Press Release

Dark-sky Advocates to Push for Nationwide Lighting Reforms

By SpaceRef Editor
October 23, 2002
Filed under , ,

Energy and lighting specialists from throughout the U.S. and Canada are
gathering in Boston, Massachusetts, this weekend for a meeting of the
International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). They’ll be taking aim at the
ubiquitous pall of urban skyglow known as “light pollution,” its effects on
our health and our society, and what can be done to halt and reverse its

Members of the news media are welcome to attend the sessions on Friday,
October 25th. These invited talks and panel discussions will take place at
the Museum of Science in Boston. Speakers are nationally recognized experts
from the lighting industry, government agencies, power-utility companies,
and others from the fields of medicine, environmental science, and
astronomy. Key areas of discussion will include:

— the glare and energy waste associated with poor-quality lighting

— the effects of light at night on humans and wildlife

— community and commercial efforts to improve lighting practices

A press conference will be held at 12:45 p.m. in Cahners Theater at the
Museum of Science.

The second day of the meeting, Saturday, October 26th, will convene at the
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge. Due to limited
seating, we are not encouraging attendance by members of the news media.
Instead, we will try to arrange interviews on Friday with the Saturday
sessions’ invited speakers and other experts in attendance.

Satellite images dramatically reveal that roughly of a third of the light
used outdoors escapes upward, totally wasted, into the night sky. The IDA
estimates that each year in the United States, more than $1 billion is
spent to generate this wasted light — resulting in the needless burning of
some 6,000,000 tons of coal annually.

Founded in 1988, the IDA has about 10,000 members in all 50 states and 70
countries. Its 450 organizational members include lighting engineers and
manufacturers, security personnel, government agencies, and municipalities.
The IDA is a nonprofit research and education organization dedicated to
preserving and protecting the nighttime environment and our heritage of
dark skies through quality outdoor lighting.

For more information, including a preliminary meeting program, see the
online version of this press release on SKY & TELESCOPE’s Web site:

There you will also find the following publication-quality photographs and
an animation (with full captions):

— eastern North America at night, seen from an orbiting satellite

— the Northern Hemisphere of Earth at Night (animation)

— excessive glare from antique-style lighting fixtures

— before/after photos of a lighting-retrofitted cinema complex

SpaceRef staff editor.