More lightingl might not the answer.

Discuss the greatest threat to amateur astronomy today

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Cliff
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More lightingl might not the answer.

Post by Cliff »

Dear al(L)
The lighting fraternity has had things very much their own way for many years. Outside astronomical circles I have rarely seen any comments not advocating ever more and more artificial lighting. Providing safety, security and fighting crime, are the first boasts of the lighting fraternity.
It never seems to occur to them that lighting might not be the panacea they assume it is.
In January I saw a readers letter making some comments on similar lines in "New Civil Engineer" weekly magazine. He was advocating lighting pretty well all major roads including need for those in rural areas to be provided with street-lighting - on safety grounds of course.
I couldn't help wondering if the writer really believed what he had written in the letter, or felt desperate that the current financial problems might result in street lighting cut backs.
I was tempted to respond to NCE myself about the matter but decided to wait and see what if anything further might materialise about the "wanting ever more street lighting" matter.
I am pleased to say that in this weeks NCE magazine there is a letter giving some balancing comment and mentioning amongst other things that street lighting encourages drivers to travel excessively fast.
In the past providing more street lighting has been the quick fix for many problems, irrespective of whether lighting was a real issue or not. Amongst other things town cuncillors have all to often been keen to push for more lighting because it is an easy way to get popularity with the public.
Perhaps reality is now beginning to strike home. However, I hope that possible increases in crime because of the current financial situation does not allow the figures to get distorted in such a way as to suggest that any cutbacks in lighting might be to blame.
Best of luck from Cliff

mike a feist
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Post by mike a feist »

Surely it is wrong for lighting engineers to have any say in whether new lighting is necessary as they have an "axe to grind".....i e cut back on new schemes means less business for them. Perhaps we need some Darkness Engineers who are paid to advise on the least amount of light required for any situation. Of course the big manufacturers of street and security lighting are also going to push sales too for the profit motive. maf

Cliff
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Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2004 8:18 pm
Location: Manchester
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Mike
"Darkness Engineer" - you must be joking.
The lighting industry is a very powerful lobby.
Furthermore, the lighting industry and in particular the manufacturers of street lighting luminaires has a bigger influence on street-lighting design practices than local government street lighting engineers.
Incidentally most of UK's steel street lighting columns used to be manufactured in France - and I think that is still the case.
Best of luck from Cliff

mike a feist
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Post by mike a feist »

Yes, I was joking.....or dreaming of an ideal utopian world. maf

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