Ban yard lights in Nevada County |

Ban yard lights in Nevada County

Bravo for the letter damning excessive lighting glaring into neighbors’ yards and ruining our beautiful dark nighttime skies.

Needless lighting is all around us, but the worst offenders are the owners of “yard lights,” those horrible devices that cast an ugly greenish glare everywhere, including into the sky. Alternatives are available that direct pleasant yellow or white light downward, where it is useful, and do not annoy neighbors or create light pollution.

A fine example of good lighting is the new Higgins Village shopping center, where all lighting is directed downwards. A bad example is the older shopping area just up Combie Road, studded with unshielded mercury-vapor lights.

Excellent information on light pollution is available from the International Dark Sky Association (

If you visit Tucson, Ariz., you will find no yard lights. They are illegal, and there are restrictions on unshielded lights of any type. Mercury-vapor lights will be illegal throughout Arizona within five years.

It would be an excellent idea for Nevada County, with its relatively dark skies, to prohibit yard lights. In the meantime, the best we can do is remember that being a good neighbor is using non-glare lighting.

Harry B. Wyeth

Grass Valley

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