The Government of the Republic of Slovenia Passes a Light Po

12 years 7 months ago #50593 by albertw
Well done Andrej!

The Government of the Republic of Slovenia Passes a Light Pollution Law

PRESS RELEASE

Ljubljana, 30 August, 2007

Today, the Republic of Slovenia adopted a Light Pollution Law. Over the past 15 years Slovenia has seen a rapid increase in light pollution, which makes the arguments of nature protection organisations striving for the adoption of a suitable Law for over 12 years essential.

The new Law is expected to have numerous positive impacts. It prohibits lighting above the horizon into space for most luminaries and demands the use of totally shielded ones. Lighting above the horizon is namely the main cause of light pollution. Shielded lights produce less glare, which improves road safety and increases visibility. Less glare will also be welcome to the older population who is greatly disturbed and impeded by it.

The Law limits the direction of lighting in residential dwellings. Several surveys worldwide have shown a connection between the increase in cancer occurrences and the exposure of people or animals to artificial light. At night-time, light reduces the generation of the hormone melatonin, one of the essential antioxidants that protects us from cancer. It is difficult to predict what the adoption of the Law will bring health-wise, but by all means, people will be more content with streets illuminated effectively and less light intruding into their bedrooms and residential areas.

The Law demands the reduction of the amount of energy used for public lighting, which means that municipalities will have ensure the economical consumption of energy. Lighting should only be used where necessary and during the hours it is needed. In the middle of the night, when there is no traffic, lighting levels can be reduced.

Buildings considered a part of cultural heritage, including many churches, will be illuminated to a lesser extent. In this area, we welcome the efforts and cooperation of the Roman Catholic Church in the preservation of nature and the environment.

The use of a large number of shielded lamps will have a positive impact on numerous nocturnal animal species, with insects and bats being among the most endangered. Thus, the Law will contribute to the preservation of biodiversity, which is one of the essential aims of the EU.

With a population of two million it is expected that in ten years time, when lighting will have been entirely adjusted to meet legal requirements, up to 10 million euros worth of energy will have been saved. Accordingly, the levels of greenhouse gas emissions are expected to drop, which is definitely a contribution to the reduction of climate change.

Today, the great majority of Slovene citizens is unable to see the Milky Way from their homes. With the abolition of lighting into space, the Law will enable the preservation of the night sky. Respect and wonderment for the origins of our existence – space – will also be passed to our children and grandchildren and, last but not least, to all current and future professional and amateur astronomers.

The Law is a result of complex yet successful coordination between the Environment Ministry of the Republic of Slovenia with the Government Office for Growth, numerous government departments, lighting experts and nature protectionists. It represents an important contribution to the quality of life at night and has a positive effect on the preservation of the environment and nature. The adoption of this Law makes Slovenia one of the leading EU countries and can be a model for numerous countries that have not yet legally regulated this field.

We would like to use this opportunity to thank the Republic of Slovenia Environment Minister, Dr. Janez Podobnik; Republic of Slovenia Development Minister, Dr. Žiga Turk; Marko Hren from the Government Office for Growth, DuÅ¡an Janez Gačnik and Radovan Tavzes MSc from the Republic of Slovenia Environment Ministry, competent departments, Government of the Republic of Slovenia, Members of the National Assembly Tomaž Å tebe MSc and Samo Bevk, and everyone who has contributed to the long and challenging coordinated procedure culminating in the development of suitable solutions.

It is expected that the adopted Law will serve as an aid and model to many EU countries and will therefore be presented at the 7th European Symposium for the Protection of the Night Sky, which will take place on 5 and 6 October in Bled, Slovenia. For more information on the Symposium, please visit www.darksky2007.si and for more information on light pollution, www.temnonebo.org .



For the coalition of the nature preservation organisations Dark Sky Slovenia:

Andrej Mohar

Herman Mikuž

Dr. Tomaž Zwitter

Dr. Tomi Trilar


For the electronic version of the text, please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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12 years 6 months ago #50594 by Mike
Al
Many thanks for posting this information, well done to all concerned, it is very encouraging indeed!
I wonder if Ireland will follow Slovenia’s example and enact a similar LAW!
Al, if memory serves me correctly, did you say that you were attending the European Symposium (for dark skies) meeting in October?

Clear skies
Mike

I83 Cherryvalley Observatory

After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say; "I WANT TO SEE THE MANAGER".

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12 years 6 months ago #50595 by lunartic
It'll never happen here Albert, our government is only interested in throwing money away, i.e. tribunals, rather than saving it.

It also puts us to shame when a little country like Slovenia can be thinking so far ahead, and they've only had independence for a short time, we've had 80 years and nothing.

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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12 years 6 months ago #50596 by pmgisme
I have forwarded the Information to the Department of the Environment here in Ireland.

