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Dark-Sky Laws Combat Light Pollution

“Dark Sky” is a term used to refer to a growing movement that looks to curb light pollution by establishing rules regarding outdoor lighting fixtures – namely, that they direct light downward rather than let it spill into the night sky. The dividing question about Dark Sky seems to be this: Does the threat of light pollution truly warrant government intrusion into what kind of lights we can buy and how we illuminate our homes? <strong>Benefits of Dark Sky</strong> There’s no question that light pollution is real and that <a title="Dark Sky outdoor lighting" href="http://www.atgstores.com/darksky-outdoor-sconces_115.html?&amp;option0=optionA=1000006|-9999998~Valu" target="_blank">Dark Sky-compliant lighting</a> can have a positive impact. Anyone who has visited or lived in a big city knows you see fewer stars in the night sky than when you’re out and away from all the bright lights. There are, however, other benefits beyond natural aesthetics. <em>1. Energy Conservation</em> Dark Sky encourages energy savings by requiring a more efficient use of light. Less light projected upwards and outwards means there is more light focused on the ground where it’s needed, which should translate to a need for fewer lights. <em>2. Less Nighttime Glare</em> Raise your hand if you have a neighbor with glaring porch lights that shine through your bedroom window at night. It’s a common problem, especially in more crowded neighborhoods. Dark-Sky ordinances could help thousands of people get better sleep at night, which could improve productivity and generally make you more pleasant to be around in the morning. <em>3. Animal Health Improvement</em> There are a good number of animals out there that also don’t like the glare and scientists say Dark Sky can help. Studies have shown that light pollution can have a negative impact on animal sleep cycles and reproductive habits, which can cause damaging ripple effects throughout the lower order of your neighborhood Animal Kingdom. <strong>Dark Sky Legal Theory</strong> As more ordinances are adopted around the country it becomes necessary for local officials and Dark-Sky advocates to explain how these rules are justified outside of HOA mandates, despite the benefits. Some are framing light pollution as a form of nuisance; your light should stay on your property, just as your trash, yard clippings and kids’ toys must. Others are touting it as a necessary step in energy conservation and environmental stewardship. For anyone curious about the Dark-Sky ordinances in their state or county, the International Dark Sky Association frequently updates its <a title="Outdoor Lighting Ordinances Directory" href="http://www.darksky.org/about-us/35-ida/outdoor-lighting/81-other-ordinances" target="_blank">Directory of Lighting Ordinances</a>. <a title="ATG Stores Homepage" href="http://www.atgstores.com/default.aspx" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> would like your opinion. Is Dark Sky an initiative that should be addressed on an individual basis according to one’s personal views or should there be ordinances that require compliance? [poll id="27"]
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