Dark Sky Initiative

A Bright Solution to Light Pollution

Starry Bedroom


Last changed.  Saturday, 08-01-15

What follows is an anecdote that explains why attempts by the dark sky orgs and astromagazines to lessen light pollution will not work!  The story’s setting is an imaginary bedroom with a dark and starry sky overhead. 

IMAGINE your totally darkened bedroom at night, windows fully-shaded, no lights on, a ceiling full of glow-in-the-dark, stick-on stars.

Starry BedroomLie down. Look up. The stars are beautiful, aren’t they?  Your bedroom’s dark, really dark!

Just relax, pull up the covers, look up and see the dark night sky ablaze with stars as you slowly drift off to sleep – a silent, restful, gentle sleep – the kind of sleep no drug could create, a natural sleep you’ve been dreaming about for years, but could not hope to know with all those nasty, bright lights shining through the window shades filling your bedroom.

Alright, now turn on a very small, dark sky friendly, bedside night light.


Is the ceiling still dark or slightly alight? Have a few stars vanished?

Now, turn on another bedside lamp, one with a dark sky org “Fixture Seal of Approval  (FSA).”  Yikes! There’s more light on the bed ‘n floor (buildings / ground outside), and more light on the ceiling (sky), too.  More stars vanish!

Now, turn on a third lamp, an “Authorized” dark sky org floor lamp, with new-fangled nonblue LEDs. More light on the “ground,” but also more light on the “sky” and… fewer stars.

Enlighten a fourth lamp, a dark sky org “Certified” lamp, fully focused on the floor, keeping its light where it belongs.  More light on the “ground,” but, woefully, more light on the sky, too! DRATS!  Fewer stars!

Finally, turn on the last two approved, accredited dark sky org lamps, and Voila! the room’s just littered with light! The stick-on stars?  Extinct!  Drowned in a flood of dark sky org, night sky friendly, FSA, lamp-light pollution!

THE END!    

And remember, all six of those lights are dark sky friendly, FCOL (full cut-off lights), FSA, with great BUG (backlight, uplight, glare) ratings and the newest most proper amber-colored LEDs, all of which support and sustain the dark sky org promoted MLO, Model Lighting Ordinance!

Get it, astronomers? Do you get it?  Do you?  WELL, DO YOU?

If, indeed, you do get it, why won’t you stand up, speak out, and do something about it?

Kill the MLO, BUG, FCOL, FSA, and move on to something that works!

RocketScienceEquationsPoint-blank: why can’t dark sky orgs and astromagazines get this? It’s not rocket science and I know rocket science. I built and launched dozens of them in my late teens, real rockets, not Estes rockets!  Watch the movie, October Sky, and enjoy.

The dark sky orgs forged alliances with the lighting industry, whose members sit on their Bored of Dictators (Board of Directors). Isn’t the lighting industry’s goal to sell more lights?

And the astromagazines continue their hard-core, shock ‘n awe, annual assault on light pollution with the same old tired, lame, obligatory light pollution article(s) repeating the same excuses and suggestions.


NOTHING!  Nothing the old guard, intransigent, stiff-necked, refractory dark sky orgs / astromagazines have done for 25 years has accomplished a noticeable reduction of light pollution. Instead, there’s now more light pollution than ever erasing starlight above!

JackHammeringThat’s why I Jack Hammer!

Again, I’ll paraphrase Derrick Jensen: your bathtub (your sky) is rapidly rising to the brim with water (light pollution).  It’s just a-flowin’ and a-gushin’ outta the faucet, and the drain is stoppered, stoppled, corked and plugged. What do you do? What-DO-you-do?  Do you grab the nearest tiny cup and bail the water into the sink?  Or, grab an eye-dropper and drip-drop the water into the toilet?

Both solutions to light pollution are hallmark strategies of the dark sky orgs and astromagazines.

If you’re not a dim-bulb (Ouch! You’re not, are ya?) you’ll simply reach over and turn off the faucet and unplug the drain!  In short, adopt NLO, Nature’s Lighting Ordinance!  You’ll incite a Moonlight Revolution where you live as described in more detail here and here.  NLO!  MAKE IT SO!

Demanding less, doing less, is the epitome, the apogee of hypocrisy!

The dark sky orgs / astromags have it bass akward: more lights equal less starlight AND SLEEP! The legacy of 25 years of the same old blah, blah, blah, one-dimensional, linear thinking, from your friendly, fund-raising, bureaucratic, hierarchical, dark sky orgs and buttoned-down, stiff and stuffy, straight-arrow, strait-laced, unimaginative, orthodoxy in glossy, ad-riddled, profit-driven astromagazines beholden to advertisers and the corporate bottom-line.

Nature’s Lighting Ordinance!  NLO!  Make it so!


Next Hammering Topic: Lights ‘n Security