Proposal for dark sky campus by astronomers at Canadian campus

This is an excellent and thoughtful video highlighting increased awareness of light pollution, making many good arguments for proposal for dark sky campus.

The consequences of light pollution include:

  • The daily cycle of light and day is broken
  • Exposure creates a negative affect on health including sleep/mood disorders
  • wildlife affected – frogs no longer sing mating calls, migration of birds is disrupted and birds are trapped flying into building or circling forever eventually dying form exhaustion and sadly, animals can no longer hide in the cover of night and are exposed to predators

Light that shines into places, included college campus dormitories, is not needed and is wasteful and harmful.

Call to replace these wasteful fixtures with high efficiency, light directed dark sky lighitng fixtures.

The student astronomers counted the number of light fixtures on this campus and found:

  • 850 light fixtures * $300 = $255,000
  • Energy savings = 300 Watts/fixture * 850 fixtures * 12 hours/day * 365 days/year = 1,116,900 Kwh/year
  • at 3 cents/kwh this equals $33,500 savings/year
  • $255,000/$33,000 = 7 years to cost recovery

Suggested requirements for dark sky campus designation:

  • All outdoor lighting fixtures shoud be full-cutoff type
  • Illumination levels should be no greate than 0.5 lux except in essential areas where they should not exceed 2 lux
  • Between the hours of midnight and 6am
    • non-essential lighting must be turned off
    • elsewhere the intensity should be reduced by dimming or turning off some of the fixtures
    • all indoor lighting should be turned off and where this is not possible, window coverings should be installed
  • Fixtures should be mounted below 6 meters above ground level
  • Wherever possible reddish (sodium) lights should be used; white or blue light (eg. metal halide) should be avoided
  • Motion sensors and alternative lighting (solar power, LED) should be used wherever possible

In Canada, there are over 90 universities – let the young people lead the charge and make them all dark sky campuses.