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 neighbors security light was told to cut the neighbor some slack. Id 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 effectsort of Hey, bad guys! Look over here! Good stuff and the owners arent home! Much better for residential security, cheaper to buy, and cheaper to power are the motion sensor lights that come on when youor anyone elsepulls 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. Thats 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 cant 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 owners 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 Dads 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 wifes 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 cant 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 seasonif we could just see them! Please, those of you with security lights, cut me some slack. Ill show you the universe in exchange.