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View Full Version : Another "no more lights" ARC


Mike M
06-19-2008, 11:32 AM
I just had another architectural review committee tell me "no more tree lights, up lights, or lights on buildings for decorative purposes; path lights, and for safety only."

Pre-existing bad lighting is killing me.

I can counter this with education, but they tell me they have been through this, heard it all, and the lighting is still bad.

I'll keep trying to do this myself, but it would be nice if a manu or a big distrib could help out with a quality plan. Strength in numbers. Ben Franklyn said hang together or surely will be hanging individually from the trees.

To do this effectively, I need professional images, literature, materials, testimonials, and model programs. It reminds me of my advertising. I have to take all my own pics, write my own copy, order things in low volume, and learn from my mistakes. The cost for this would be spread effectively if it was done on a larger scale with others. Same with this presentation and educational lit I am trying to work on.

Well, here's the problem: the recession-proof multi-million-dollar properties around here are inside of gated communities with strict policies. If I can't sell the ARC, I can't install the systems. Selling them is a lot more complex than a post card, demonstration, or a referral.

Here's my idea: identify the problems, and offer solutions with a media kit, complete with model programs and guidelines which address these concerns successfully at other communities or local governments. The kit would be highly professional, credible, strongly visual, and usefully robust in details & guidelines. "How to establish clear outdoor lighting guidelines and monitor/enforce compliance."

Media should include a powerpoint CD, a binder with substantial guidelines and specs, and a collection of photo's.

Or at least a binder with substantial written doc's and images.

Or, at least a full color flyer with guidelines and compliance monitoring ideas for local governments and residential communities.

I would gladly pay for a binder that was ready-to-go, and I could customize my presentation to particular needs.

Lite4
06-19-2008, 11:47 AM
Sounds like they are trying to initiate some 'dark sky' policies? Around here you can do some uplighting with dark sky but the beam of the lamp can't break the plane of the top of the structures. Trees are very tough to light with these ordinances. Personally, for me around here. There is so much light from the surrounding city, that I think it is a waste of time and is too overbearing on those who would like to express the individuality of their homes. Certainly "Dark Sky" was thought up by some "Green"neck that had too much money or influence and when his neighbors gardener accidently kicked a fixture that wound up pointing a light at his house, instead of just moving the fixture back into position, he got his panties in a bind and had to raise an act of congress to screw it up for everyone else. Dillhole Greennecks:hammerhead::nono:

JoeyD
06-19-2008, 11:58 AM
Just go in and do a demo for one of them in all path lights and down lights......then put a few uplights in on a seperate transformer....so when they come out they see all the path and down lighting and then you go OR this is how I would do it if your HOA wasnt run by nazi's. Kick on the other lights....if they have enough money they will tell the HOA to go pound sand....obviously you will be doing the lighting in a tasteful, non wasteful way so there wouldnt be much room to complain. You just need a foot in the door. These bozos think they know it all and in reality they dont know jack! They only know the crappy lighting they have been exposed too and probably are not familiar with professional outdoor lighting. i.e. Glare Control, Lenses, Hex Luvers, proper placement....etc....

But if there was somethign I could do to help you here profesionally let me know. Send me an email with what you would like to see and I will do my best to help you out.

Tomwilllight
06-19-2008, 12:23 PM
Ya'll may want to look at my statement on Responsible Design; I posted it in 2002 and it has served me well since.

Please note I have reserved all rights. If you wish to quote any portion of it, please have the grace to notify me and request permission. All I want is attribution in return for permission.

http://www.wlld.us/home/responsible.shtml

Tom

NightScenes
06-19-2008, 12:54 PM
That's a very good document Tom. I have made presentations to ARCs in the past and have found that all of these committees need to be educated about quality lighting. Once you show them that you are a real lighting professional who knows how to "use" lighting, they will pretty much give you free reign. It helps to be a member of the IDA so when you go into these meetings they see that you are serious and know what they are wanting from you.

irrig8r
06-19-2008, 06:39 PM
Sounds like they are trying to initiate some 'dark sky' policies? Around here you can do some uplighting with dark sky but the beam of the lamp can't break the plane of the top of the structures. Trees are very tough to light with these ordinances. Personally, for me around here. There is so much light from the surrounding city, that I think it is a waste of time and is too overbearing on those who would like to express the individuality of their homes. Certainly "Dark Sky" was thought up by some "Green"neck that had too much money or influence and when his neighbors gardener accidently kicked a fixture that wound up pointing a light at his house, instead of just moving the fixture back into position, he got his panties in a bind and had to raise an act of congress to screw it up for everyone else. Dillhole Greennecks:hammerhead::nono:

And here I was thinking it had more to do with astronomers trying to see through the reflected glare...

