Dealing with Streetlights

11 years 9 months ago #69709 by carlobeirnes
Dealing with Streetlights was created by carlobeirnes
Hi all,

This is what I did to help with my light pollution problem

webtreatz.com/content/view/65/1/

all the best

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
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11 years 9 months ago #69711 by albertw
Replied by albertw on topic Dealing with Streetlights
Thanks for the pics and writeup Carl!

Perhaps if enough people around fingal for this they'll just install flat glass FCO's as it will be less work!

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

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11 years 9 months ago #69725 by JohnMurphy
Replied by JohnMurphy on topic Dealing with Streetlights
Excellent result Carl - well done you :D

Clear Skies,
John Murphy
Irish Astronomical Society
Check out My Photos

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11 years 9 months ago #69733 by Matthew C
Replied by Matthew C on topic Dealing with Streetlights
This is how i tackle my streetlights!


http://www.cobraairsoft.com/default.php?cPath=25&osCsid=d4e87ac9f22cc52aadbf1de77a50b975

Only joking but ive an airsoft sniper on its way to me soon!

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time. . . .
T. S. Eliot
A wise man....

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11 years 9 months ago #69738 by Frank Ryan
Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Dealing with Streetlights

This is how i tackle my streetlights!


:D

Carl,
Fair play.
How much of a difference does it make for you?

Isn't is crazy they will go to such lengths but yet not replace the lighting system?
Is it that hard for them to do?

There was a new street built to the back of my house last month
and when I saw the polls for the lights going up I said to my wife,
''well, it's looks like we will be moving sooner rather than later''
But..
They used the 'full cutoff' lights and I have to say I can't see any
real difference.

It just go's to show that you gt nowhere if you keep your mouth shut.

My Astrophotography
Shannonside Astronomy Club __________________________________________
Meade ETX-125PE, Bresser 10 x 50 Binos & Me Peepers

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11 years 9 months ago #69745 by dogstar
Replied by dogstar on topic Dealing with Streetlights
Fair play to ya Carl thats how you get things done
I hope others are inspired and a bit of momentum gets
going.I've just emailed a local gas depot about installing
more efficient and enviromentally friendly lighting options.
i'll let you know their responce maybe it would make for
a good article in A&S?

oh wise man why is the universe so perfect?ah because symmetry loves herself.

____________________________

11" sct,
various Apo refractors,
various cameras,
Losmandy mount.

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11 years 9 months ago #69749 by albertw
Replied by albertw on topic Dealing with Streetlights

Isn't is crazy they will go to such lengths but yet not replace the lighting system?
Is it that hard for them to do?


Streetlighting in some parts of Dublin is done differently to the rest of the country. Although the ESB are mostly on board around the country the councils have their own lighting engineers in Dublin. Things are happening in Fingal though. When a light needs replacing in an area that the ESB are contracted to do they will replace it with a curved glass luminaire.

There was a new street built to the back of my house last month
and when I saw the polls for the lights going up I said to my wife,
''well, it's looks like we will be moving sooner rather than later''
But..
They used the 'full cutoff' lights and I have to say I can't see any
real difference.


If they are still visible from your house then you wont notice a difference. Light trespass is still light trespass. If they are shining into your home garden then contact the council. Especially since they are new lights. Flat glass FCO lights really make the difference in terms of skyglow when seen from a distance.

Out of interest are these FCO lights or is there a slight curve to the glass? I'm just wondering as the ESB have said they are going to use curved glass that allows 1% of light above the horizon on streets. If Clare are using flat glass then that's great. ILPAC sent them advice about this a while ago but we didn't hear about any policy change. Though if it is flat glass it may be the NRA getting involved. Working out who is responsible for streetlighting in a given area is quite tricky - 5 yeas on and I still don't know who make the decisions in certain areas!

Cheers,
~Al

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

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11 years 9 months ago #69767 by Frank Ryan
Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Dealing with Streetlights

Out of interest are these FCO lights or is there a slight curve to the glass?


http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3172/2580906777_330e7f2778_o.jpg


There was a lot of work done recently bypassing Ennis and all the lighting seems to be FC.

This image shows the streetlights to the front and side of my house.
You can clearly see there is a decent cut off of light.
I placed the Moon and Jupiter so that they played off the artificial lights.
(there visual tricks such as the blade of grass 'pointing to Jupiter etc...)
and before you doubters go yeah yeah right you did.
Yes, I did.
Anyway,
All the same, I'd prefer if the the lights were not there but at least it's a start!

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/189/487369054_79f455eef2_o.jpg

Carl,
You should definitely do an article.
This way more people in the same situation can benefit from your experience.

My Astrophotography
Shannonside Astronomy Club __________________________________________
Meade ETX-125PE, Bresser 10 x 50 Binos & Me Peepers

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11 years 9 months ago #69771 by albertw
Replied by albertw on topic Dealing with Streetlights

This image shows the streetlights to the front and side of my house.
You can clearly see there is a decent cut off of light.


Yep that's as good as they get.

All the same, I'd prefer if the the lights were not there but at least it's a start!


I had a meeting with the ESB recently and one of the things that came up was a curfew on lighting. Obviously this is down to councils & gardai etc to decide on but we were discussing it from a technical perspective.

Each individual lamp is controlled by its light sensor. That's the thing on top of the light in your picture. Changing them is not a problem, it just involves someone going up a ladder on each light to switch the sensor. The problem is that every time you need to change the settings you need an engineer to climb up al the lights. On the plus side they are looking at systems which would allow all this to be controlled centrally. I was shown a demo of this in Slovenia where an engineer had access to the entire streetlight grid for a city from his laptop and was able to turn lights on and off at the click of a button. The couple of councillors I've spoken to about this idea were very concerned that they would need the ability to turn the lights back on immediately in order to get this passed even in trial areas. So for the time being it looks like you are stuck with the lights being on all night.

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

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11 years 9 months ago #69778 by carlobeirnes
Replied by carlobeirnes on topic Dealing with Streetlights
Hi all

Albert you will probably know the name of these lights on the M1 motorway just past the airport right up to the exit for donabate you don't even realise there on till you drive up to them. There great and I keep thinking to myself why don't they use these everywhere.

Frank I will do an article for the magazine.I fount it quite staggering the rights people have regarding light pollution and don't know it.As for the article when I was on to the county council I didn't mention Astronomy at all. I told them the light was coming in through my bed room window and I couldn't sleep and one thing lead to another and the job got done.

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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11 years 9 months ago #69882 by albertw
Replied by albertw on topic Dealing with Streetlights

Albert you will probably know the name of these lights on the M1 motorway just past the airport right up to the exit for donabate you don't even realise there on till you drive up to them. There great and I keep thinking to myself why don't they use these everywhere.


Thats probably the WRTL Arc light with flat glass. I have a copy of the brochure here for that light, I can drop you up a photocopy if you need it. The web page for it has a lot less info www.wrtl.co.uk/html/cat-products/-01--road-arc-ip-66-2-5.htm

Basically the NRA are installing these on new roads and can design appropriately whereas on existing streets you need to work with the constraints of the existing poles. The ESB are using the same I think from now on but with the curved glass option. The reasons for not using FCO include that it apparently more aesthetically pleasing (!) but also on a practical level the ESB typically have to retrofit onto existing poles and adhere to guidelines and the curved glass is need to provide this. In some cases it's argued you might end up with needing brighter lights or more of them if you use FCO designs. Though other lighting engineers I've spoken to have said that this needs to be looked at on a case by case basis, the width of the road, trees, aility to slightly increase pole height etc. all contribute and it is often possible to use flat glass. And with improving technology the case for FCO's gets better and better.

While we are on about residential lighting the current lantern being trialled is also from WRTL, the 'Libra'. Its not FCO and has large enough bowl underneath it. Its got compact flourescent lamps which will look white, though uses less power than SOX. The figures put the upward light at ~1% from this luminaire so its better than the 15% from sox. If you see these installed somewhere please give the councils feedback on what you think of them.

Frank I will do an article for the magazine.

Great! And may I congratulate you on the article in advance! (Happy DG? :-) ). Seriously though, if I can provide an info for you just give me a call.

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

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11 years 5 months ago #73632 by carlobeirnes
Replied by carlobeirnes on topic Dealing with Streetlights
Update since doing this article. The County Council have put like a black paint around the street lights.I just came home from work one day and there it was.Funny or what.

Carl

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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11 years 5 months ago #73635 by albertw
Replied by albertw on topic Dealing with Streetlights
carl o beirnes wrote:

Update since doing this article. The County Council have put like a black paint around the street lights.I just came home from work one day and there it was.Funny or what.


I've heard of that being done in the UK but thats the first report of it here. You seem to be getting on really well wih the council! Tell them you can't discover asteroids with their current lighting :-)

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

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11 years 5 months ago #73637 by lunartic
Replied by lunartic on topic Dealing with Streetlights
Around the housing estate where I live some new streetlights have been installed, and they are different than those already in place. For one thing they are not orange, they give off a white light, one rainy night I really noticed the difference, the older lights had an orange nebulous glow, the newer lights cast they light in a cone to the ground. Looking closely I could detect no light above the fitting, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Co Co might be doing something right, eventually.

