Modern and Improved, Full Cut-Off Lighting Fixtures In Matthews, NC: Also an Example of Very Poor Lighting In Shelby, NC

     Since late summer 2019, my wife and I have had regular business (Animal Eye Clinic) in Matthews, North Carolina, which is a town on the outskirts of Charlotte.  

     Matthews has some excellent and very attractive, full cut-off lighting fixtures.  Lighting should be “fully-shielded” and directed downward to avoid glare and excessive light pollution, as the following photos show.  I can’t be for sure if they are 3000k (temperature of the light) or less, but hopefully not 4000k.  

     No one wants, or should want a bright “unnatural” daytime appearing light, which is that of a 4,000k LED light.  Unfortunately, for most all of the new LED lights installed these days, 4000k, which is damaging to human health, wildlife and the natural world.  Unfortunately this light has now become the standard for lighting not only cities, but also for rural residential.  

     Back to the lighting in Matthews:  Many of the lights have back-shields which eliminate unnecessary light shining on or in house windows.  This is a great feature.  Proper outdoor lighting should direct light where it’s needed only, downward and with a shield to avoid excess glare.     

     The lights in Matthews, which I’m discussing are in a “seemingly” newer business and residential area.  An example below:   

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      Currently, the trend is to light residential areas and sidewalks in cities are the “short pole” colonial style fixture with 360º of 100 watt, 4,000k LED’s.  

      This type of lighting, especially with the short poles (directing light into the line-of-sight of a driver) which can make it almost impossible to see in the rain.  

      This can cause it to be difficult to see a pedestrian walking on the side of the road, a cyclist, or any road hazard, and especially difficult for drivers with poor night vision. 

     The following photo is an excellent example of poor lighting that I am referring to, with “many having only been recently installed” in Shelby.  

      I’ve heard from others also who say:  When driving at night the light’s create a problem, due to the over-powering glare creating a “very real” safety hazard, especially in the rain.  

Re: Lighting in Shelby    

      Each light (as pictured below) provides 360º’s of “high intensity” 100 watt LED lighting, which is the equivalent of  ~four (4)  “60 WATT, HIGH-PRESSURE-SODIUM” lights!   

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     The four lights shown in the following photo is the equivalent of ~sixteen (16) 60 watt “high-pressure sodium lighting fixtures” and without any type of shielding!  And this is only in ~100 feet, or less!    

     No, I’m not suggesting that lighting is bad, but lighting should be of “intelligent” design…used only where necessary.   And that would be using lighting of an “acceptable” wattage and with a temperature of (3000k or less) and with “full shielding” to prevent glare and unnecessary and “excessive” light pollution!  

     What is a “high-pressure-sodium” light?   This is “mostly” the “barrel shaped” lighting fixtures we’ve seen on the top of utility poles, all of our lives. 

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     High-intensity LED lighting and all other “excessive” light pollution is proven to damage or injure wildlife, insects, and also increases the risk of cancer (especially) hormonal cancer(s) in both men and women, being prostate and breast cancer.  

     The following was taken (directly) from an IDA “International Dark Sky Association” article.   See their site, to learn more about light pollution:  

https://www.darksky.org/

Exposure to Artificial Light at Night Can Harm Your Health

Humans evolved to the rhythms of the natural light-dark cycle of day and night. The spread of artificial lighting means most of us no longer experience truly dark nights.

Research suggests that artificial light at night can negatively affect human health, increasing risks for obesity, depression, sleep disorders, diabetes, breast cancer and more.

Circadian Rhythm and Melatonin

Like most life on Earth, humans adhere to a circadian rhythm — our biological clock — a sleep-wake pattern governed by the day-night cycle. Artificial light at night can disrupt that cycle.

Our bodies produce the hormone melatonin in response to circadian rhythm. Melatonin helps keep us healthy. It has antioxidant properties, induces sleep, boosts the immune system, lowers cholesterol, and helps the functioning of the thyroid, pancreas, ovaries, testes and adrenal glands. Nighttime exposure to artificial light suppresses melatonin production.

A 2016 American Medical Association report expressed concern about exposure to blue light from outdoor lighting and recommends shielding all light fixtures and only using lighting with 3000K color temperature and below.   IDA

Re: Excellent lighting fixtures (below) in Mathews, as following:        

      As I have mentioned earlier, this is a good illustration of excellent full-shielded” lighting fixtures.  Note the “apparent” optional back-shield on the following light, which prevents light from entering through house windows or other…behind the fixture.  

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      An example of some excellent “fully shielded street lighting fixtures” mounted on standard height utility poles, in Chimney Rock, North Carolina.  A  tourist town, with a very small population. 

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