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Dark Sky Ordinances and How Landscape Lighting Can Help

Dark Sky Ordinances and How Landscape Lighting Can Help

Why are Dark Sky Ordinances important? Dark Sky Ordinances are important because they help reduce light pollution. Light pollution is a growing problem in many parts of the world, as artificial lights are increasingly used to illuminate our nights. This light pollution can have a number of negative effects, including disrupting the natural sleep cycles of animals and humans, interfering with astronomical research, and making it difficult to see the stars at night. Dark Sky Ordinances help to combat this problem by reducing the amount of artificial light that is used at night.  More and more cities are going away with metal halide street lights that tend to throw 40% of the light it produces back up into the sky and replacing them with warmer tone LED fixtures and spacing them out further.  While bistro lights are fun and an inexpensive way to illuminate your property more than 50% of the light it produces is wasted and thrown into the sky because of the globe like lamp throwing light all over and bouncing back into the sky.  One way to use bistro lighting is to place it under covered patios or placing decorative hats above the bulb to help keep the light thrown downward.  


How can landscape lighting help? Landscape lighting can help Dark Sky Ordinances in two ways. First, by using low-voltage landscape lighting, you can reduce the amount of energy that is used to light your property. Low-voltage landscape lighting uses less electricity than traditional lighting, which means that it produces less light pollution. Second, by using LED landscape lighting, you can further reduce the amount of light pollution that is produced. LED lights are more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, and they emit very little light pollution and glare allowing your eyes to adjust to the night creating less dark spots throughout the property, allowing our eyes to see through darker spaces not covered by light.  


Dark Sky Ordinances are becoming more and more common, but they can be difficult to comply with. However, if you use spot lighting from trees pointing down you can create a moon like effect as well as some dramatic shadowing.  Path Lights with low lumen outputs can illuminate up to 10-12 feet depending on ambient light your home and or city produces.  High Lighting trees can still comply with dark sky ordinances as well by keeping the light pushed into the foliage and or tucked up close to the base of the tree.  Ideally placing fixtures in a down formation will help reduce any light pollution. Landscape lighting is a great way to help reduce the amount of light pollution that is produced, and it can also help make your property safer and more attractive creating amazing curb appeal from the street. If you are looking for ways to improve your landscape lighting, contact a professional today! They will be able to help you find the best solution for your needs.

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