CfDS Achievements

Please inform us of any more successes you have heard of which should be added to this list!

  • Media interest
    The media, who often consult CfDS on matters involving lighting and the environment, have a continuing interest in the subject of light pollution.

  • Galloway Forest Dark Sky Reserve, W. Scotland. The CfDS is proud to be associated with the establishment of this, western Europe's first dedicated dark-sky preserve (see this webpage).

  • Skybeams in the UK are now subject to council permission under advertising regulations, and cannot be used without this permission - a direct result of CfDS intervention.

  • University of Bath
    In Bath, CfDS officers worked closely with the local council to persuade them that the relighting of the Bath University campus be carried out in compliance with ILE Zone 1 recommendations (i.e. zero upward light). For years, local sports lighting has made the site the source of the worst local light pollution. The continued awareness and intervention of active local officers has led to improved sky visibility and more comfortable terrestrial nightscapes in many urban areas of the UK - individuals can and do make a difference.

  • Leicester City Council Adoption of Local Plan
    Through encouragement from the Leicester CfDS officers, the Leicester City Council's local plan (enforced in 2004) has the following light pollution clauses that will be applied before planning permission will be given to a development:
    "Planning permission for all major new developments will only be given where it can be shown to: - minimise the consumption of energy"
    "the following factors...will be taken into account: a) noise, light, vibrations, smell and air pollution"
    "Outside lighting... light pollution is minimised through good design, orientation and location; "; "When designing lighting schemes, particular attention should be given to the visibility of the night sky."

  • Great Glen Bypass & Other Highways
    The Highway agency has been encouraged to install sky-friendly lighting on all new trunk roads, and lighting on the Great Glen Bypass uses full cut-off lighting, as suggested by CfDS officers.

  • Local Plans with planning rules to limit Light Pollution
    The following is a list of all those councils in the UK that now have controls in their local plans to limit light pollution:
    Liverpool  CC
    Knowsley BC
    Bridgend BC
    Rutland County Council
    Harborough District Council.
    Blaby District Council
    Leicester City Council
    Highland Regional Council
    Bath & North East Somerset
    Walsall MBC
    Staffs County Council.
    Lichfield DC 
    Hampshire CC
    Portsmouth City
    East Hampshire DC
    Malvern Hills District Council
    East Dorset District Council
    Poole Borough C
    Bournemouth Borough Council
    Epsom and Ewell Local Plan
    Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council
    Swale Borough
    Kings Lynn and West Norfolk
    Canterbury City C
  • The favourable reaction of the Institution of Lighting Engineers to our approaches, culminating in the issuing of the influential I.L.E. "Guidance Notes for the Reduction of Light Pollution"

  • The heightened awareness of the problem among lighting engineers and companies involved in the design and manufacture of outdoor lighting.

  • Collaboration with the National Remote Sensing Centre, Farnborough, to produce and publicise the first large-scale satellite image of Britain's night time energy wastage.

  • Continuing representation on the British Standards Institution's technical lighting panel revising BS5489.

  • The continuing interest in the subject of light pollution in the media, who often consult CfDS on matters involving lighting and the environment.

  • The positive responses of the Transport Department (DTLR) and the Highways Agency, who have issued guidelines on sensitive road lighting and now install "sky-friendly" lighting on all new trunk road schemes.

  • Collaboration with the Campaign to Protect Rural England to produce the leaflet "Starry Starry Night", bringing the subject of rural light-pollution to non-astronomers. CfDS also contributed to the widely publicised CPRE "Night Blight" campaign.

  • The publication of the handbook "Blinded by the Light", available from CfDS.

  • The agreement by various large retailers to adopt down-lighting policies outside their stores.

  • The report of the Parliamentary Science and Technology Select Committee used evidence by CfDS and many other astronomical bodies to condemn Government inaction on light pollution.

  • The report of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, "Artificial Lighting and the Environment", issued in December 2009, which echoed many of the concerns and demands of the CfDS.

Overseas Success

  • Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano signed the "good" outdoor lighting bill into law on Monday, May 12, 2003. The law requires the full shielding of outdoor lighting fixtures for buildings and associated grounds and parking lots owned by the state or cities with a population over 50,000. It also requires energy efficiency for lighting systems for those facilities.
    The bill, which will become effective 90 days after the current Regular Session ends, was the product of collaboration between astronomers, dark skies advocates, neighborhood and environmental groups, state agencies, and the League of Arizona Cities and Towns. Sen. Gabrielle Giffords was the lead sponsor and was instrumental in ushering the bill through the whole process. This state law is a major improvement over an earlier one passed nearly 20 years ago.

  • In Calgary, Canada, they are now in the process of replacing all the existing streetlights with new EnviroSmart (full cut-off) streetlights. The new lights will increase illumination levels on the ground below by so much that they can half the wattage of the bulbs - and so the new light fittings will save the city $2 million a year! You might think that using lower powered bulbs would resulting in darker streets, but since the new light fittings ensure that 100% of the light produced is directed towards the streets and that no light is wasted, the night-time brightness of the streets will remain the same. The cost of replacing all these streetlights will be recouped within 6 years.
    Also, the reduction in energy consumption will reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal fired power stations by over 300kg per streetlight per year!. Take a look at their website!

  • The Czech republic recently passed a "Clean Atmosphere" law including the prevention of light pollution.

    "In June 2002 the Czech Republic introduced the Protection of the Atmosphere Act, defining light pollution as 'every form of artificial light which is dispersed outside the areas it is dedicated to, particularly if directed above the level of the horizon. Citizens are now obliged to "take measures to prevent the occurrence of light pollution in the air' or face fines of up to 2,800. Authorities are now required to use fully shielded lights to control the spread of light, and use flat rather than curved glass to prevent light dispersing upwards and sideways. Advertising billboards will have to be lit from above, with their lights pointing downwards. 'Fully shielded light fixtures not only help preserve the beauty of the starry sky, but they also illuminate more efficiently and allow people to see better at night".

  • Other countries and regions with legal controls on inefficient lighting (light pollution) include Slovenia, Liechtenstein, and Lombardy.

  • Flagstaff in Arizona, USA, is the world's first international dark sky city, due to its exceptional commitment and success in making sure stars are visible in the skies above the city.

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