[Chaos-l] Litterbox training for streetlights
stewart-taylorj at anx.com
Thu Apr 9 17:57:54 EDT 2009
Hi again all. I have a proposal for something we can do to make a small
but significant difference in light pollution reduction efforts.
As i'm sure many of you are tired of hearing, it is possible to get a
streetlight changed from a NEMA-head glarebomb to a lower-wattage (but
usually higher output LPS) full-cutoff fixture. This requires some time
and effort, and can take up to a couple of months of calendar time, but
it can be done.
I propose that everyone reading this adopt a particular streetlight to
be "litterbox trained" so that it goes where it's supposed to.
Here in Chapel Hill, the process goes something like this:
First, convince the stakeholders of the streetlight that the change will
benefit them. The stakeholders are the property owners, residents,
businesses etc affected by and/or using the light. Arguments for the
convincing part include reduced carbon footprint, lack of
burglar-jumping-from-trees incidents, elimination of light glaring in
upper windows, better visibility and increased safety on the ground,
better for migrating birds, and oh, yes, darker skies.
Second, get permission from the entity paying the light bill. In Chapel
Hill, it would be the town facilities people.
Third, contact the power company itself to let them know you've done
steps one and two, and you want to formally request the change to a
full-cutoff fixture. Get them to tell you the procedure, and contact
info for the person who makes this happen.
Fourth (and fifth, sixth, ...) Contact the person from step 3 weekly to
get a status on the request, and especially to find out if the
changeover has been scheduled. Once you've got a scheduled date, stop
nagging them and wait until the earlier of the light is changed, or 3
days past the scheduled date. If the date passes with no change, go to
two-a-week nagging until you get a new scheduled date, then wait.
Repeat as required.
Once the light has been changed, write a formal letter to the town and
power company thanking them for their help making the world a little
better, and reducing our carbon footprint.
I think it might be a good idea to add this (in more coherent form) to
the CHAOS web page, and maybe have a sign-up sheet so we don't duplicate
efforts on a given streetlight.
What do people think?
Jon Stewart-Taylor: jcst at tripod.net
Chapel Hill Astronomy: http://www.rtpnet.org/chaos
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