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Brighten the Stars over Birmingham with Dark Sky Lighting.

Brighten the Stars over Birmingham with Dark Sky Lighting.Living in Birmingham, all our lives the night has been artificially lit by street lamps and blazing bright lights from every parking lot. Of course, it helps us see after the Sun goes down, but there are many cons that outweigh the pros when it comes to lighting and the night. As people go about their lives they have forgotten to look up, mostly because for them; there is nothing to see. For thousands upon thousands of years all around the world, humankind has enjoyed the bright glow from over 400 billion other suns every night without fail. It's only within the last 100 or so years that we've suddenly lost sight of those incredible stellar objects because of light pollution.

For the entire history of man we have used the light of the stars to calculate when to plant crops, for navigation, even to figure out our place in the Universe. Today's technology does everything for us, which of course is a good thing, but in turn, we have lost something very precious; our night sky.

Light pollution doesn't only block out starlight; it also affects the health of every creature on Earth, including humans. Every living thing needs a stark difference between daylight and night time to have a healthy circadian rhythm. We are all tuned to our planet's 24-hour cycle of day and night and have depended on it for our survival for the history of our species. When we mess up that natural rhythm, we mess up the health of every Earthling.

The International Dark Sky Association warns " Wildlife and fish experience this same disorientation of time when there is too much artificial light at night. Behaviors governing mating, migration, sleep, and looking for food are determined by the length of nighttime. Light pollution negatively disrupts these age-old patterns.

dark sky lightingAn estimated 30% of street lighting is wasted light; defined as light that shines up into the sky where it does no good. Based on this number, it is estimated that in the United States alone 22,000 gigawatt-hours a year are wasted. At a conservative average of $.10 per kilowatt-hour, the cost of that wasted energy is $2.2 billion a year – enough to annually fund a new mission to Mars. In other terms, 3.6 tons of coal or 12.9 million barrels of oil are wasted every year to produce this lost light."

So what can we do to un-do the light pollution pouring in from all directions? The answer isn't a quick fix, but if one person at a time makes the change, then we will all start to notice a difference. Just like recycling and solar panels are slowly making a positive difference, so will making these very simple changes.

The answer is "Dark Sky Approved Lighting". Think of it as putting a lampshade on all of your outdoor lights. Conventional outdoor lights shine their light everywhere, especially into the sky where it isn't needed. Why waste energy by shining a light where you don't need it? By changing your light fixtures around your home to ones that direct light to the ground you can make an enormous impact on fighting light pollution.

There other ways to combat light pollution in your area such as:

  • Turn off lights when not needed
  • Shield and lower the wattage for outdoor lights on homes and businesses.
  • Use dimmers, timers, and sensors to shut off lights hen not being used
  • Replace existing fixtures with IDA-approved 'Fixture Seal of Approval' fixtures at your local stores (Lowe's has recently started carrying a wide variety of affordable, IDA-approved, dark sky friendly lighting)" light pollution, dark sky, Birmingham Alabama

If we all do our small part, we can again enjoy the beautiful night sky over Birmingham and the surrounding areas. John's Electric looks forward to working with you to combat light pollution. Contact us today to begin your journey with better lighting.

For more information on light pollution and dark sky lighting, visit our friends at Stellar Eyes

Photo credit: Brian Drourr 

Image credits: International Dark Sky Association 

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About John's Electric

Linn Park Fountain, Birmingham, AL

John's Electric Inc. is a family owned and operated electrical contractor business that proudly provides electrician services in Birmingham, AL and the surrounding areas such as Hoover, Homewood, Chelsea, Vestavia Hills, Pelham, Alabaster, Trussville, and Mountain Brook. John's Electric provides residential and commercial electrical solutions at competitive rates. We have been in this line of work for 30 years, giving us not only experience but expertise as well. You can depend on us. We are a state licensed electrician (#03875) for your protection.

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What others say about John's Electric Service

Very pleased with John's. Free estimate, on time, quality work. Also very happy to show me electrical contractor's license and other credentials when I asked to see them. Would definitely recommend!

Clare J.
Yellow Pages

Aubrey upgraded our electrical fuse panel, put in an updated outside service panel, replaced the main service line from the outside panel to the inside fuse box, and installed several outlets. His original estimate was complete and accurate. He brought our electrical system up to code and made several recommendations for changes and upgrades that we had not thought of. He worked with our schedule, was on time and very professional, and left our home as clean as when he arrived. He was extremely conscientious and reliable. We very highly recommend John's Electric and will definitely use them again.

Debbie S. Dumas
Yellow Pages

I was very satisfied with the service. I drilled a hole in my main service line on a holiday, and they had me up and running the same afternoon. Thanks!!

Yellow Pages

Aubrey and Jeremy were awesome! I have an old house with old wiring and needed to install a new Range and above Range Microwave. They worked very hard to run new wiring to the breaker box in the basement, installed new plugs, and installed the appliances with great care.

Steven T.