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Wyo Opinions: Letter – An argument for responsible, attractive Casper street lighting

Wyoming urban-rural tensions mire redistricting process (Greg Kearney)

I am all for beautification projects here in Casper. I think they are a great use of taxpayer money.

However, comments made by council members during their work session should give some cause for concern. Vice Mayor Freel describes the I-25 corridor as “a black hole,” and council member Gamroth makes the claim that people are afraid to walk near the F Street Bridge because there isn’t any lighting.

While I agree that lighting is probably needed in this particular area, perhaps we should all take a moment to consider our words and the impact they could have. Instead of saying “light up that black hole” or “people are afraid to walk at night” – which inevitably results in obnoxious overbearing lights that are not only dangerous for drivers but also just plain ugly – we should be considering the usage of responsible lighting.

Per the International Dark-Sky Association, the five principles our council should be considering are:

Useful – All light should have a clear purpose. Is the light needed and how will the lighting impact the area including wildlife and the environment?

Targeted – Light should only be directed to where it is needed. This means using full cutoff features on the fixtures so the light points down and does not spill beyond where it is needed.

Low Light Levels – Light should be no brighter than necessary. Use the lowest light level required.Controlled – Light should only be on when it is useful. (There are far too many areas in our community that are illuminated for absolutely no other reason other than it can be.)

Color – Use warmer colored lights where possible. (limit the use of shorter wavelength; 5000K for example, light to the least amount needed).

If our community leaders and developers follow these simple and effective suggestions, there is no reason at all that the I-25 corridor and F Street bridge can’t be illuminated in a responsible and – most importantly – effective way.

Alan Corey

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