PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY
Reducing light pollution and increasing efficiency of outdoor lighting on Morehead State
University’s campus.
KELSEY WHITAKER* and Jennifer Birriel
Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, & Physics, Morehead State University, 150
University Blvd. Morehead, KY 40351

         Many people are unaware of the harmful effects and disadvantages to light pollution.
The goal of this project is to educate the Morehead State University community about the
negative effects of light pollution and offer solutions for better lighting on campus. We
performed a survey of campus lighting fixtures and night sky brightness around campus. We
classify light fixtures according to the International Dark Skies Association guidelines as either
“good” or “bad”. A “good” fixture directs light downward where it is intended whereas a “bad”
light fixture emits light in all (or nearly all) directions contributing to glare and light trespass.
We measure the impact of lighting on the local brightness of the night sky using a Unihedron
Sky Quality Meter. We will produce a scale model of a particularly bright area of campus and
present an improved “remodel” of the area. Using a light meter, we will compare ground level
and sky level light before and after each remodel. We will show how it is possible to
simultaneously improve campus safety and reduce energy costs by reducing bulb wattage and
eliminating or modifying other light fixtures.

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