Friendly Night Sky Lighting at ATC Headquarters

This spring, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) discovered that motion-sensor floodlights installed at its headquarters in Harpers Ferry to keep employees safe as they exited the building after hours were far brighter than necessary. Jarring light escaped into the skies as well as quiet streets and paths where residents took evening strolls, and research showed that overly bright security lights can be counterproductive. By installing LED lights and adding shields endorsed by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), reducing the lumens, and changing the color and angle of the lights, ATC became a better neighbor, reduced our electricity consumption, and helped preserve dark skies in our own community.
Interested in doing your part to reduce light polution:
■ Start with the light switch, turning things off.
■ Consider replacing outdoor lights with intelligently designed, low-glare fixtures. Did you know there is a certification body for sky-friendly outdoor lighting? The International Dark-Sky Association evaluates fixtures for low glare and efficiency. Look for the IDA seal of approval on locally sourced fixtures, or seek out a company such as Starry Night Lights, which specializes in low-pollution lighting.
■ Place motion sensors on essential outdoor lamps. Lighting on demand trumps a manual switch or timer.
■ Replace conventional high-energy bulbs with efficient outdoor CFLs and LED floodlights.
Find out more about outdoor lighting, light pollution, and more from the International Dark-Sky Association at: