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Ed Majden from Courtenay, British columbia in a letter to the editor at bclocalnews.com makes a very compelling plea to turn off the lights and replace fixtures with dark sky shielded lights for those we do have on.

Ed is an amateur astronomer doing meteor spectroscopy studies from his back yard observatory in Courtenay. He, like others like him, require dark skies to do their studies. While this may not mean anything to someone who is not an astronomy buff, maybe this will.

He also has energy conservation suggestions which include replacing all cobra head streetlights with more efficient sharp cutoff fixtures. Call your city electric company and let them know you want to save money on your electric bill!

For homeowners, he suggests using sharp cutoff lighting fixtures which direct light down where it is needed and saves you money. Beyond that, remove unnecessary lights and turn off lights at night when they are not needed.

And as for lighting for security? He says, “Many say that such lighting is required for security reasons. If this were true the entertainment districts in our larger cities would be the safest places in the world and we know that this is not true!”

And finally, if nothing else encourages you to decrease the amount of nighttime lighting around your home, think about this. Ed concludes his editorial with, “Also, let your children see the stars again and enjoy the wonders of our universe. Lighting also effects the migration of birds, so astronomers aren’t the only promoters of dark skies!”

And I wholeheartedly agree!

Read the full editorial here – Please douse lights year round, not just during Earth Hour