Here in Chester County (halfway btw Philly and Lancaster) subdivisions and lifestyle centers dot (or have totally taken over) what was once rural farmland and Civil War battlefields. Traveling by car from less to more developed areas you can sometimes see what I call a ‘dome’ of light or glow over these communities and centers. Dark night sky is hard to come by around here anymore as it probably is in other similar communities around the country that have quickly developed in the last several years.
I think residential exterior lighting has become just another tool people use ‘to keep up with the Joneses’ sometimes. "My house is bigger than yours" is now "My house is brighter than yours". You can always pick out the model home in a new development because there are two dozen spot lights highlighting every wall and window on the front of the house making it a beacon or lighthouse for the entire neighborhood. And I guess the subsequent homeowners just follow suit. No one really thinks about how much electricity they are using for their 100 strands of lights at Christmas or how their spotlights are contributing to light pollution.
At my day job, we try to make our clients aware of this as they tend to want to over-light their brand new house so they can shock and awe their friends and family when they come for drinks. And I’ve started doing some internet shopping for a new sconce on the front of our new-to-us house and came across Starry Night Lights and their selection of Dark Sky Friendly Lighting.
They have a number of styles to choose from as well as finishes. They even carry Turtle-friendly lighting!
Just a little way that we can all be more environmentally aware.
(all photos are from Starry Night Lights)