See them at:

www.environ.ie/en/

If enough people push something might eventually move.

(Mind you the Department's headquarters is a splendid example of light pollution in action. So don't hold your breath.)

Peter.

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12 years 6 months ago #50597 by lunartic
Does the esteemed "Green" minister even know what light pollution is?

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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12 years 6 months ago #50598 by albertw

Al, if memory serves me correctly, did you say that you were attending the European Symposium (for dark skies) meeting in October?


Yep I'll be there. It's in Slovenia too.

Andrej and IDA Slovenia have been working on getting this law in place for many years hopefully some of his hard work will help make an impact at EU level.

Please let me know if you get any responses from our government to your emails. I haven't tried to meet with the new minister yet. There are a couple of IDA meetings coming up that myself and Terry will be going to so hopefully after that we can get a group together to seriously talk to the government here.

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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12 years 6 months ago #50600 by pmgisme
This is what our Department of the Environment looks like at night,
(Custom House,Dublin):
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2...n_custom_house_2.jpg

Peter.

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12 years 6 months ago #50601 by Keith g
Replied by Keith g on topic Re:
Well at least that is encouraging lads, for the first time in this country we have a green environmental minister, maybe there is a slight hope of something being done??

I wrote to dick roche last year on the issue:

www.irishastronomy.org/boards/viewtopic.php?t=4618

this is what I got back:
www.irishastronomy.org/boards/viewtopic.php?t=4891

Keep on pushin' !!!

Keith..

If a telescope can fit into your backyard it's too small. If you can't move it, it's too big." -- John Dobson

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12 years 6 months ago #50603 by Mike
Al
You’ve got me thinking; before you go to the European Symposium in October I think all of us here on the forum (if people are in agreement) with the many counties represented should e-mail local councilors and local papers regarding the issue of light pollution and help to make aware what it is all about and what can be done (i.e. Slovenia’s example).

Therefore is there a set format of a letter or wording explaining the issues briefly and to the point (Mr. Keith Geary’s letter to minister Roche would set the precedent) we could all use as a standard, it would just be a matter of placing our own names /contact details on it. Has this been done before or should it be done? Sorry, I’m relatively new to the forum so perhaps this has already been discussed!

Clear skies
Mike

I83 Cherryvalley Observatory

After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say; "I WANT TO SEE THE MANAGER".

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12 years 6 months ago #50604 by mia
I live in the middle of the country with very little LP, (lights of Downpatrick ruins part of the western horizon but not greatly!)
Anyway, my neighbours have built a driving range a couple of fields over and are planning to have night lighting for golfers who have to hit golf balls at night (as you do!)

I've spoken to my neighbours about this, explaining how I'm an amateur astronomer and how EAAS sometimes use my garden as a obs site.

They are going to get their 'lightman' to contact me re details of angles, collars, brightness and how long the lights are going to be left on...... when he does can I pick your brain Albert? I know that it's not government and they probably will be pointing down towards the south but it's the glare upwards that I'm afraid off. Do they have to disclose their lighting plans to other people before permission is given to go ahead?

I get on really well with these neighbours and don't wanna rock the boat too much and they have been very accomodating in keeping me informed.

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12 years 6 months ago #50605 by carlobeirnes
Hi All,

As you now this is a subject close to my heart. It kills our hubby all over our country. if you need any of Astronomy Irelands resources like ads in the magazine or any thing else just ask.

Did anyone see the new lights on the M1 they don't look like there on till you drive up to them.

Carl O’Beirnes,
Scopes and Space Ltd,
Unit A8 Airside Enterprise Centre,
Swords, Co Dublin,
Ireland.
www.scopesandspace.ie/
www.facebook.com/scopesandspace
twitter.com/ScopesandSpace
www.youtube.com/user/ScopesandSpace

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12 years 6 months ago #50606 by Keith g
Replied by Keith g on topic Re:

Did anyone see the new lights on the M1 they don't look like there on till you drive up to them.


Are they good Carl? I mean are they full cut off, if like you say they don't look like they are on until you pass them, hopefully better designed lighting is on it's way...

Keith..

If a telescope can fit into your backyard it's too small. If you can't move it, it's too big." -- John Dobson

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12 years 6 months ago #50607 by carlobeirnes
Hi Keith,

The lights are on but there is no orange glare of them you would not know there on till you drive up to them. there along the part on the motorway where the malahide bridge is has any else seen them

Carl O’Beirnes,
Scopes and Space Ltd,
Unit A8 Airside Enterprise Centre,
Swords, Co Dublin,
Ireland.
www.scopesandspace.ie/
www.facebook.com/scopesandspace
twitter.com/ScopesandSpace
www.youtube.com/user/ScopesandSpace

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12 years 6 months ago #50608 by albertw
Replied by albertw on topic Re:

Did anyone see the new lights on the M1 they don't look like there on till you drive up to them.


