Dark Skies Northwest Regional Meeting - December 2nd, 2000
Retired Lighting Engineer, City of Portland
Chair of Obtrusive Roadway Lighting
International Society for Illumination (North America) (IESNA),
Obtrusive Light: Then, Now and in the Future: Lighting Design Experiences
We all have an Idea of how lighting works. Our daily contacts with the night time world gives us these experiences. Many of us put outdoor lighting in the same category as walking through the house, at night, turning on lights to find our way or the attend to our evening duties or pleasures. The light comes on when we use the wall switch. Its there, but isnt perceived as a great luxury. Many through out the world do not have the luxury or pleasure, and like so many pleasures we as Americans over do it. This is where the tenet more light is good light originated. We as Americans have lighted our night time world in the name of security, safety and comfort in excess using more is better, a statement that also calls out our life style. Outdoor lighting is no exception.
The United States has been in a state of economic expansion for several years now, and its wonderful, but little thought has been given to what effects this expansion has on our environment, until now. We have constructed housing , streets and highways, shopping facilities etc. demanded by the users of these facilities. All of these facilities require night time lighting both indoor and outdoor. Much of the design of this lighting requires how to documents, such as design guides, recommended practices, to assure quality and safety. Even with these documents, night time lighting has become issue. How could this happen; can we as citizens change future?