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Handouts and illustrations:
Lighting for Homeowners (70kB, pdf)
Principles affecting lighting design (340kb,pdf)
Replacing a perfectly good BAD light(120kb,pdf)
Billboard lighting (23kb,pdf)
It is possible to find night-sky friendly lights locally, and via mail order (e.g.Starry Night lights). A few are show here, and this section will grow as more source become apparent.


Starry Night lights



We all can make a difference by selecting light fixtures for our homes that 1) are controlled by motion sensors, 2) direct most of the light downwards, 3) use minimum wattage, or any combination of these qualities.

Many of us endure the unshielded lights provided by the builder or get new ones from a local home-improvement store like Lowes, Home Depot, or Do-It center. If you look at a wall of outdoor lights in one of these stores, you'll notice that most are decorative and lack any shielding (These same lights are also shown with low-wattage bulbs, which makes them much more presentable. Imagine them with 100-watt equivalent compact flourescent bulbs!). Though unshielded, many of the decorative lights mount the bulb in the top of the fixture (so the bulb hangs downward) and then can be fitted with an r20 bulb, resulting in most of the light being directed downwards.

The light shown above (available at Lowes) makes an excellent area floodlight for the following reasons: 1) your typical floodlight is not meant to have a specific decorative motif, 2) the fixture is full cutoff, even with the smaller compact flourescent bulbs, and 3) the inside of the hood can be painted with a light, highly reflective paint, so most of the light gets used. (Common floodlights easily waste half of the light they produce.)

Below is a one of these lights in action. This light illuminates the backyard very well. After installing these lights, the owner commented that he can actually see better in his backyard because of reduced glare.

If you must have a decorative light, consider the following: