Parshields: Aiming floodlights for better lighting, efficiency

Aug 22

Written by:
8/22/2014 7:23 PM  RssIcon

Have you ever driven down the road at night, and had an oncoming driver be completely oblivious to the fact that they have their high bean headlights turned on? You flash at them, they ignore you... and so you squint, perhaps slow down, and look to the side of the road away from the lights, hoping you don't hit the approaching vehicle. 

And yet, in communities across the United States (and many across the world), we routinely put up with similar lighting situations. Lamp posts with lights that go every-which-way, porch lights that blast light everywhere including out into the street, and perhaps worst of all, floodlights that are mis-aimed and can actually blind drivers who are subjected to them.

Despite what some reactionaries say, dark sky advocates are not for the total and complete elimination of all night time lighting. But we do believe that, like those who play music too loudly, there is a reasonable amount of light to you on one's own property without it invading the space of others.

Compared these two photos; both of these shots were both taken at identical exposure, aperture and other camera settings. The first is a 90 watt, unshielded floodlight:

90 watt unshielded floodlightNow compare what floodlights aimed in the exact same location, but using HALF the wattage (45W bulbs) and with Parshields clipped onto them, look like in the same area:

Shielded floodlights for better night time lightingWhile there is a slightly smaller "hot spot" with the 45 watt bulbs, the light available to see is nearly identical. But what's even better is 1) the energy savings afforded by the shielded lights and 2) the fact that no one has to shield their EYES while walking anywhere in the line-of-sight of these floodlamps. They light the area intended, keep the light within the yard in which they are installed, and completely eliminate glare!

No one goes without light. And the reality is, there's nearly the same light available for HALF the energy use. 

So why aren't more people doing this? 

If you're interested in Parshield lights, check out their web presence at Neither I, nor Eyes on the Sky, has any financial connection to the owners or investors of these shields. My only interest is in darker skies, and I did purchase a set to use on the floodlights you see in the photos above. That is my only connection to the company.

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The Nightlight

This blog includes what to see in the night and daytime skies, thoughts on telescopes, binoculars, and other astronomy observing accessories and equipment, plus my own occasional notes on objects I've seen and observed. Oh, and the random theater or other "my take on life" post. In other words, there is always something interesting. Check it out.