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The furthest objects visible, quasars, have been detected 13 billion light years away.[1] After allowing for the metric expansion of space,[2] this puts the lower limit of the age of the universe at near 13 billion years.[3] The methods of measuring distances to the billions of light years are rather complicated, but there are direct measurements well beyond the limits of YEC, using only parallax. There are the measurements of the supernova SN1987A at about 168,000 light years, and the Gaia space mission should obtain many distances of objects up to about 30,000 light years.[4] Several different types of light sources exist, each having different properties that affect their appropriateness for certain tasks, particularly efficiency and spectral power distribution. It is often the case that inappropriate light sources have been selected for a task, either due to ignorance or because more sophisticated light sources were unavailable at the time of installation. Therefore, badly chosen light sources often contribute unnecessarily to light pollution and energy waste. By re-assessing and changing the light sources used, it is often possible to reduce energy use and pollutive effects while simultaneously greatly improving efficiency and visibility. What are your town’s lighting plans? Call your city or town hall today! You can also report your lighting problem by providing your account number and the ZIP Code associated with your account, then clicking Next. Only lights maintained by Transport for Bucks show on this map. Lights that do not show will either be maintained by the local parish or district, or if on a new road or estate, may not have been adopted by the Council. Sea turtle hatchlings emerging from nests on beaches are another casualty of light pollution. It is a common misconception that hatchling sea turtles are attracted to the moon. Rather, they find the ocean by moving away from the dark silhouette of dunes and their vegetation, a behavior with which artificial lights interfere.[67] The breeding activity and reproductive phenology of toads, however, are cued by moonlight.[68] Juvenile seabirds may also be disoriented by lights as they leave their nests and fly out to sea.[69][70][71] Amphibians and reptiles are also affected by light pollution. Introduced light sources during normally dark periods can disrupt levels of melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates photoperiodic physiology and behaviour. Some species of frogs and salamanders utilize a light-dependent “compass” to orient their migratory behaviour to breeding sites. Introduced light can also cause developmental irregularities, such as retinal damage, reduced sperm production, and genetic mutation.[53][72][73][58][74][75] Light pollution has emerged as the widely accepted term for the negative or adverse effects of artificial nighttime illumination (Hölker et al., 2010 Hölker, F., Moss, T., Griefahn, B., Kloas, W., Voigt, C., Henckel, D., … Tockner, K. (2010). The dark side of light: A transdisciplinary research agenda for light pollution policy. Ecology and Society, 15(4), 13.10.5751/ES-03685-150413[Crossref], [Web of Science ®] [Google Scholar]). A central assumption of this paper is that the concept of light pollution—due to its increasing usage within professional, academic, and popular discourse—will substantially shape decisions about how to illuminate cities in the twenty-first century. In this role, it will actively inform the conditions for morally acceptable and desirable artificial nighttime illumination. Thus, to a large extent the concept of light pollution helps to provide a framing that addresses our new problem. This, however, necessitates an evaluation of the concept’s usefulness—its strengths and limitations. Its increasing usage must be coupled with critical reflection, if it is to offer an effective framing for ongoing policy efforts. In Policy Paradox, Stone (2002 Stone, D. (2002). Policy paradox: The art of political decision making. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company Inc. [Google Scholar]) discusses the complex issue of defining problems within political discourse. It is never an objective statement, but rather a strategic representation from one point of view that will promote a certain course of action. While problem definitions can act as a ‘… vehicle for expressing moral values … there is no universal technical language of problem definition that yields morally correct answers’ (p. 134). Nonetheless, focusing on how a problem is defined can help us see the situation from multiple perspectives and identify assumptions about facts and values embedded therein (Stone, 2002 Stone, D. (2002). Policy paradox: The art of political decision making. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company Inc. [Google Scholar]). This can, in turn, help to strengthen the problem definition. If you notice a street light that is not operating properly, and it is not due to an emergency circumstance (i.e. flooding, downed power line, earthquake, etc.), please use the form below to report the problem. Our team of Customer Care Agents will respond to your email in the order received, Monday through Friday. Unexpected high volumes may result in a delayed response. In June 2016, it was estimated that one third of the world’s population could no longer see the Milky Way, including 80% of Americans and 60% of Europeans. Singapore was found to be the most light-polluted country in the world.[32][28] Inspection of the area surrounding Madrid reveals that the effects of light pollution caused by a single large conglomeration can be felt up to 100 km (62 mi) away from the center.[28] Global effects of light pollution are also made obvious. The entire area consisting of southern England, Netherlands, Belgium, west Germany, and northern France have a sky brightness of at least 2 to 4 times above normal (see above right). The only places in continental Europe where the sky can attain its natural darkness are in northern Scandinavia and in islands far from the continent. The problem with the last bulb is this; the dimmer switch itself needs to see a suitable load. i.e. it is happy working into a standard filament bulb. It’s driving all your lights in parallel, so whilst there is one regular bulb in there the dimmer is still happy. At the point you replace that last bulb with an LED lamp, the dimmer now sees only LED electronics as its load. The dimmer will not function properly (due to the way it works, it won’t fire correct) and the result is it sends occasional pulses to the lights in its confusion and you observe the flickering. In a large house there is a basement with three rooms. In the middle of each room is a light. There are no windows in any of the rooms and no light switches. We began with a problem (we have too much light at night) and a related question (how much artificial light at night is appropriate?). We now have the origins, context, and detailed definition in hand for the concept of light pollution. With this, we can return to the question of framing outlined in Section 2, and scrutinize the ethical significance of increasingly relying on light pollution for policy decision-making; we can assess the answer light pollution provides for our question. Increased regulation and alternative design approaches will be necessary to address the myriad of undesired effects uncovered in contemporary research. And, light pollution offers a framing to orient responses. Furthermore, in it’s broad understanding of causes and effects, light pollution accommodates a variety of interpretations, allowing for a multiplicity of regulatory and technical solutions. Dark sky ordinances and new laws already exist, which often include detailed technical specifications.99. Morgan-Taylor (2014 Morgan-Taylor, M. (2014). Regulating light pollution in Europe: Legal challenges and ways forward. In J. Meier, U. Hasenöhrl, K. Krause, & M. Pottharst (Eds.), Urban lighting, light pollution and society (pp. 159–176). New York, NY: Taylor & Francis. [Google Scholar]) provides a brief analysis of current regulatory efforts in Europe. France is cited as having perhaps the strongest law to date, which requires non-residential buildings to switch off exterior lights and window displays between 1am and 7am. Other examples cited include regions of Italy that have taken a technical approach, prohibited lights above a specific brightness to project above the horizontal. Additionally, an online appendix to the article by Kyba et al. (2014 Kyba, C., Hänel, A., & Hölker, F. (2014). Redefining efficiency for outdoor lighting. Energy & Environmental Science, 7, 1806–1809.10.1039/C4EE00566J[Crossref], [Web of Science ®] [Google Scholar]) lists all known regulations and ordinances that are currently in place, as well as their motivations and targets.View all notes However, it is pertinent to reflect on the framework in which these decisions were made, and to consider how light pollution will shape future initiatives. 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