Dark Sky Programs
Individuals can make a significant effort toward the reduction of light
pollution. One big step is to utilize sky-friendly light fixtures at your own residence or business.
Dark Sky initiatives are becoming more and more important each passing year.
- 2009: Jo Daviess County board approves a lighting amendment to the county code.
- 2006: City of Galena endorses Dark Sky goals, seeks to work toward Dark Sky Status.
Jo Daviess County's lighing regulation can be viewed in the county code on page 71, paragraph 8-4e-1. The most important phrase is:
"all non-exempt outdoor lighting fixtures with an initial output greater than or equal to 2,000 lumens shall be full cut-off."
Alliant Energy sells shields for residential light fixtures, and will install and maintain them for a flat fee.
Crescent Electric, Dubuque, Iowa (563) 588-9988
Outdoor Lighting Associates specializes in glare-free, energy efficient outdoor lighting. Shields, Glarebusters, Down Blasters and more are sold, starting at $12.
Universal Electric Supply in Dubuque sells Quartz Flood lights,
manufactured by RAB Electric Manufacturing Inc., ranging from 150-1,5000
watt. These help reduce light trespass, sky glow, and glare. Prices
range from about $13 to $34.
A 175-watt mercury vapor dusk-to-dawn light wastes nearly half of its $50-60 yearly energy costs on light that goes up and never reaches the ground. A more cost-efficient option is to purchase a 70-watt high pressure sodium lamp with cap that directs the light downward (for about $130) that costs about $22 per year in energy, but wastes none of the light. The purchase cost can be re-couped in 3-4 years.
If you replace a 60-watt incandescent with a 15-watt compact fluorescent bulb and use it 6 hours a day, you would get the same amount of light but could save more than $40 in energy cost over the 4-year life of the bulb. You'll also save the cost of purchasing at least 8 incandescent bulbs during the lifetime of the compact fluorescent bulb.
In new residential construction a recessed canister underneath a porch roof or overhang is an excellent means of hiding light fixtures. They "light the object, not the source." If a house has wood siding and wall-mounted lights beside the front or back doors, it's possible to utilize an excellent light shield. Just have wooden boxes (painted the same color as the siding) built over the lights. This maintains a rustic look, too.
© 2012 Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation