Lighting in Aiken, SC

How do your lights shine in the CSRA?

Do these lights Are these lights
1. shine up causing sky glow? 1. shielded?
2. glare into your face? 2. recessed?
3. point at an angle, or shine >45° above horizontal? 3. pointed down?
4. shine brighter than is necessary? 4. lowest reasonable power?
5. contain mercury vapor? 5. HPS=High Pressure Sodium?
6. stay on all night? 6. cut off after 10 pm ?
All these qualities cause bad lighting. All these qualities provide good lighting.

Check your neighborhood / community, and send us photos with your comments.


Location: Cedar Creek Golf Club Parking Lot 1.
Comment: One of the best types of outdoor lamps. All light is efficiently directed downward to the area targeted for lighting due to the full shielding of the recessed lamp fixture. Only a fraction of the remaining unabsorbed defused light from the ground is reflected skyward.

Location: Laurens Street, Aiken, SC 2.
Comment: Although this type of lamp may be the most fashionable and popular, it is one of the least efficient and worst light polluters. A majority of the generated light is not directed downward but outward and skyward. It also produces glare and light trespass.
We now know that this same acorn shape is also available with a shielded and recessed fixture. That would be better.

Location: Main Street, New Ellenton, SC 3.
Comment: This non-recessed lamp type generates a share of light downward, but has been turned outward. It shines above the 45° angle and some portion skyward. It contributes to light trespass, glare and sky glow light pollution.
This lamp could be improved by turning it downward, adding a shield around the sides, and turning it off after 10-11 PM.

Location: Cedar Creek Church Parking Lot, Banks Mill Road, Aiken, SC 4.
Comment: The entire parking lot is populated with these global lamps. They have no light shields and are very inefficient. Over 50% of the emitted light from these lamps go upward into the night sky. The remaining light is directed outward horizontally and downward. The glare and resulting shadows probably cause more of a safety hazard than the lamp was intended to prevent.
This lamp would probably be difficult to improve, and should be replaced with a recessed, shielded lamp that points down and is turned off after hours. Photocells with timers that allow flood lights to go on at dusk and off after use or by 11 PM and Sensor activated lighting are encouraged.

Location: Whiskey Road facing north, near Aiken Lighting 5.
Comment: Let us try never to “Light Up Your Life”, as suggested by the billboard pictured on the right, with the global style street lights pictured on the left. Their glare is a real hazard to drivers and pedestrians.
That billboard has bright lights shining straight up. No lights or lights shining down from over it would help.

Location: Cedar Creek Community, Aiken, SC 6.
Comment: 2006 If you don’t speak up now, the streets of the entire community will soon be populated with this style of street lamp. Even though this style of lamp is not the worst, it could certainly be improved with similar style lamps which are better at minimizing glare, wasted light and light pollution, with timers and sensors. Contracts committing to their installation have been in place for months; installation has already begun.
If you live here, see what you can do to improve the rest, and plan to retire these later. What about your community?


Many owners are uninformed and unaware that the lights on their property have unintended and far reaching consequences.

Local government is responsible for providing laws that encourage and result in a night friendly community, and for encouraging the education of suppliers and the public through school programs and enforcement.

Architects, builders, contractors, suppliers and retailers are responsible for educating property owners and buyers, for educating their clients, and for providing them with a selection of night friendly lighting and procedures.

Educate yourself, and provide or ask for night friendly products.
Use them wisely, or just turn them off.

Go to Better Lights for Dark Skies for a quick comparison chart.

Go to ACA Darkskies to educate yourself and see more examples of night friendly products.

Thank you for visiting. Please come back!

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