NELPAG Circular No. 18 1997 Sept. 29 New England Light Pollution Advisory Group (NELPAG) Editor: Daniel W. E. Green [M.S. 18; Harvard-Smithsonian Observatory; 60 Garden Street; Cambridge, MA 02138] (telephone 617-495-7440) e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Secretary: Eric Johansson (telephone 508-667-0137) email: email@example.com "Subscription" to this irregular news/information Circular is available by sending self-addressed, stamped (32 cents in the U.S.A.) regular-sized (9.5x4-inch) envelopes (SASE) to Dan Green at his postal address, or by sending your e-mail address to NELPAG-REQUEST@HARVEE.BILLERICA.MA.US (Internet). Contributed information for this Circular concerning outdoor lighting problems in New England (or pertinent info from outside New England) are always welcome. Please circulate this newsletter to all interested parties. Look at our World Wide Web site at URL http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/nelpag/nelpag.html *********** COMMITTEE HEARING SET FOR MASSACHUSETTS BILL The Committee on Science and Technology will hear oral testimony and questions/answers on the pending state House bill 4449 on Wednesday, October 8, at the State House in Boston. The hearing will begin at 11 a.m. in Room B1, in the basement level of the State House. Rep. Jim Marzilli and his aide, Ellen Schneider, have asked Dan Green to be present to field questions and present some written testimony on behalf of the bill. The problems with wording, specified in NELPAG Circular No. 17, will have been rectified by the October 8th hearing, according to Schneider. If any NELPAGers would like to accompany Dan at the hearing on October 8, please contact him. NELPAG/IDA REGIONAL MEETING SET FOR 1997 NOVEMBER 1 The NELPAG will convene its next meeting on Saturday, November 1, at Harvard College Observatory, Cambridge, Mass., beginning at 10 a.m. Please show up anytime between 9:30 and 10:00 a.m. for informal meeting and talking, and we'll try and have some coffee/tea and donuts available. Lunch in a nearby restaurant will follow the meeting (presumably around 12:30 or 1:00 p.m.). I tried very hard to pick a date in which most people could attend this meeting. While no date is perfect for everybody, Nov. 1 appears to be better overall than the other possible dates for most people who have expressed interest in attending this meeting. This meeting is open to the public, and there is no entrance/registration fee. We realize that Nov. 1 is also the date of the IDA/Virginia Section's all-day Workshop, but it is unlikely that more than a couple of people would be interested in attending both meetings. While maintaining an informal, open atmosphere (as at all NELPAG meetings), we will have a schedule of invited 5- to 10-minute talks by various individuals around New England, describing various light-pollution-fighting efforts in the region. The talks will begin shortly after 10:00 a.m., so please try to be on time (or a little early!). I plan also to have an open-forum discussion on various issues, particularly what the NELPAG can and should do to speed up educational activities in the region. I am inviting a few government and industry officials to attend and perhaps even speak briefly on pertinent issues, and I'll also invite some news-media representatives (including reporters from the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, and other Boston-area newspapers). Feel free to put a notice regarding this meeting in your local newspaper (or contact your local radio station to have them read a public-service announcement of the meeting). Current planned speakers whom I have heard from are Art Upgren, Bob Wylie (on recent professional-lighting-engineer meetings and actions), Peter Talmage (on a new shield for residential post lights that he has designed), Mike Brown (on the new Townsend, MA, ordinance), John Petrowicz (on Rowley, MA, activities), Bob Napier (on Rhode Island activities), Bob Crelin (on activities in Connecticut), and myself; more will be added. If anybody else would like to speak on a certain topic, please notify me as soon as possible. To keep the meeting lively and interactive, talks should be limited to 5 or 10 minutes (with a couple of exceptions). We will have an overhead viewgraph projector and slide projector for speakers to use. Please feel free to bring along handouts, if you think they may be appropriate; we'll have a table at the back of the room for this purpose. I hope that NELPAGers will volunteer to produce refreshments (coffee/tea, donuts, whatever) for this meeting, for people who show up between 9:30 and 10:00 a.m. Anybody so interested can contact me directly, and I'll put whomever volunteers for "refreshment duty" in contact with each other. The location of the meeting has been changed from Phillips Auditorium (where another meeting is being held on the same day) to Pratt Conference Room, at Harvard Observatory. To get to Pratt, park by the tennis courts in the lower Observatory parking lot, and a door directly leading into Pratt can be entered from the grassy lawn overlooking the tennis courts. The Observatory is at 60 Garden St. in west Cambridge, and a map is provided with this Circular (printed version only). Maps are available on the World Wide Web at URL http://www.fas.harvard.edu/map/; try also the fabulous program at http://www.mapquest.com/ (go to "tripquest" section) to get your own free, personalized directions to the Observatory. --- D.W.E.G. NEWS FROM MARSHFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS William Abbott, author and mover of the new Plymouth, MA, outdoor-lighting ordinance, has faxed a copy of a newspaper article from the Patriot Ledger, dated 1997 May 6, that says that the Town Meeting members of the town of Marshfield unanimously approved an outdoor-lighting ordinance that limits the amount of light that commerical and industrial businesses can put onto the ground (8 footcandles is the new limit). A nearby Gulf gas station put 20 footcandles of light onto the ground --- a truly amazing amount of light. But this over-lighting problem can be seen all over New England and the United States, and more of this sort of legislation is definitely needed. OUTDOOR LIGHTING FOR SPORTS FACILITIES A company known as "Soft Lighting Systems" (Suite 15; 1840 130th Ave., NE; Bellevue, WA 98005-2228; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org) specializes in producing full-cutoff outdoor lighting to illuminate ball fields at night, and their color brochure shows some nice examples of their work with a couple of baseball fields. The company mounts numerous full-cutoff box luminaires on a single pole, and uses a mix of 1000-watt metal-halide and HPS lamps to get good illumination. They also have a World Wide Web site that is now listed on the NELPAG Web page (under "Links"). If you know of any possible lighting of ball fields in your area in the near future, get in touch with Christopher Fote or Brent Armstrong at Soft Lighting Systems. FULL-CUTOFF LIGHTING BENEFITS: TECHNICAL PAPER ON ROADWAY LIGHTING Carl Shaflik, an engineer in British Columbia (e-mail email@example.com), has kindly forwarded copies of his Technical Paper entitled "Light Pollution: Environmental Effects of Roadway Lighting". A copy of this has been prepared as IDA Information Sheet 125, and there is a link to this now on the NELPAG Web site (see http://www.darksky.org/ida/info125.html). His Figure 2 is a very useful diagram that shows the useful and "glare" lighting emitted by full-cutoff and dropdish streetlights; basically, the same amount of useful light reaches the same area on the ground beneath the lamps, but the dropdish lamp has so much wasted light. This figure is given below (in the printed edition of this Circular only, but it is available at the above Web URL), and it will make a useful diagram for talks or presenations to town/city or state government officials when urging them to adopt full-cutoff lights as standards for your locale. The point, of course, is that lower wattages can be used in the full-cutoff fixtures. Peter Talmage notes that full-cutoff luminaire heads are basically identical in cost to dropdish lamp heads; using LPS, HPS, or MH lamps at low wattage (25-100 watts) will give good quantities of light on the ground with relatively little glare and will cause large savings over current usage in streetlights in most areas. --- D.G. STATE POLICY IN ILLINOIS: FULL-CUTOFF STREETLIGHTS I have been informed by William M. Barbel of the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Schaumburg, that the IDOT has implemented a statewide policy of full-cutoff luminaires on all new and replacement streetlights on state and federal highways across the whole state of Illinois. Much of the metropolitan Chicago area has gone to full-cutoff HPS lamps in recent years, and this policy will continue. -- D.G. LIGHT TURN-OFF IN NEW JERSEY Peter Talmage faxed a page from the 1996 Aug. 19 issue of The New Yorker magazine, which discusses Governor Christine Whitman of New Jersey, who "turned off fifty-five hundred lights on streets, above highway signs, and at freeway interchanges throughout New Jersey. All in all, this last economy saves . . . four hundred and seventy thousand dollars a year . . ." Talmage adds that "maybe she should win an IDA award for sensibility". *********** 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).