Plants need darkness at night to grow. Light at night affects them poorly also.
We have to figure out the business disincentive to installing better quality light that stands in the way. Most cities that reduce glare and move to warmer color also reduce wattage. But this is a threat to the energy provider. With the energy savings of efficient lighting, it may be possible to flip the disincentive by sharing the financial benefit with energy companies…otherwise they will continue to fight moving to better quality lighting.
For private lighting, we need more models with strongly angled shields that allow the bulb to pointed partly outward. That might eliminate people using lighting incorrectly and creating high glare.
Lighting improves safety at night by letting people see. This allows them to avoid hazards, such as a person in a crosswalk, a stalled car, or an open manhole. So, we need lighting that accomplishes this goal. But street lights do not protect people from a criminal any more than moonlight protects a field mouse from an owl. Most crimes are crimes of opportunity, and illuminating things helps criminals identify those opportunities. I believe this is why studies trying to correlate crime with nocturnal lighting have consistently failed to do so.
To put it another way, if you were walking through a sketchy part of town, would you rather be visible or invisible? If you had a purse sitting on the kitchen counter, do you think it would be safer if it was visible through a window or or hidden in darkness?
Public safety is paramount, of course. What is being suggested here is not the removal of public lighting, but rather to refactor it into a form that is more efficient and 100% directed at the ground. Much of public lighting goes straight into the sky where it doesn’t help anybody be safer.
Motion detection is another refactoring that would probably help.
For reasons unclear to me, but I suspect there are various manipulations of the public psyche at work, issues of safety surface to explain the need for all kinds of interference in the ways people might otherwise live closer to their unique sense of well being. I am personally chafing at the closure of our National Park in Hawaii, based on safety concerns. Concerns that could be solved in large part with cones and road closures. The time honored way people everywhere protect each other from hazards. As for the light, we are unique in having very limited light pollution due to our telescopes on island. I feel very safe anywhere here. And I would prefer that no one step in and tell me I need their rules and lights and gates to protect me.
Might want to consider crime statistics & illumination somewhere here…
I live in St. Petersburg FL. if you want to see one of the worst light polluted places in North America all you have to do is look at a night picture of my location from ISS. It is really horrible. Ive sent messages to my city counsel and the Mayors office with suggestions and never get a reply. They just dont care.
I see your argument and I appreciate that when I go into rural areas and I can see the stars. But there’s also an element of public safety. Whether or not it directly effects crime, there are some studies that show it does nothing to deter crime, well-lit public spaces at night make people feel safer. Do you want to walk to your car in an unlit parking lot at night? Or a lit one? Perhaps there needs to be more motion detection added to lights in public spaces during times of less traffic. That way the light is only on when we need it.
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