Bad Lighting in my Hometown

By request, I have removed the name of the town. Let's just say it's a small city in upstate New York.

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Outdoor lighting in my town leaves a lot to be desired. Most of the streetlighting consists of "pollution on a pole" (unshielded mercury vapor lamps). A flag on a pole in a city park is attempted to be lit by brilliant uplighting - unfortunately the uplighting has been poorly aimed and misses the flag (even if it were aimed at the flag, it would still be a very poor way to light a flag). A number of buildings have blinding lights mounted on the outside walls and aimed away from the building.

Below are photos of just a few examples of these shameful lighting practices.


This is a senior citizens home. The brilliant lights aimed away from the building are blinding to me. I can only begin to imagine how blinding they must be to the older people who live in this complex. To say nothing of their effect on their neighbors.


This house is directly across from the senior citizens home pictured to the left. As you can see, it is lit up as if it were daylight. How these people can sleep with all the light pouring into their windows is beyond me. Maybe they have blackout curtains?


This is another view of the senior citizens home, looking from the street across a lawn outside the building. Heaven forbid the grass should be in darkness.


This is the outside of the local elementary school. The purpose of this light shining out into the bus turn-around is a mystery. It certainly is of no help to the police who might want to keep an eye on the building exterior. At night, the sky over this school glows orange for blocks.


One of these lights is a stoplight, the others are streetlights. Which is which? No safety hazard here . . .
(Move your mouse over the image for the answer)

Ugly glare and light trespass


This is a typical street. A "pollution on a pole" (unshielded mercury vapor) fixture is in the foreground. Try driving down the street with these glare bombs shining in your face!


This is street I live on. I was able to convince the City to install Hubbell Sky-Caps on the three streetlights on this block. Note the substantially reduced glare compared to the photo to the left. It isn't perfect, but it is an improvement.

This is the sad view I have from my semi-rural backyard. A business about one-half mile away is ludicrously overlit. To add insult to injury, these lights shine through my back windows into my living room and bedroom.

Here are some very confused trees. This picture was taken in late November. Virtually every other tree in town away from streetlights had already lost their leaves. These trees, near the streetlight in the foreground, have apparently not realized that winter is upon them, and kept their leaves. This is very unhealthy for the trees.

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