NELPAG Circular No. 8

NELPAG Circular No. 8                                     1994 September 6

New England Light Pollution Advisory Group (NELPAG)
Editor:     Daniel W. E. Green [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory;
               60 Garden Street; Cambridge, MA  02138]  (telephone 617-495-7440)
               e-mail:  green@cfa (.bitnet, .span, or
Secretary:  Eric Johansson     (telephone 508-667-0137)
               email:  or

     "Subscription" to this irregular news/information Circular is available by
sending self-addressed, stamped (29-cent) regular-sized (9.5x4-inch) envelopes
(SASE) to Dan Green at his postal address, or by sending your e-mail address
to either Dan or Eric using the e-mail addresses above.  Contributed
information for this Circular concerning outdoor lighting problems in New
England (or pertinent info from outside New England) are welcomed.  Please
circulate this newsletter to all interested parties.

     Several NELPAG members from Massachusetts and Maine attended a
meeting to further develop the light-pollution brochure mentioned in NELPAG
Circulars 6 and 7.  Steve O'Meara (Sky and Telescope) presented figures
concerning costs regarding publishing the brochure by Sky Publishing Corp.,
and it was decided that Steve and Dan Green would take the edition of the
brochure that had been worked out to this point, enter it into computer
form in Cambridge, and give it to the Sky Publishing people for discussion.
Some results of that discussion will be presented by Steve at the next
meeting (Sept. 18; see below).  It may not be necessary to have advertisers,
as the cost is not excessive, but such issues still need to be addressed by
Sky Publishing.
     Other items were also discussed at this meeting, such as plans for a
NELPAG presentation at Stellafane a couple of weeks later, and light-pollution
discussions at the Vermont state environmental department (concerning ski-area
lighting) and at the Connecticut state legislature (concerning possible
outdoor lighting legislation in that state) that have involved NELPAG.
  -- Dan Green

     Peter Talmage, Mario Motta, Eric Johansson, and I (Bernie) gave a brief
(10-minute) overview of what NELPAG is and does to about 75 Stellefane
attendees during the Saturday afternoon tent talks.  I started by giving a
general overview of NELPAG --- when it was formed, how it is organized, and
what it does.  Mario spoke about the bill we've submitted to the Massachusetts
state legislature and what steps NELPAG is taking in the fight against light
pollution --- down-playing the astronomy angle, highlighting the energy and
safety issues.
     Peter spoke about the "Good Neighbor Outdoor Lighting" brochure and
activities in Maine.  Eric added a few general comments regarding NELPAG
representation in the six New England states and on fighting light pollution.
Peter also handed out (for a $1 donation) many copies of the "Good Neighbor
Outdoor Lighting" brochure after the meeting was over.  --- Bernie Volz

     We will again hold a dinner meeting on September 18 (Sunday) to discuss
the progress of the brochure and also the specifics for the annual Sky and
Telescope/IDA/NELPAG meeting (to be held this year on October 22 in
Kennebunkport, Maine; see NELPAG Circular No. 6).  We will meet at the
same location, the School House Restaurant in Portsmouth, NH, at 4:30 p.m.
on Sept. 18 (see Circular 6 for directions).  All are invited to attend.

     During August, I contacted Luminaire Technologies, Inc. (212 West Main
St., Gibsonville, NC  27249; phone 910-449-6310) to get information on the
Lite-Blocker (trademark).  The information and sample I received indicate
a well-designed product that is reasonably priced at around $16.  Essentially,
it is a rectangular piece of thin aluminum that fits on the outside of the
clear refractor of the typical 175-watt mercury-vapor barn beacon or yard
light.  It is quickly and easily attached by a spring at the top and bendable
tabs at the bottom.
     The shield completely blocks the light output of one-half of the
refractor; it does not allow any light emission on that half except straight
down.  It is therefore very effective at blocking light trespass and glare.
The problem that I see is that the shield does too good a job and would not
likely be acceptable to the home owner.  Utilities have already used many of
these, as they definitely do eliminate a glare or trespass problem quickly.
     I mentioned thoughts that I had on a design for a multiple-skirted shield
for the barn light, which would give full sheilding but still allow good
light distribution.  The folks at Luminaire Technologies were very receptive
to studying it with the possibility of producing it.  They are also
developing prototype louver shields for the big flood lights that the
utilities are using more frequently.
     If you have any ideas for shields that would have a wide application, or
need more information on the Lite-Blocker (trademark), contact Luminaire
Technologies.  They could possibly be one of the keys to helping improve
outdoor lighting and reduce light pollution.
    -- Peter Talmage [P.O. Box 497A, 226 Beachwood Rd., Kennebunkport, ME
                      04046; telephone 207-967-5945]


    Enclosure [postal mail only]:  copy of newspaper clipping on light
pollution issue from the U.K. Daily Telegraph (supplied courtesy of Bob Wylie)


NOTE:  When sending SASEs to Dan for your subscription to the printed NELPAG
 Circular, please write the Circular number on the back of the envelope; he's
 losing track of who's getting which issue!  So, if you've run out after
 receiving this particular issue (No. 8), send three more SASEs, and number
 them 9, 10, and 11 on the back side.


The NELPAG supports the International Dark-Sky Association and recommends
that all individuals/groups who are interested in the problems of light
pollution and obtrusive lighting should subscribe to the IDA Newsletter
(IDA membership costs $20.00 per year; send check to
International Dark-Sky Association, 3545 N. Stewart, Tucson, AZ  85716).