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Outdoor Lighting Encroachment - It's Taking Over!

My husband and I live in a small neighborhood behind a local high school. For the most part we like living that close to a school. Kids are always out and on a nice day we often walk over to the school to play tennis or watch whichever sporting events are happening. We have, however, noticed some downfalls.

A few months ago I had dinner with some of my friends and was going to be home late. My husband was on a business trip and I knew I had forgotten to turn on our outdoor lights before leaving the house. While I was walking up my front path I noticed how bright my front yard was. The moon was barely visible through the trees but the whole place was lit up like a football field! Then I figured it out: it was the football field! The lights from the high school football stadium (which is three small blocks away) were shining in my front yard. In this case, it worked out for me considering I forgot to turn on my lights, but then I realized how unnecessary that is. Instead of just lighting up the field, track and stands, the lights light up the entire neighborhood! What a waste!

From time to time there are news articles about lighting pollution that can come in a variety of ways, including glare and light spillage or encroachment. In most cases light pollution is the effect of poor outdoor lighting design. The wrong fixtures may be used, the angles may be off or the placement of the lights is wrong. All of these can cause light pollution. In the case of my front yard, we have light spillage or encroachment.

Because I was interested to see why the encroachment was so widespread, I looked at the football field lights the next time we went over there for an event. Now I know it’s important that the athletes aren’t blinded if they look up during the course of a game, but the angle of the lights were way too wide. That’s why my entire neighborhood is always bright as can be.

A properly trained outdoor lighting designer should know techniques to utilize to minimize light pollution that can happen on large properties like school developments and small residential properties. At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we try to create the perfect lighting effect with as little fixtures as possible. By placing and angling them strategically, there should be little if any light pollution.