Feeling secure in the dark

Thank you for the article about light pollution [“Dusk to Dawn: The Hard Work of Saving the Night Sky,” July 9]. I want to go on record as saying that this is an issue that concerns me, and I am grateful to the people who are trying to do something about it.

I grew up in Pittsburgh and lived in Rochester, N.Y., for 10 years before moving here, where I have resided outside of Asheville for over 20 years. When I lived in cities, I didn’t like streetlights shining in my bedroom window, and one of the many reasons I defected from cities was because of light pollution. I deplore the security lights that are becoming so common outside of cities. Why is it necessary to have such a bright light—and burning all night long? Why not have lights with motion sensors? We hear so much about saving energy, even from the power companies, and yet when I moved to where I [live now] and had the power turned on, French Broad EMC tried to sell me a security light. I can’t make much sense of this.

For 10 years, I lived in a delightful location in Marshall—delightful, that is, until the closest neighbor installed a security light, which ruined the delicious ambience of the place. (Noise was a problem, too). Now I live in Sandy Mush, where I don’t have a security light nor does my closest neighbor. I’ve also been able to get away from noise, except for cars and trucks going by. I love being able to step out into the yard after dark and see fireflies mimicking the twinkling of the stars—and being able to really see both fireflies and stars because it is sooooo dark out there! (And to hear mostly nothing but the sounds of nature.)

If I have to, I may move farther and farther from the city to preserve the true spirit of country living. My ideal would be to live at the end of a dead-end dirt road, where even the noise and lights of cars are practically nonexistent.

Please, any of you who are in the country and have security lights: Exchange them for motion sensors. You may even find yourself saving money, which seems to be a big issue with many, many people these days. If not for the general good and that of your neighbors, do it for yourself!

— Darlene Finch Wright

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