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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11 years 5 months ago #73638 by carlobeirnes
Replied by carlobeirnes on topic Dealing with Streetlights
oooo no I've heard about these lights. They are good in one way not as much sky glow. But if you are imaging with any sort of filters the filters are useless against the new lights.:S

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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11 years 5 months ago - 11 years 5 months ago #73689 by carlobeirnes
Replied by carlobeirnes on topic Dealing with Streetlights
I'm never going to get to heven but here goes.I couldn't write this on the AI website back then but here is what I had to do here is the story I was sick and tired of the lights outside my house so I got on to the Co council.Now I knew from other people that if you mention astronomy to these guys you are pxxxing against the wind. You have to hit them with the health point of view, so I basically told them I could not sleep with the light shining through the window and it was affecting my work because I was so tired day after day, go into the whole spill with them. Then by chance I had a day off work and a van pulled up outside the house up the lads went on there crane and put the shield around the light. I went out to the lads who were a sound bunch of guys and we got chatting. They told me about earth hour and just by dimming the lights for one hour was the same as taking 45 thousand cars off the road for 1 hour ,I found this staggering. Could you imagine how many millions this could save the country a year on power consumption.Here ends the recession just by dimming the lights. Why politicians haven't copped on to this is bizarre.
It was only then I told the lads that I was an astronomer and they told me about your legal right to have the light deflected from your property. Interesting or what.

carl

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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11 years 5 months ago #73702 by philiplardner
Replied by philiplardner on topic Dealing with Streetlights
carl o beirnes wrote:

It was only then I told the lads that I was an astronomer and they told me about your legal right to have the light deflected from your property. Interesting or what.

carl


Interesting or what - too right it is!

I've been having the same problems with a string of totally unnecessary street lights along the country lane I live on shining into my garden where I want to build the observatory, but have had no joy with either the Council, the Works Department or the local councillors in getting them removed, realigned or shielded. I don't suppose you or Albert (or anyone out there!) has a link or reference to the legal chapter and verse by any chance?

Phil.

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11 years 5 months ago - 11 years 5 months ago #73709 by carlobeirnes
Replied by carlobeirnes on topic Dealing with Streetlights
This is what I got from the web.

Carl.



The Affects of Light at Night





Human health:

Melatonin (MLT) is a protective hormone and strong antioxidant having evolved in all plants and animals over the millennia. In vertebrates, MLT is normally produced by the pineal gland during the early morning hours of darkness, even in nocturnal animals, and is suppressed by exposure to light at night (LAN).



Medical research shows that the suppression of MLT by exposure to light at night LAN appears to be one reason for the higher cancers rates in the developed world.



New street lighting is being installed on taller stanchions, so that the light, although angled downwards is now above bedroom window level, so that light is increasingly entering bedroom windows at night. This problem is compounded due to the use of whiter light bulbs as the human eye is more sensitive to this part of the spectrum at these light levels. Moreover, the problems caused by new street lights shining into windows is made worse as unlike the yellow low pressure sodium lights, the spectrum of the new lights cuts melatonin production in the human brain. The result is that whilst the new street lighting is good for the problem of skyglow, it is not good for the problems of light nuisance and human health



Light at night disturbs sleep, resulting in a general loss of quality of life, reducing functionality at work or people taking time off, contributing to a loss of economic competitiveness of the nation. It may also lead to an increase in road accidents due to tiredness. . In a recent survey 35% of people stated that lighting hindered sleep.



Crime

There are no independent studies which categorically show that crime is reduced by lighting and several government sponsored research projects in the United Kingdom and the United States of America have failed to demonstrate any benefit from lighting in the fight against crime.



School districts across the United States have reduced the cost of vandalism by adopting a “Dark Campus” policy. All lights are turned off between 11pm and 6am. As well as reducing crime against school property they have achieved significant savings in their electricity bills.

Graffiti “artists” prefer their work to be seen by the public and given a choice between a dark unlit wall and a well lit wall, they will chose the latter.



Perpetrators of crime need to see what they are doing, just like the rest of us and prefer to operate in well lit areas where they can also easily see if there is anyone watching them. A criminal using a torch in an unlit area is more likely to arouse suspicion than someone wandering around brazenly in an over lit area.



Energy, climate change issues

On a global scale, approximately 19% of all electricity used produces light at night.



If we take security light as an example of how small changes can have a big impact.

In Ireland there are approximately 1.5 million households. If one in ten have a 500 watt security light there will be 150 000 lights

(150 000 x 500 w) x 0.50hr/night = 37,500 kW-hr/night. Per year this must be multiplied by 365 = 13.7M kW-hr/year. If 1 kW-hr produces 0.43kg of carbon dioxide, then some 5.9M kg/yr of carbon dioxide is produced as a by product from producing the electricity needed to power domestic floodlights alone within Ireland.



If a new diesel car produces 150g of carbon dioxide per kilometre travelled, 3,933 cars would have to travel 10,000 km per year to produce this figure (5.9 M kg Carbon per year This means that the carbon dioxide produced by domestic floodlights alone on for an average of 30 minutes per night is statistically similar to that produced by the average car usage of a town of c. 4000 persons – around the size of for example Tipperary town or Cavan.



