The passage of the new Dark Skies legislation in Southhampton, New York has recently made headlines. According to the Hamptons.com website the view above Southampton may soon be the starlit night, not the glow of an overly lit shopping center. Thanks to legislation sponsored by Councilwoman Nancy Graboski, a victory was achieved against light pollution. A compromise with local business was made to allow existing lighting. However, the article mentions that nuisance lighting will be addressed as needed. According to Hamptons.com, Councilwoman Graboski feels that compliance with the legislation could be as simple as turning a light. Turning or shielding a light is something incremental that can be done to reduce light pollution.
The legislation appeals to the residents of Southhampton, as it does to many communities looking to simultaneously preserve the night sky and conserve energy resources. According to Hamptons.com, the community was concerned with unnecessary light impeding the enjoyment and rest of others. As many that understand the effects of light pollution can substantiate, the community has every right to be concerned. According to the International Dark-Sky Association, circadian rhythms are periods of light and dark that are essential for the good health of all of earth’s life forms. When circadian rhythms are disrupted, health suffers.
The Hamptons.com website also notes the concerns that Southhampton residents have for their safety in accordance with the Dark Skies legislation. The article clarified that the goal of dark sky ordinances is to eliminate unnecessary light, not all light. As mentioned in the article, concerns for safety can be remedied with the use of motion lighting which alerts a homeowner of trespassers on their property. The passage of legislation to protect the night sky potentially requires years of debate. Now that the Dark Skies legislation has been passed in Southhampton, the citizens can finally feel a little less stressed. They will also be assured that when they turn their lights off for the night, their health won’t suffer because additional lights are still on.