LED Lights

3 weeks 5 days ago #109389 by lunartic
LED Lights was created by lunartic
Hi all

A couple of years back, my local council installed new LED lights in the area, to anyone who has not experienced LED lights, they are very white and very bright.  Two of them flood by back garden, I built a shield to block one, I am not able to do this for the second one, the shield would be too high, the light sits about four metres from the front of the house.  I contacted the council recently about a light shield and they came today to install one.  I eagerly waited for the dark, went out to the back garden with a sense of anticipation.  The garden was as flooded with white light as before.  The shield managed to block about 2/3rds of the light, but the remaining 1/3rd was still bright enough to make it appear as if nothing had changed.  It reminds me of a partial solar eclipse, 75% of the sun is blocked, but it is still enough to provide plenty of light.
I was talking to the man who installed the shield and told him how bright the lights were, he suggested contacting the council about their brightness and see if they can do something, which I did and it is being pushed to whoever deals with these things.  I am not optimistic.
I will have to get the thinking cap back on.

Paul

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.

Rich Cook
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3 weeks 4 days ago #109390 by Fermidox
Replied by Fermidox on topic LED Lights
I don't think we astronomers have any relevance in this 'debate'. 99% of the general public will look at you like you're from Mars, if you suggest toning down the lights so as to see the night sky. The big farmers near me have arclights, yardlights, shedlights and every other kind of light, and the look on their faces if I suggested I want to see a faint galaxy would be priceless. This topic just doesn't exist imo.

Finbarr.
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3 weeks 4 days ago #109391 by Kinch
Replied by Kinch on topic LED Lights
For me it is not so much the street lights - which are not immediately shining on my observatory - but rather neighbour's outside lights. In the picture, you can just make out the shape of the obs on the left side.



BUT - things could be worse. I have actually gone to neighbours that are away a lot and asked them to tone down the lighting....PLEASE....when they are not there. (Left my web site url with them so that they could understand what I was at).  My nextdoor neighbour was kind enough to actually put paper in the light fitings that then reduces the glare (also uses lower wattage bulbs). All this because I kept him up to date with my images and he now has an interest in thel night sky.

The two houses in the photo above don't worry me too much. the one on the left is a holiday let.....and although they leave the lights on all night.....they will be gone by the end of August. The house to the right of the Obs is an older couple. I have never asked them to reduce the lighting (it is not always as bright as pictured) because they turn off the outside lighting when they retire for the night....generally around midnight. I can live with that, knowing also that they are not compromising their own safety if they step outside the back door.

So....street lights or house lights....if you are in an urban setting then Narrow band really is the best choice. As for those dealing with big floodlights from industrial or farming activities.....there is no answer other than a trip to a dark site location.

How fantastic the night sky must have been before electricity was discovered!
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2 weeks 5 days ago #109396 by mykc
Replied by mykc on topic LED Lights
I agree that the concerns of amater astronomers are of no interest to the vast majority of people.  However, the issue of bright lights shining all through the might may become an issue in the context of climate change.  It's such a waste of energy and, AFAIK, doesn't serve much useful purpose.  If it does become a topic for discussion in the media, there is a chance that people will become more aware of the arguments, and will begin to recognise that bright nighttime lighting is actually undesirable for several good reasons.  In my wildly optimistic moments I hope that we may get to a time when local authorities will reduce lighting, as they have done in several other countires.
Mike

Skywatcher 120 mm ED on a CG5 mount.
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2 weeks 4 days ago #109398 by lunartic
Replied by lunartic on topic LED Lights
There is an impact on wildlife, I had noticed last winter and spring that the birds were singing really early, long before dawn.  It has to be having an effect on those nocturnal creatures.

Paul

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.

Rich Cook
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1 week 3 days ago #109410 by richardsweeney
Replied by richardsweeney on topic LED Lights
As i live in a housing estate i'm plagued with issues from public lighting as well as neighbours lights. Most people turn their lights off when going to bed but some don't. I was horrified recently when the neighbour joined on to us installed a very bright floodlight which shines directly onto my pier. They are aware of my hobby and do their best to turn it on only when needed but this one will destroy any subs while it's on. I'm going to speak with a carpenter soon about putting up some sort of shield that won't look hideous.

On the public lighting side of things, i noticed as the old sodium lights failed in the estate they were replaced by the most ridiculous white led lights that reflect terribly off the ground, especially when it's wet. The glare is awful when driving through. I phoned a customer of mine who i know works on large projects around Munster and he gave me the email address of someone in the council who is in charge of public lighting projects in Cork. He informed me that plans were in motion to upgrade all public lights to Led. They will be putting white leds on all roads and they are aware of the issues surrounding wildlife and even with astronomers, so the plan (pre covid at least) is to install leds towards the amber end of the spectrum in housing estates and for them to be dimmed at midnight. They should also be asymmetric in design keeping light scatter to a minimum. Good result really, and the best i could have ever hoped for.