The implications are clear if this figure is extrapolated to commercial artificial lighting; it must be a sufficiently significant form of waste to deserve regulation at planning stage. Indeed, major infrastructure projects are generally the worst sources of light pollution, due to their scale and 24/7 nature.



Street lighting

Street lights are a major source of light pollution. New ways of designing and providing street lighting have been developed in the last several years which:

* Reduce excessive lighting and light pollution
* Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and saves energy and money by using less electricity.
* Reducing glare to increase visibility. by directing light onto the roadway and preventing it from shining into the eyes of motorists.



The two lens illustrated

In 2003 The North American Town of Calgary committed to retrofitting ‘Envirosmart’ flat lens street lights. By changing to ‘Envirosmart’ fixtures Calgary's Program will more than cover the cost of replacing old glare-scattering street lamps by saving $1.7 million dollars CDN annually and reducing carbon dioxide emissions from gas and coal burning generators by 16,000 tons.



In the picture the light on the left is the usual dropped lens style; the one on the right has the flat lens feature. The difference is significant.



Legislation.

Unlike noise there is little mention of unwanted light as a nuisance or health hazard. However in Europe on 30 August, 2007the 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 prohibits lighting above the horizon into space for most luminaries and demands the use of totally shielded ones. 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. Health reasons mentioned above were cited as one of the reasons for the new law along with preservation of the night sky and of biodiversity.





Affect on Biodiversity



Birds:

The negative effect on birds is well documented. Birds may become confused by artificial lighting and it disturbs both day & night and seasonal biological rhythms.

Lighting in high rise glass office blocks are particularly harmful. It has been reported that between100-900 million birds die each year by being attracted to the light from office block windows, “Dr. Daniel Klem of Muhlenberg College has done studies over a period of 20 years, looking at bird collisions with windows. His conclusion: glass kills more birds than any other human related factor.



Bats

Bats, which are of course nocturnal, may be affected by deserting their roost if it is illuminated, or leaving the roost later, and so having less time to feed.



Insects

Insects may also be adversely affected. Many may simply fly around above light sources until they drop of exhaustion, and so fail to breed. This in turn may mean that animals further up the food chain (such as birds) suffer due to reduced prey numbers.



Plants

Plants measure and react to night length which means the duration of darkness. Therefore light at night can affect plants delayed loss of foliage, accelerated branch growth and the production of a second bloom in the autumn.





References:

data.nextrionet.com/site/idsa/RCEP%20Cos...he%20Environment.pdf



www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15325001?ord....Pubmed_Discovery_RA



www.bats.org.uk/helpline/helpline_threats_lighting.asp



content.calgary.ca/CCA/City+Living/Commu...Retrofit+Program.htm



www.obs-sbo.ca/?section=12&subsection=74&gid=6&id=16



www.ilpac.eu/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=28



books.google.ie/books?id=61B_RV3EdIcC&pg...JQhC0&hl=en#PPA92,M1



www.cooke.id.au/Vision_2020_Submission.pdf



All references accessed on 28 March 2008.


Here is the link.

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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11 years 5 months ago #73713 by albertw
Replied by albertw on topic Dealing with Streetlights
carl o beirnes wrote:It was only then I told the lads that I was an astronomer and they told me about your legal right to have the light deflected from your property. Interesting or what.[/quote]

Can you get me a legal reference or precedent for that? No one in any council or the DOE that I've spoken to is aware of it!

btw the article you mention was written by FOTIE with some input from me in advance of Earth Hour this year. Some of it needs updating I think.

as for the retrofits going on at the moment. Most are not FCO but are close (~1% ULOR). They are almost all compact flourescent. Low pressure sodium is history for the most part. The key issue for astronomers is skyglow not spectra thanks to the way that light scatters and how skyglow is created.

lunatic; the lights sound like the ongoing ESB retrofit has reached you; the ESB have been installing those for DLR for a couple of years now. I'd be interested in seeing a pic of the lights though.

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

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11 years 5 months ago - 11 years 5 months ago #73714 by carlobeirnes
Replied by carlobeirnes on topic Dealing with Streetlights
albertw wrote:

carl o beirnes wrote:It was only then I told the lads that I was an astronomer and they told me about your legal right to have the light deflected from your property. Interesting or what.

Can you get me a legal reference or precedent for that? No one in any council or the DOE that I've spoken to is aware of it


As I said he just told me about it. I didn't go looking for information on line ,If I ever see him again I will ask him about it.

Carl

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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11 years 5 months ago #73715 by albertw
Replied by albertw on topic Dealing with Streetlights
carl o beirnes wrote:As I said he just told me about it. I didn't go looking for information on line ,If I ever see him again I will ask him about it.[/quote]

Cool. If you do manage to meet him again it would be very useful to know.

Cheers,
~Albert

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

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