Are they good Carl? I mean are they full cut off, if like you say they don't look like they are on until you pass them, hopefully better designed lighting is on it's way...

Keith..


All new NRA lights should be FCO. I really must scan the letter where they said that :-)

I'm headding up north in a couple of weeks so I'll keep an eye out for them.

Carl thanks for the offer for AI help. I'm waiting on a reply from the ESB at the moment about light pollution, once I have that I'll finish the article I promised.

mia, you can try picking my brains, but please post on the board here as there are a couple of people with more knowledge of the technical details of the lighting industry here. I can get some folks from the BAA to look at the details if they are too technical.

On the face of it I'd have expected the lighting to be FCO, afterall you don't want your golfers being blinded by glare from lights. Whether they have to disclose their lighting will depend on the planning process of your local authority. We've got a couple of councils here to require that lighting plans be included as part of an application. Have a chat to your local planning office.

Northern Ireland is in a bit of a legal limbo as regard to light pollution. The light pollution law passed in Westminster only applies to England and Wales I believe, mind you that law would probably be useless in this case anyway. If you are near or within the realm of Armagh City Council you might be able to leverage their policy ( www.ilpac.eu//index.php?option=com_conte...;id=24&Itemid=25 )

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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12 years 6 months ago #50609 by dave_lillis
Is the problem really motorways street lighting???, most of what I've seen recently looks excellent,. From what I can tell, that stupid 30 year old orange sodium lighting is the real problem, those are the lights that need replacing, it is so badly designed, alot of the light goes straight up.
When you're in a big city at night, the clouds look orange, this is due to that damn lighting.

Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor

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12 years 6 months ago #50610 by albertw

Is the problem really motorways street lighting???, most of what I've seen recently looks excellent,. From what I can tell, that stupid 30 year old orange sodium lighting is the real problem, those are the lights that need replacing, it is so badly designed, alot of the light goes straight up.
When you're in a big city at night, the clouds look orange, this is due to that damn lighting.


Well if the NRA used floodlights it would be a problem :-)

The ESB are apparently starting to use better lights and retrofitting older ones (certainly in some parts of Dublin). They are not FCO but have a very shallow bowl. Should have more details from the soon.

Then there is there is the 'I need a 5000W light to show off the tree in my garden' lot to sort out...

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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12 years 6 months ago #50611 by lunartic
Are the 5000W brigade the same people who want to give the cat a suntan when its walks across the back garden? :D

Seriously, www.lightpollution.it/dmsp/artbri.html have some scary pictures, even the oil rigs in the North Sea are contributing.

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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12 years 6 months ago #50612 by eansbro
Al,

I have 6 large (1mx0.75m) gloss colour posters of the Slovenia conference.
Would you like them for displays?

If so I will be in Dublin Airport at the SAS Radisson Hotel for pick up at reception for 20.00 hrs tomorrow (Wednesday).

Eamonn A

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12 years 6 months ago #50617 by pmgisme
The glow from the centre our cities and towns is almost all created by private enterprise unfortunately.

Switch off all the other lights and the street lights would not be too bad.

Street lights are Sodium "Yellow Dwarfs" in a galaxy of Neon "Main Sequence".

Peter.

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12 years 6 months ago #50619 by mia
Replied by mia on topic Re:

mia, you can try picking my brains, but please post on the board here as there are a couple of people with more knowledge of the technical details of the lighting industry here. I can get some folks from the BAA to look at the details if they are too technical.


Thanks Albert, I will post on here when and if necessary. I was talking to them last night and they said they would be turned off at 8pm so hopefully all will be okay.

Just a wee story re LP!

On the road into Downpatrick there is quite a large house with the wind turbine in the garden, great stuff, doing their bit to conserve energy!

The thing is, at night, the house is lit up like a Christmas tree!!! Huge flood lights! It looks like a runway! I'm tempted to knock on their door and smack them and shout 'IDIOT!'........but I won't.........well...not yet anyway!

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12 years 6 months ago #50645 by galactus

It'll never happen here Albert, our government is only interested in throwing money away, i.e. tribunals, rather than saving it.


I bet there were people saying that in Slovenia too. :wink:

Anyway excellent news.

Have written to John Gormey on this as well.

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12 years 6 months ago #50646 by albertw

It'll never happen here Albert, our government is only interested in throwing money away, i.e. tribunals, rather than saving it.


I bet there were people saying that in Slovenia too. :wink:


I'd rather not argue with Andrej though, hes a very determined personality shall we say :-)

And its taken him and IDA Solvenia 10 years to get this far, even with the best experts in europe helping.

Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/

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