Home Security Lights

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Adam's Apple, Nov 30, 2004.

  1. Adam's Apple

    Adam's Apple Senior Member

    Apr 25, 2004
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    People With Security Lights Should “Cut Some Slack”
    By John Tilford, Herald-Times
    November 30, 2004

    A recent response to the Greene Countian who was concerned about light pollution from a neighbor’s security light was told to “cut the neighbor some slack.” I’d request that folks with security lights cut their neighbors some slack.

    So-called “security lights” have never been proven to have any positive effect on security. Residential lights without visual monitoring are useless for security. In some cases they have the opposite effect—sort of “Hey, bad guys! Look over here! Good stuff and the owners aren’t home!”

    Much better for residential security, cheaper to buy, and cheaper to power are the motion sensor lights that come on when you—or anyone else—pulls up to your home. A person we trusted to watch over our vacant home during our first post 9/11 outing described how vehicles would sometimes pull into our drive late at night, only to quickly drive away after the motion sensor light came on.

    Security lights waste electricity for no benefit for the majority of time they are on. Not too many farmers milk their cows at 2 a.m. That’s why the electric companies push security lights so hard. Electrical consumption (read: waste) during non-peak hours is good for their bottom line; they make more money. These lights are direct-wired to transformers, so the customer can’t turn them off, even if they want to.

    Some communities, cities, and even counties have lighting ordinances that limit sky pollution. Review URL www.darksky.org. That Web site also provides compromise solutions if neighbors insist on having security lights. Reasonably priced hoods are available to reflect light back down toward the owner’s property that would otherwise leak up toward the sky or glare sideways. The light paid for and energy used to light up the sky and the neighbors’ properties are obviously wasted.

    By the time my father passed away a few years ago, there was no place on his 40-acre farm for me to use a telescope. Seven surrounding “security” lights were visible from the most isolated place on Dad’s farm.

    Consider the passenger who gets on a bus with a “boom box” on max volume. He is intruding on the other passengers with noise pollution. We have local noise ordinances, but not light pollution ordinances.

    My wife’s 90-year old grandmother asked me, “John, what happened to all the stars I used to see? Where did they go?” The stars are still there; we just can’t see the myriad of faint ones anymore. Most of the people under 20 years of age in the U.S. have never seen the Milky Way. Light polluters have, unknowingly, taken the night sky from our heritage. The heavens (would) declare the glory of God this Christmas season—if we could just see them! Please, those of you with security lights, cut me some slack. I’ll show you the universe in exchange.

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