Lights Off

Pet Peeve #32.


Love ’em in my house and outbuildings… I seem to need them more and more on whatever I’m working on… but I’m talking outdoor lights.


Yard lights.

Now, I know my mom in heaven is just laughing with my dad, because I was scared of the dark way back when.  I had to have lights on, nightlights, my bedroom door cracked a bit to catch the light from the living room as I fell asleep.  Now, I go around turning lights off in my house.

Out in the country, though, is where you notice it.

Really, why does the county shop need a light on ALL THE TIME?  If someone was going to steal that grader, a light isn’t going to stop him!

Why light up your entire place with yard lights?  Won’t that just help the nefarious find their way without having to use their flashlights?

If you want to protect your place, I really don’t think lighting up the area is the way to do it!

I know if someone comes on this place sneaking around, that deep, resonating WOOF and throaty growl from Lucas is gonna slow them down more than a yard light.

Shoot, half the time, places would be awfully hard to find out here in the dark.  Which bad guy would know there’s a deep ditch next to the shop?  How many would get hung up on that barbed wire fence that encircles the outbuildings?  Driving over that pipe in the dark is tricky…

Now, I love it when Vernon leaves the light on for me when I’m gone late… and I like my few little solar lights that I use in the wintertime when I get home after dark… and I even put some lights on timers when it gets dark at 4:30!  But, people.

You’ve moved to a place where the stars steal the show.  Where meteorites and satellites and airplanes at 30,000′ dance through my night sky.  I want to see the Milky Way lead my loved ones on the road to the afterlife.  I love watching Cassiopeia spin onto her head.  I love when Orion and Sirius make their appearance.

I know that there’s lights on the end of center pivots so you can see them move… and lights in the oilfield to show everything is working right… but does your business need its huge light on at night?  Do you need that porch light on?  Turning it on suddenly would temporarily blind someone so you could get a look…  I’m crazy enough that some of what the Dark Sky Society says rings true…  Put the right cover on the streetlight and shine more light downward than into the sky.  Turn off that light until it’s needed!

You’ll be amazed what you can see with the lights off.



Lights Off — 8 Comments

  1. What a wonderful photo Carol. We also enjoyed the full moon over the Worcestershire countryside earlier this week. Sadly not so many stars partly due to light pollution. Not as bad as a city but still some. On dark nights I get out of my car and stand still on my drive. With luck the security light won’t come on. Then I look up and west towards the hills (less light but also less sky due to hills). Wow. What a view. A mini view compared to Wyoming but still a view to marvel and wonder at.

  2. We love to look at the sky when we come to visit. I had no idea how different it was in a place where there are no lights.

  3. When I traveled to a college fraternity convention with two friends in 1962, we slept out in sleeping bags near Ten Sleep pass. It was a clear night and the stars were amazing.

  4. TOTALLY agree. If I want to watch the northern lights or just lay in the pasture and watch the night sky, I sure don’t want to walk a quarter of a mile to get away from the lights. Yes, it is very nice to come home to the lights in the house shining in a welcoming way.

  5. I think I’d leave the outside lights off nearly all the time, if I had a dog. Not having a dog though, and with skunks that don’t keep their distance very well, I can’t stay in the dark as much as I’d like.

  6. Wow, great photo of the bright, big silvery moon! I didn’t get to see it here; it was too cloudy (monsoon season here in N.M. and we’ve actually gotten some rain this summer!–Yay!), so this photo lets me see the beautiful moon that I missed! Thanks!

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