Our Mission

Protect human health and wildlife, bring back the stars and the Milky Way, and improve safety and quality of life for all by fighting light pollution in Northampton, MA.

We don't need more light--we need better light!

What we do

Protect public health and safety

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Excessive light at night -- especially blue-rich white light -- is bad for your health: it suppresses production of melatonin, leading to disrupted sleep cycles and elevated rates of serious diseases from diabetes to cancer.

Glare from poorly shielded lights shines sideways into private yards and houses, and can temporarily blind road users.  Glare makes visibility worse, not better, and can even provide dark shadows for intruders to hide.  

Light should be directed down only, not out or up.

Protect wildlife

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All animals -- including humans -- need darkness at night to thrive.  80% of mammals are nocturnal, and light pollution disrupts their feeding, mating, and migration.  Millions of birds each year die when they become disoriented by bright city lights and crash into buildings or fly off course.  Entire species of fireflies are threatened with extinction because of light pollution, and pollinating insects--which our food supply depends on--are hurt by artificial light at night.

Protect the starry sky

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The naturally dark, star-studded sky is a priceless gift of Nature.  The National Park Service considers dark skies a natural resource, like clean air and clean water, that must be preserved for everyone.  Yet today, because of light pollution, most American children have never even seen the Milky Way, our galactic home.  

Cities that control their light pollution  can bring back the wonder and beauty of the stars for everyone to enjoy.

Who we are

We are hundreds of citizens of Northampton, MA who are concerned about light pollution

Steering Committee

Paige Bridgens  

Jenny Fleming-Ives  

Janet Gross

Gary Hartwell  

Myla Kabat-Zinn

Andy Kuether  

Lilly Lombard  

James Lowenthal

Helen Wise

Ruthy Woodring

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Links and Resources

Lovely, well-shielded path light on Smith College campus.  Not too bright, not too blue, low glare.

International Dark-Sky Association

City of Northampton outdoor lighting code

Smith College Astronomy Dept. light pollution page

City of Northampton streetlight modification request

Interactive Light Pollution Map

DIY Outdoor Lighting Audit

Download, print, and share with neighbors and businesses

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