Brickbat: Seeing the Light


Patio lights
Ampack /

Officials in Asheville, North Carolina, are threatening restaurant and beer pub owners with fines if they don't get rid of lights on their patios. A city ordinance aimed at reducing light pollution bars strings of lights with lamps more powerful than 15 lumens as well as individual bulbs visible from a property's boundary.

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  1. “The bulbs on Israel’s bistro lights are 7 watts each, right at, or just exceeding, the [15] lumen maximum.”

    That would be 2lm/watt. Straight-up fire is 1lm/watt, so his bulbs are way brighter, maybe 100-140lm/each, which seems about right for functional patio lighting. 15 lumens is closer to Christmas light bulbs.

    Damn Big Astronomy lobby!

    1. Damn Big Astronomy lobby!

      And in Asheville, NC too. Why is “Big Astronomy” so powerful there? That’s just weird. Are there any big telescopes there or something?


  3. No one needs more than 15 lumens.

    1. True. Dexter did fine with just one.

      1. I like to keep a stable of spare Lumens just in case.

  4. Stick the word “pollution” next to “light” and all of a sudden it becomes something bad. I, for one, am sick and tired of regulation pollution.

    1. And politician pollution.

      1. And legislation pollution which results in law enforcement pollution.

  5. Why not ban astronomy clubs instead?
    Why don’t the restaurants get together and pack the city council with workers who will get laid off if the patios become unusable?
    Why not get restaurant workers to picket the astronomy club meetings?

    1. Why don’t the restaurants get together and pack the city council with workers who will get laid off if the patios become unusable?
      Why not get restaurant workers to picket the astronomy club meetings?

      Because they’re not woke teenagers or public sector union workers, so no one will give a damn if they do.

      1. Well, OK, those are good reasons.

  6. If a city wants to fight light pollution, I’m fine with that. I do think they should have a long lead for a rule like this though. Give the business owners 10 years notice before the rule goes into effect and it will give them plenty of time to either come up with a good solution that works within the rules or to relocate if they feel they cannot abide.

  7. Ideally they should also be made out of granola, and powered with patchouli oil.

    1. patchouli oil

      Hippie pollution.

  8. North Korea is way ahead of us when it comes to anti-light pollution technology. Thanks, Trump.

    1. They’re also way ahead of us in combating the obesity epidemic. Go there and look around, you won’t see any obese people. Well, other than fat boy Kim.

  9. The leftists infiltrate communities where you would never expect them.

    1. Asheville:North Carolina :: Austin:Texas

    2. Asheville is extremely liberal.

  10. as well as individual bulbs visible from a property’s boundary.

    Someone ought to read the entire ordinance to make sure the city exempted themselves. If not, they should be going after them for any street / parking lights that exceed this.

    1. Interesting, they specifically don’t exempt themselves… although city-owned lighting installed prior to 2008 is given a 5 year waver to come into compliance. Utilities are given 5 years too.

      They also include the standard grandfather clause that should be expected.

      1. Well that’s somewhat admirable. I don’t love light pollution either, but ordinances like to slide through before anyone even knows there’s a comment period. It’s more of a systemic lawmaking problem than anything specific about this one.

  11. Being able to see the night sky is not a left or right thing.

  12. I stayed in a small town out in flyover country about 20 years ago that had restricted street lights to a single type which seemed to severely limit the frequency of the light and had them all shielded from radiating beyond the section of sidewalk and road they were supposed to illuminate, and it was a wonderful thing.

    I walked the streets after most of the other lights were out, and I could see the stars pretty clearly while still feeling like I was walking in a well lit town.

    I would think a business association that was heavy into night life would set up covenants to create an atmosphere like that. I’d be more likely to frequent a place that felt a little magical.

  13. Lights of the type discussed in the article make only an insignificant contribution to light pollution. It’s area lighting such as street lights that are the problem.

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