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Guest HykehamObservatory

Letter to my M.P.

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Guest HykehamObservatory

I have finally had enough of new business lights near my home and have decided to write to my M.P. (see below). I can't see any way of getting outside lighting reduced without extra legislation.


 


If anyone wants to send a copy to their M.P. please feel free. The more M.P.s that get a copy, the more chance that one of them will do something about outside lighting.


 


Phil


 


 


Why do we deliberately light the clouds?


I am an astronomer living in North Hykeham near the Lincoln boundary. Over the last few years my orange clouds have been replaced by white ones and the sky is never dark at night.  A drive around the area on a misty night suggests that most business lights are now being fitted to deliberately point horizontally so that a third of the light points upwards at the sky. Each light uses more electricity than I do powering my home. Isn’t it the ground we are supposed to be lighting? The lights in question use 1000watts of electricity but are only 1% efficient. The remainder is heat. We are turning on vast numbers of electric fires outside and leaving them on all night.


At a time when the UK is struggling to achieve carbon reduction targets, why are we still using such large amounts of electricity to light the clouds?


We are also struggling with energy security as old power stations are closed down. New ones take many years to build. This waste of energy could be reduced in a couple of months, increasing spare energy capacity this winter, simply by changing the lights to more modern efficient ones that only point down.


All that is needed is to extend the use of energy efficient bulbs from inside the home to outside as well. These 1000 watt lights could easily be changed to 150 watt 3% efficient lights and aimed straight down. This would save over 3000 units of electricity and reduce carbon emissions by 3 tonnes a year per light. About 5% of all generated electricity could be saved this way. I know Lincoln City Council have been installing these lights for over ten years.


In my opinion the government should consider a thorough review of outside energy use. Modern security cameras can get a good image using a 60 watt streetlight. You don’t need vast amounts of light for security. Also, why are car parks fully lit when they are closed?


I am asking for new legislation to force ALL outside lights to point straight down -the Clean Neighbourhood Act 2005 doesn’t do this. Only then will the UK stop wasting enormous amounts of outside energy on lighting that goes nowhere near the ground. I believe this could cut night time electricity use by at least 10MW across this constituency alone. How many more people could the business community employ by the savings in their electricity cost?


Can you please help me and all the constituency astronomers get our dark sky back and save the country from winter blackouts?


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Bino-viewer

Good for you Phil, and the best of luck.


 


I work for East Mids Trains and am in and out of Lincoln regularly.


As you say, the amount of poorly designed lighting is very noticeable.


Hope you can get something done.


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Guest HykehamObservatory

Thank you for your support, but personally I don't think that one letter to one M.P. will make much difference to light pollution. It would probably take a few letters on the same subject to every M.P in the EMS region before the government realise that tackling light pollution would increase spare electrical generating capacity.


 


Lets hope for a very cold winter and blackouts. (My scope runs on batteries).


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Tweedledee
Thank you for your support, but personally I don't think that one letter to one M.P. will make much difference to light pollution. It would probably take a few letters on the same subject to every M.P in the EMS region before the government realise that tackling light pollution would increase spare electrical generating capacity.

 

Lets hope for a very cold winter and blackouts. (My scope runs on batteries).

Well, I'm going to adapt it for my MP. :thumbsup:

A forum like EMS and SGL could make a difference if enough people get the powers that be talking about it.

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BAZ

This might well be worth a go.


If every active member of the forum did this, it may get someones attention. At the end of the day, they need our votes! 


 


I'll do it when I get a moment.


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Sunny Phil

Unfortunately, my last MP didn't keep his seat. He actually responded to my e-mails on a variety of subjects. Having said that, there are a handful of MPs, not all of the same party that listen to the people who voted them in.


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Guest HykehamObservatory

I had a nice reply from the Minister saying that he is sorry to read that I am experiencing problems with light pollution. The Government understands that LP poses a number of social, economic and environmental problems and is taking action in this area. The remainder of the letter is about LP in the National Planning Policy Framework and management of street lighting.


 


So I have responded asking about existing lights not under council control.


 


My hope was that enough EMS members felt strongly enough about LP to cover most M.P's in the area, in the hope that one or two of them would take up the cause.


 


Anyone with a telescope live in the Ministers constituency of Penrith?


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