We all know the stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas. But keeping the night skies dark so we can continue to enjoy the stars requires some extra effort and mindfulness.
Outdoor lighting has important applications, such as keeping our outdoor spaces safe and usable at night. But it can easily result in wasted energy that creates sky glow, dimming the starry night sky for everyone. This light, and the electricity used to create it, is wasted when it spills into the sky instead of onto the objects it is intended to illuminate.
The inappropriate or excessive use of artificial light at night can scatter diffused light into the atmosphere, causing sky glow and making it harder to see the stars at night. Common sources include exterior and interior building lighting, advertising, commercial properties, offices, factories, and streetlights.
According to the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), improper outdoor lighting is responsible for massive electricity overuse. IDA estimates that at least 30% of all outdoor lighting in the U.S. is wasted, mostly by lights that aren’t shielded. That’s a total cost of $3.3 billion each year – enough wasted electricity to power New York City for two years!
Read more from the Pedernales Electric Company here.