Mike M
06-19-2008, 07:10 PM
Gregg, it's the people on committees and developers who confuse and abuse the original purpose of Dark Sky, and think it's about keeping glare out of everyone's faces and they say it's for the animals, and then they give the okay for unshielded mercury vapor lights on building sides for "safety".

Education and patience can change the rules and local guidelines. My point is the single lighting specialist has a lot of cost and time to put into it. Why not have a media kit complete with actual samples as model guidelines, specs, best practices, etc., made up all nice & professional, available for us to purchase in a binder with or without a powerpoint CD. It seems the feasible solution.

One advantage for a manu is they can use samples of their own materials as specs.

Evan if this was all reduced to just a few pages of a nicely printed piece, complete with recommended guidelines and resources, it would be a big help. A couple packets of photocopied covenants as model programs would be awesome, too.

A PowerPoint piece illustrating both Great and Horrible Lighting practices would be universal and not just for the application I'm talking about.

Mike M
06-19-2008, 07:17 PM
Hey Tom;

That was a perfect piece on the philosophy of "Responsible Design." The additional stuff for a media kit would include specific visual images of the concepts (good and bad) you mention, plus samples of usable laws/covenants written with specific measurable ways to monitor and enforce.

btw, all this should be incorporated into any state's LV license test.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
06-20-2008, 12:11 AM
Mike I could go on for days and days on this topic. I have built my business and reputation on designing and installing Environmentally friendly, Dark Sky Friendly and low impact waterfront lighting systems.

I have delivered multiple presentations on the issue of light pollution, light pollution abatement techniques and responsible lighting practises to the public sector, NGOs, Municipal, Regional, District, and Provinicial governments.

If you want to discuss a strategy for your business in dealing with this issue then give me a call.

Here are some quick links that I know of off the top of my head:

http://www.muskokaheritage.org/watershed/PDFs/DarkSkyLighting.pdf

http://www.muskokaheritage.org/ecology-night/media/brian-whitehead.pdf

http://www.ecologyofthenight.org/

Lite4
06-20-2008, 02:46 AM
And here I was thinking it had more to do with astronomers trying to see through the reflected glare...

This is why they have large telescopes on remote mountains and not IN TOWN where I am trying to light.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
06-20-2008, 02:56 AM
Tim... Dark Skies is about SO much more then just Astronomy....

It is about LIGHT POLLUTION. and all of the detrimental Social, Environmental, Ecological, Health and Habitat issues that LIGHT POLLUTION creates and contributes to.

Tomwilllight
06-20-2008, 06:53 PM
Once I lived in Vermont... On any cloudless night, with the moon a crescent or less, I could walk out my door, look up and see the Milky Way.

There are more than 6.6 billion people living on the earth today. At least 2/3 of them cannot see the Milky Way. They live in cities, or too close to cities, with poorly designed electric light.

More than 4.4 billion of the inhabitants of our Earth can only see about a dozen stars and the moon. Most of the Earth's residents have no idea of what it means to stand looking up until your neck aches while you try to understand what the magnificence of the dark sky filled with stars is all about.

I believe we, all humanity, are diminished when we are unable to study what creation looks like for ourselves. We grow up with a distorted understanding of how big creation really is. We become adults with no scale to help us gauge how important we are in the universe. We don't understand what big really is; we can't see it anymore.

We no longer dream and wonder the way we did when we saw the stars.

I think we've lost contact with one of the few experiences we share with all who went before us and I think we are much poorer for the loss.

That's why I think it's important there be many places set aside on this earth for parents to take their children to see the Milky Way. If a community decides to be one of those places, I believe we can help them to achieve that goal and still have the opportunity to share our love of light in the landscape.

It's not easy, but nothing that's really worth doing is easy.

Tom

Mike M
06-20-2008, 07:43 PM
Does anyone know a particular locale that is a great success story for the language used in their codes/covenants and how they monitor/enforce the rules? I have the stuff from Dark Sky, but I'm looking for the perfect thing.

I would think a light meter like the one Steve mentioned by Ideal would be useful.

A good model/success program would be great to present to people.