Reducing light pollution

Our council has been replacing the street lamps around the area for a few years now, and last week they’ve done our village.  One of my neighbours commented how much taller they were than the old lights and he was worried it was going to make a lot more light pollution.  I didn’t think that would be the case as the general trend for councils has been to save millions of pounds worth of electricity by installing lower wattage, halogen or LED lights that focused their light downwards to the street below.  So I wondered how it would all look when finished.

Last night they were on for the first time (that I had noticed, anyway).  And I was impressed not only by the lower level of glare from the house, looking at the one of the road, but the general lower light levels around as well.  I think that the street will be fine, both for walking and driving, but usually the front of our house is bathed in an orange glow from the neon, now it seems really quite dark.  The light reflects on the river nearest it, but not on the river nearest me, so the directional qualities must be very good.  The only drawback is that I doubt whether I’ll be able to see the silhouette of the heron on the weir, still fishing at 11 pm on a January night, like I have in the past.  I also wonder whether it’ll affect the bats and the moths around the bridge.  Sounds like I’d better get my bat detector out and go and see.  It’ll be good for my star-gazing, that’s for sure.

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