I spend as much time as I can advocating for conservation, educating on the preservation of dark skies, and engaging with the public to get more people looking up and raising awareness of light pollution. I am the Faculty advisor for the WPI astronomy club, a Trustee of the Southborough Open Land Foundation (SOLF), a member of the Trustees of Reservations, a member of the Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston, and a frequent host of public star parties in Southborough and Worcester.
The Disappearing Dark
Light pollution is an ever growing problem as land is continuously developed. Without an eye towards the future, open land conservation, and responsible lighting choices, we'll lose what little we have left on the planet for truly dark skies.
The advent of LED lighting, although promising for energy conservation, brings with it the potential to do more damage to the environment if we're not careful.
High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lamps,
the tech common in street lights and
lamp posts, emit light mostly in the
yellow and orange areas of the spectrum
where lower scatter light can be
controlled if properly shielded.
There are LEDs without this "blue mountain", those "warm" LEDs that are <3000K and it is those that we must use when converting from existing lighting. I presented before the Planning Board in the town of Southborough to educate and advocate for responsible LED conversion of town lighting. For much more information on lighting and light pollution, check out the video of this presentation below.
For more information about curbing light pollution and conserving open land, see the following links to organizations that I fully support:
LEDs emit broad spectrum light and a large amount of blue that has potentially detrimental effects to public health and wildlife, and increased light pollution. Many aspects of our biochemistry, as well as that of wildlife, are effected by blue light including our circadian rhythms and hormone production for proper sleep, metabolism, and cognition.
© 2022 D. Heilman