pen rainbow

Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday—It's Dark Sky Week!

International Dark Sky Week — April 13-19, 2015


  Las Vegas at night compared to the San Francisco Bay Area


Turn Off the Lights


4 Good Reasons to Protect
the Dark Night Sky


1.  HABITAT DISRUPTION
       
Nocturnal animals can't hunt, hide, fly or reproduce without darkness.

Diurnal animals can't sleep, migrate or predict seasonal changes (i.e. hibernate, prepare for temperature changes, etc.)

Click HERE to check the light pollution in your area on the NASA Blue Marble Navigator.  It's super cool!


2.  HUMAN HEALTH HAZARD

Humans lose sleep when we are exposed to too much artificial light, particularly light that falls into the blue light category on the Kelvin Temperature scale.

Most LEDs for outdoor lighting, computer screens, TVs, and other electronic displays emit high amounts of blue light.


Source:  Wikimedia

The research suggests that overexposure to artificial light can negatively affect human health, increasing our risk for depression, sleep disorders, obesity, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.  

Look for light bulbs on the warm light side with a color scale rating of 3000K or lower.  CFL and LED bulbs provide this info on the package.

A simple daily walk will help reset your biological clock.


3.  WASTE OF ENERGY & MONEY

  • Use downward lighting that illuminates the ground, not the sky
  • Use motion-activated outdoor lights that do not stay lighted all night long
  • Use auto-lights only when you need them for crime prevention; avoid glare that causes dark-shadows
  • When lights aren't needed, turn them off

On a personal note, our power bill dropped by nearly half when we turned off our outdoor porch lights.


4.  STARS ARE BEAUTIFUL!


The Milky Way, constellations, brightly shining planets, the magnificent Southern Cross (if you happen to be far enough south), shooting stars, a lunar eclipse, and if you are very lucky...a glorious comet.  


Have a starry week!