Thursday, June 30, 2022

Saving Money on Outdoor Lighting – Aiming For the Ozark Passes Dark Sky Ordinance4 min read

street lamp
street lamp (Click here for original source image)

The Ozark Mountains of western Oklahoma has long been the site of some of the country’s best wildflower and garden spots.

For many years, the area was almost bereft of any visible light pollution. As the late Pat Roemer pointed out back in the ’60s, there were few if any streetlights, other than the ones that dot the outskirts of town. Yet, in the last decade, as the “light pollution” problem has worsened, the once-vibrant region has become a much dimmer place to live. The only bright spot in town was the “night sky,” which is where many pilots flying low over Ozark prefer to circle.

But that was then and this is now. Recently, residents of Ozark decided they had enough and began looking for a way to bring back the natural lighting. And why not? This is a region where the annual average temperature is around seventy-five degrees year-round. And yet, when the sun goes down, nighttime temperatures dip as low as fifteen degrees. Even during daytime, those living here have a choice as to how much light they want.

There are no ordinances governing light pollution because it isn’t a problem in Ozark. The area is under the control of the City of Ozark, and the only law they have is that all lights must remain on. Although some business owners have started putting down lights to make the appearance of darkness more apparent, these practices do not conform to city code.

But that’s just the law according to the recently passed Ozark Pass Dark Sky Initiative. The initiative is part of the broader campaign to eliminate light pollution that is sweeping across the globe. The effort is a part of the “Starlight Minutes” campaign, an international effort to promote awareness of the need to reduce excessive light pollution during the nights. The aim is not just to create a safer environment for nighttime outdoor glazing, but also to ensure that the starry skies are more welcoming at night. Just ask the man or woman who owns the beautiful Ozark Mountain House.

The Ozark Mountain House is located right next to a busy road in downtown Ozark, Arkansas. And just down the road from it is the Saline River Watershed State Park, where the owner hopes to see more visitors come through to take in the sights and sounds of their natural surroundings. But even during the day, that is no excuse to let light pollution into his home. Because in the dead of the night, when it starts getting dark, all the lighting from the streetlights and lamps shining on him and the rest of his family are just too much.

He has tried using lower powered LED lights but the effect is never really very subtle. And because LED lights do not produce harmful UV or visible light, they will not interfere with the natural colors of the nighttime sky. He is trying to limit his lighting to daylight hours so he can keep the daytime starlight pollution out of his bedroom at night. That is when he discovered about the wonderful little solar lights that were being sold recently by Solar Daylight. A breakthrough in technology, these solar powered torches are designed to fill the needs of a light during the nighttime.

By placing a solar torch in front of each window in the Ozark Mountains house, he has already minimized his light pollution. He will be able to sleep better and see better without the glaring of the daytime light shining in his face. So while he is enjoying his favorite book at night, he won’t be interrupted by the daytime light shining through the windows. He has fully embraced his “nighttime outdoors” freedom and it has only made him happier.

There are many other homeowners in and around Ozark who have successfully embraced the saying, “let nature be your light”. They have replaced their traditional lights with these low-cost, high-quality solar units that let the sunlight shine through during the night hours and then convert into energy to power their lighting fixtures. You can also enjoy your favorite book and TV shows free of light pollution. Find the Ozark Trees store online to see all of the different styles of solar torches available for purchase. You don’t have to be afraid of the dark any longer.

Provided by Antonio Westley

Disclaimer: This article is meant to be seen as an overview of this subject and not a reflection of viewpoints or opinions as nothing is definitive. So, make sure to do your research and feel free to use this information at your own discretion.

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