Edmonton, Calgary council members continue to discuss possible solutions to their growing problem of light pollution as reported on 9/23/09 in the Edmonton Sun. Sherrilyn Jahrig, with the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve reported to the city council that Edmonton is one of the brightest cities for its size in North America.
Jahring expressed her hopes for an end to light pollution to the Sun reporters, saying, "One of the hopes I have is that children who may only grow up in an urban environment will be able to look up in say 10 years and say, ‘What’s that cloud up there?’ and their parents will say, ‘That’s the Milky Way,’" I agree wholeheartedly.
Solutions include replacing the old lighting with newer, more efficient lighting such as LED. In addition to this, all lighting should be directed downward and with the use of motion detectors and timers, turned on only when necessary.
These solutions may be costly at first but over time will save the city a great deal of money. The same is true for the average homeowner when installing dark sky lighting fixtures.
A commenter compared Edmonton’s current despair to the City of Calgary. In 2005, the City of Calgary completed a project to replace all 37,500 street lights with more energy efficient lighting. According to this commenter, this saved the city $2 million per year, which will offset the replacement costs in only 6 years.
As for security, "more efficient bulbs, proper shielding of lights , timers, motion sensitive lights and simply lower intensity (wattage) bulbs are all ways to reduce light pollution. The Smalls Lighthouse (situated more than 20 miles off the coast of Wales) has a 35-watt bulb that produces a beam of light that is visible for 21 miles, so why do we need 150W + bulbs for our ‘security’?"
I could not have said that any better myself!