Letter: Night lights that dim the heavens

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Sir: As reports of light trespass and nuisance cause such bodies as the Institution of Environmental Health Officers to express concern about 'light pollution', statements such as 'lights beat crime' (6 September) must be modified, if not challenged.

The trend in road lighting is a positive one; shielded types which do not pollute the night sky and waste energy by sending it where it is not needed are on the increase, and the Department of Transport has responded well to the astronomers' support of everybody's right to be able to see the stars if they wish.

There are many studies and experiments which suggest that lighting and crime levels are not related (Wandsworth, Crawley for example). It may well be that the fear of crime is reduced by lighting, and the British Astronomical Association has never urged owners of lights to switch them off; but until we get a proper policy in this country on 'the right amount of light and only where needed', uncontrolled 'Rottweiler lights' will continue to threaten our view of the heavens and create a garish and cluttered night-time environment.

Yours truly,


Campaign for Dark Skies

British Astronomical


London, W1