This document should be of interest.  www.corkcoco.ie/sites/default/files/2020...ecification-2020.pdf
Regards,
Richard.  
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1 week 2 days ago - 1 week 2 days ago #109414 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic LED Lights
Hi All, 

I've been following this thread with great interest. At the moment there are no LED lights in our estate, but there are some of these lights close by. Considering the issues each of you have highlighted I decided to have a quick scan through the PDF that Richard kindly shared. Several things stood out (see below), and I believe the document has left several unanswered questions:

1) It appears that there is very little public consultation involved when installing LEDs. It would seem that a wider form of stakeholder engagement, which would include some form of an EPA strand to it, would be of crucial importance before installing these LEDs - no?

2) Out of interest, are astronomical  bodies (in Ireland or abroad) considered a key stakeholder in such debates? What about nature conversationist organisations? How have other countries managed to reduce light pollution through the processes that are outlined in the ILP1 document? 

3) You'll see from some of the information contained in the PDF that the effect on bat populations need to be taken into account during the design and planning process of installing LEDs. To what extent does this happen in practice, and who signs-off that such an activity has taken place? 

These are just some of the questions that I feel have been left unanswered by the PDF. I'm sure someone with a good eye for this type of thing could raise better questions, and I'd love to know what others think about the process of installing LEDs in Ireland. 

One thing is sure though, I'm certainly looking forward to reading through the ILP1 document greater detail. 

Clear skies to all, and I'm interested to see where this thread goes. 

Darren. 

Points Extracted from the PDF 


3.0 Objectives of Public Lighting 
3.6 Avoidance of obtrusive Lighting – Extracted from Guidance Notes for the Reduction of Obtrusive Light GN01:2011If possible, light should not enter the bedrooms of residents and the fitting of cowls or some other measure may be required where a resident complains of light pollution.The ILP1 have also brought out a useful guidance document in 2020 on measures to be taken to mitigate light spill.
Obtrusive Light, whether it keeps you awake through a bedroom window or impedes your view of the night sky, is a form of pollution, which may also be a nuisance in law and which can be substantially reduced without detriment to the lighting task.Figure 1 – Types of obtrusive lightDo not "over" light. This is a major cause of obtrusive light and is a waste of energy. There are published standards for most lighting tasks, adherence to which will help minimise upward reflected light.The spill of light onto buildings opposite can be controlled by lessening the tilt angle or by using a narrow optic which limits the lateral spread. Manufacturers generally have a narrow, medium wide optic options and also have optics which extend the light beam further or lesser in the longitudinal plane. 
Generally, LED lanterns should be set in the range 0-5 degrees and the optic type should determines the lateral spread thereafter. (pg. 13-14)

13. Lighting Engineering Consultants

Public Lighting Designers need to liaise with the development’s Architects, Landscape designers and the proposed Public Lighting installation contractor to ensure that conflict between elements is avoided so that each component can operate effectively, to its design standard. Lighting designs can be assessed against environmental impact by following the process outlined in the ILP1
Guidance document illustrated here. (pg. 68)
Figure 4 Menu of Standard planning conditions relating to public lighting

M1 All lighting within the site shall be directed and cowled if necessary so as not to interfere with passing traffic or cause any glare or additional light spill to adjoining residential property. The lighting must comply with requirements of the ILP Guidance Document for Spill Light being achieved in the development and that proof of same must be agreed with the public lighting engineer.In the interests of residential amenity. (pg 134)


19 The applicant must demonstrate and ensure that there is no light pollution (obtrusive light – as per ILP guidance Note GN10:2011) outside their property that would affect third party properties and members of the public, including drivers travelling on the public road. This is an H&S IssueEnvironment and H&SM20 The information submitted on the lighting shows obtrusive light levels (lux) on Third Party Properties and Public Roads which is not acceptable. The Applicant needs to re-submit a revised design and drawing. Environment and H&S (pg 136)
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1 week 1 day ago #109416 by lunartic
Replied by lunartic on topic LED Lights
Some councils in the UK turn their lights off between 1am and 4am.  Locals are not happy, saying it leads to crime.  Reports have shown this is not the case, most homes are broken into during the day.  If a burglar attempts to break into a property in the dark, they will need a torch and that makes them more obvious and suspicious.
Bright lights also affect how we see, our pupils contract and our ability to see in the dark is greatly decreased, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
If councils do not turn off lights, then perhaps then can leave every third light burning, or reduce the output.  Councils are always complaining about lack of money, and yet, they spend millions on wasted lighting.
Paul

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.

Rich Cook
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1 week 20 hours ago #109417 by Until_then-Goodnight!
Replied by Until_then-Goodnight! on topic LED Lights
Hi Paul, 

I never realised that about the UK and 'lights out' between  in some parts between 1am and 4am. What a boon for stargazers and wildlife.

Now, if only we could make that happen here we'd be out all night :) 

On that, the sky looks the best it has been for quite a while, so I'm going to make the most of it. 

All the best, 

Darren. 
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