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I couldn’t agree with Ms. Scharosch’s letter more. I have been trying to raise awareness of light pollution for nearly 10 years now, and it saddens me that Casper still has not adopted a real lighting ordinance.
As an advocate for better lighting, I would encourage all businesses and homeowners to really consider their lighting choices. Per the International Dark Sky Association, there are five principles that we should all consider which should serve as a foundation for a lighting ordinance in Casper. These principles 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.
- Color — Use warmer colored lights where possible. The ideal CCT is between 2200K and 2700K which provides a very comfortable warm reddish light as opposed to the harsh industrial looking 5000K lights used all over the city.
Aside from it being a waste of money to use so much exterior lighting, there are many scientific studies that show more light does not create a safer environment. It usually makes it worse.
Finally, one very important consideration the leaders of the Latter-day Saints Temple should take is that enlightenment comes from within our hearts, not from the overuse of electricity and flood lamps illuminating the facade of the new building.
Great Plains Astronomical Community