Wednesday, September 24, 2008

shedding a little light: in case you were wondering

10,000 Little (micro) Ideas to Keep You Believing in Cleveland -- The prize-winning idea announced 11 days after the Galleria Gala event for 10,000 (((micro))) ideas has to do with improving lighting, and not many details of the suggestion appear. I wonder if improving lighting means reducing lighting, creating atmosphere, and conserving power?

We need to remember that automobiles, buses, and business establishments have their own lights, and street lighting is largely superfluous. At 3 in the morning, it's downright wasteful.

Tactically, the less artificial light there is at night, the safer we are. In the dark, you control your own domain.

A case in point: Since I took the overhead lighting, my own mercury-vapor streetlight, out of my back yard, I have had no further trouble with uninvited visitors. If I want to invite somebody, I'll turn the localized lighting on for them--the porch lights, the garage lights, the landscape lights. I don't use motion-sensor lighting because that, too, can be used by an intruder to his advantage, especially if you're not around.

Lights invite; they should be intentional, thoughtful, and voluntary. Businesses use lights to attract. Public lighting dilutes or negates that ambient effect.

I sincerely hope the prize-winning idea called for less, not more, in the way of the application of night-time lighting.

Bathing the streetscape with artificial night lighting merely sends the bad guys the message that we are afraid and makes it easier for the drug boys to make change.

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