Save Us from Light Pollution


Reader Greg Swisher wrote the following email about light pollution after reading our article about BlinkM LEDs by ThingM.

Letter to the Editor
Jameco,

I love your products, and I especially look forward to your fun and informative newsletter!

I must take issue, however, with you proposing to the general public that they light up the outside of their houses year-round with the BlinkM LED lights.

Light pollution is a becoming a big issue as its impact is now becoming understood in the scientific community. Light pollution has now been identified as having a negative impact on:
Wildlife biological patterns
Continued strain on electricity production, one of the leading causes of air pollution in the US
Human sleep patterns due to light trespass
Reduced night sky contrast for all ground based visible light science

I urge you to please consider your position as a globally responsible corporation and the reach that you have to your audience. I would expect you to urge your readers to light up their houses as much as I would expect you to urge them to remove their catalytic converters, play loud music outside all night long or pour gasoline into their local watershed.

I am thankful that my neighbors only light up their houses during December. At least with some education about their impact to their environment and neighbors they are now turning them off at a decent hour.

I am sure that there are other, more responsible uses for these lights which you could have proposed!

If you would like to research the impact of lighting in our environment further, I suggest a good starting point would be the International Dark Sky Association at www.darksky.org.

Thanks for allowing me this opportunity to communicate to you. I will definitely be looking at the BlinkM products for other uses. They should do a great job adding some cool effects to the centerpieces on the tables for an upcoming party we are hosting!

Best Regards,

Greg Swisher
San Jose, CA

February 2011