my guess is the only people that are in a truly dark place are those who visit observation sites

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I live in a small village with a street-lamp about 1/4 mile away. I am luckly enough to see the entire milky way across the sky most (clear) nights. In fact I was able to see M33 through fog and high cloud last night.

Soon to move to the inlaws small-holding into a converted barn, nil light pollution. However that must justify a larger 'scope! :eek:

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"I live in a small village with a street-lamp about 1/4 mile away. I am luckly enough to see the entire milky way across the sky most (clear) nights. In fact I was able to see M33 through fog and high cloud last night.

Soon to move to the inlaws small-holding into a converted barn, nil light pollution. However that must justify a larger 'scope!"

"I live in a small village with a street-lamp about 1/4 mile away"

O how my heart bleeds for you!:eek::)

where i live i can count at least 15 road lights shining directly at my telescope and a EXTREMELY powerfull security light from a nearby factory!..ive painted 3 of the street lights with silver paint blocking that light source out using a 20ft long pole with a paint roller taped to the end, but the others are the main road lights and to high to reach!

my soulution now ive built a roll of roof obsy was to place fittings on each corner of my obsy roof (the part that stays put not the roll off part) and into these i place alluminum tent poles and wrap some black waterproof roofing underlay around when i roll the roof off...works a treat and keeps the wind out even more!:p

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Just teasing Lux1:p

If i had my way and no doubt the way of most on here, the street lights would be turned off at 11pm and not put back on till 6am the following morning.

Its just a total waste of energy having lights on during this period, theres no one about and hardly any traffic at all and cars do have lights afterall!.

If this government is so serious about reducing the countries carbon footprint then surely turning off millions of lights every night is common sense?...still...politicians and common sense...not 3 words that should be used in the same sentence i guess!

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If i had my way and no doubt the way of most on here, the street lights would be turned off at 11pm and not put back on till 6am the following morning.

Great idea, but I've read that there's a technical point with the UK's power stations. You can't simply switch them all off at night, as there has to be some reserve on the go at all times - and running street lights is one practical way to soak up this excess. :eek:

Andy

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I like the idea of that light screen. I'd use the holes in the metal bits at the bottom to stick a bolt through to hold the whole thing down in case the winds get stronger.

By the way, what's the name of these metal things you put in the ground? I'm looking for these or something similar but have no idea what they are called.

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I like the idea of that light screen. I'd use the holes in the metal bits at the bottom to stick a bolt through to hold the whole thing down in case the winds get stronger.

By the way, what's the name of these metal things you put in the ground? I'm looking for these or something similar but have no idea what they are called.

I could be wrong, but I think they are called Post shoes :eek:

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I like the idea of that light screen. I'd use the holes in the metal bits at the bottom to stick a bolt through to hold the whole thing down in case the winds get stronger.

By the way, what's the name of these metal things you put in the ground? I'm looking for these or something similar but have no idea what they are called.

Most garden centres will stock these. Go by different manufacturers names but, if I remember correctly, Metapost is one of the more commonly seen ones. Used for fence erection etc.

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