The article “Good night, night: Light pollution increasing around globe,” (Nov. 22, The Daily Astorian) inspires us to urge the city of Cannon Beach to keep in mind the findings described in the article should it consider replacement of street lighting in the interest of saving money. The lighting that has been employed by Breakers Point serves as a good example of the problems that LED lighting presents. As the article explains, though cheaper than amber lighting, LED beams do not light an area as well as the present amber street lighting does.
Since we walk to the beach before daylight, we have noticed that the LED lights at Breakers Point are blinding, partly because the covers are transparent and hence fail to shield the lights adequately and partly because of the bright white illumination.
In keeping with the efforts of the city of Cannon Beach to protect birds nesting on the rocks by prohibiting fireworks on July Fourth, we suggest that the dark sky be protected as a part of the environment that contributes to the ecology of Cannon Beach. As the article points out, wildlife is disoriented by excessive light during the hours of darkness.
According to a Ketchum, Idaho, newspaper report, that community faces a similar challenge to preserve the dark sky in the interests of attracting tourism. Cannon Beach has become an attractive destination because of the natural beauty of the area. The city of Cannon Beach should consider strengthening the present dark sky ordinance and study the effects of new lighting technology on the environment before its adoption in the future.
Rex and Diane Amos