A Night Blight campaign was launched in England by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) in 2003 to encourage the dimming or extinguishing of lights at night, especially in the countryside. The campaign group welcomed ideas and plans from the public on how to reduce lighting energy costs and light pollution by shutting off or dimming lights at night.

In the light of rising energy costs—which are estimated to increase 18 percent this year to more than £3 million, £900,000 of which goes to street lighting—the campaign aims to reduce costs. Choosing to dim or shut off lighting where it is not needed—both in the cities and in more rural areas—could have a huge impact on the amount of money being spent every year to provide unnecessary lighting.

But they’re also concern about how the light pollution is affecting their viewing of the night skies. Apparently research has shown that the region has lost about 50 percent of its truly dark night skies because of wasteful lighting and the resulting sky glow. That means there are some children now who have never really viewed the stars! A shame, for sure.

Households in the area are currently being polled to find out their views on the proposal, which could include switching select lights off between midnight and 5 am or between 2 am and 5 am. Alternatively, some lights may simply be dimmed during certain hours, a measure that will certainly reduce both light pollution and energy waste. Of course, safety concerns would be considered in the plans (like leaving lights lit in high-crime areas or major residential areas).

Sounds like a good plan to me. Imagine the difference this would make if all US cities followed their lead? In times like these, no idea is too dim…