Light pollution & Dark Sky objective

SCORA encourages the town to continue with the Lighting Study Phase 2 This phase is to review the operations of general exterior lighting including parking lot lights, car dealerships and other businesses exterior lighting. 

 SCORA would like to see better light standards be adopted in Oakville to reduce offensive glare and operational guidelines that will help to restore a better level of dark skies to our neighbourhood and the town. As a result of research into field lights, SCORA has become sensitive to the impact that exterior lights have on our quality of life. There is a growing movement by progressive towns and cities to better manage these lights – to reduce offensive glare onto adjacent properties with better designed lights and to better manage the operations of parking lot lights and many exterior building lights to required them to be turned off when there is no activity in the buildings.  The result is energy conservation as well as darker urban skies so the community and wildlife can better enjoy their properties and beauty of our skies.

“Full cut-off” fixtures reduce glare.
The following websites shows the impact of “full cut-off” fixtures - defined as” lights that shines no light above the horizon”.   This is a slide show on good and bad lighting in Seattle.

 

 Lights that don't direct light where it is intended waste energy, create glare and light pollution, and cause light trespass (your neighbor's light that keeps you up at night). Full cut-off outdoor light fixtures reduce all of these by directing light only where it is supposed to go.


STA Lights

  
Details:   Full cut-off fixtures direct light where it is needed -- directly down and out, not up and sideways. Full cut-off fixtures direct light rays below the horizon of the fixture  preventing any light from being wasted upwards. The fixtures cost 50 percent less to operate and maintain by using energy efficient bulbs – bulbs that get the most lumens (measurement of light output) and use the fewest watts of electricity. Motion detector fixtures are also available and reduce energy use by activating only when a sensor is set off.


Security and exterior lights
Research has determined that the link between bright exterior lights and increased security is a fallacy. In fact on many studies, just the opposite is the result.   The following are some articles relating to this.


Dark campus policies.  http://www.britastro.org/dark-skies/pdfs/is054.pdf  
Conventional wisdom suggests that light reduces crime. That’s why outdoor lights are often called “security lights”. Recent research has shown this not to be the case, and in fact increasing property lights often leads to more vandalism and crime.  School districts across the U.S. are turning conventional wisdom on its head by turning off lights on school grounds. The results have been impressive. Annual energy savings can add up to hundreds of dollars per school. Significant decreases in vandalism have been documented since the “Dark Campus” policies have gone into effect.