Artificial Moon in Xujiahui Park

“Artificial Moon” by Wang Yuyang uses various fluorescent light bulbs to create a400 cm (>13 feet) representation of our moon, complete with representations of craters, maria, and rims. Even stronger than the piece itself to me is the choice of location for this piece in 2008, Xujiahui’s park, one of the last remaining park areas in the city. Due to light pollution the moon can rarely be seen in the Shanghai skies, which makes this representation so much more powerful. It has since 2007 been displayed in other locations as well. Check it out!

 

Thanks, Art Hub Asia and Transmediale!

6:30 am Never Looked So Good

Taking the same exact photograph each day would get boring, right? HELL NO, thanks to that most spectacular lighting designer–nature. Robert Weingarten did just that, and the results are something to marvel at. It is SO important to appreciate the root of all lighting design, our sun, and these photographs prove that that star’s still got it!

Each exposure would be made at precisely the same time of day – 6:30 am – measured by one quartz clock. All exposures would be made with the lens focused on infinity and at the same aperture of f/22. Just two variables were allowed into this disciplined scheme: the shutter speed of the lens, which would be adjusted faster or slower depending on the quantity and quality of light available at 6:30 a.m. each day; and, the most variable element of all, changes in the scene that were introduced by the forces of nature.

– Weston Naef, Curator of Photographs, The J. Paul Getty Museum.

6:30 am from Malibu, CA looking across the Pacific Ocean to Santa Monica:

Beware! The Blob

While not a 1970s scifi horror flick, Sunday Paper‘s spectacular short film Light is certainly haunting. For a fascinating and beautiful minute and a half short film, it certainly carries an elegiac note.

 

 

Just watch it!

 

Light from Sunday Paper on Vimeo.

 

UK Streets Might Get Mood Lighting

Heyooooo! JimOnLight’s UK correspondent here, coming at you with hot off the press news!

The conversation to dim streetlights during very low traffic levels has been initiated, and it’s causing quite a stir! The Press Association reports:

” Norman Baker, the local transport minister, supported the move as long as safety was not compromised.

In a parliamentary written answer he said: “The level of light reduction will be based upon internationally agreed standards and made in consultation with the UK’s Institute of Lighting Professionals.

“It is right that lighting authorities consider, in the interests of cost-saving and the environment, whether lighting can be sensibly dimmed or turned off, consistent with proper safety assessments.” “

The roads in question are the A roads, the major thoroughfares connecting cities which are not motorways. The Californian side of me would describe A roads as “highways,” while motorways are “freeways.” Kapeesh?

So we like saving the environment, and we like saving money. Why is this such a massive discussion?

Numerous fears including increased crime, automobile accidents, are mixed with financial worries. The conversion would cost a significant sum, and people aren’t sold on MAKIN IT RAIN!

The Telegraph reports:

“…While authorities across the UK are saving £21.5 million per year by turning off nine per cent of lights, the schemes to reduce street lighting cost a total of £106.3 million.

The bill for installing dimming technology or converting lights to part-night operations, which is five times greater than the saving, means some councils will not start seeing the benefits for up to eight years.”

This follows other UK locations, such as the Welsh county of Gwynedd have already experimented in dimming street lights between midnight and 5:30 am. There seems to be much more support of dimming street lights than turning them off. Kirklees and Derbyshire are amongst numerous experiments in turning off street lights, both completely and in selection (1 in 10 seems to be a common cutting ratio). Fears of isolation ensued.

What do you think? Turn ‘em all off and make everyone wear headlamps, selective black outs, dimming, ALL OF THE LIGHTS! @ FL or something else?

 

If you found this interesting, I also posted about the delightfully unexpected results of blue street lights in Glasgow as well as Japan here. I’m imagining these cobalt lamps as urban super heros, stopping crime and saving lives! Neato burrito.

New Mexico’s Lighting Fine

From the article at KOB TV in Albuquerque:

Gov. Bill Richardson signed legislation giving the Night Sky Protection Act some new teeth–in the form of fines for people who violate it.

The idea behind the protection act is to stop light pollution. For almost a decade, New Mexico has had a law on the books requiring most outdoor lighting to be aimed downward and have a shield to protect it from shining upward.

The regulations are a no-brainer for scientists, especially astronomers studying the night sky.

Laurel Ladwig of the Museum of Natural History says the laws on the books were more like suggestions before. But now, New Mexico is moving in the direction of other states that limit light pollution, the museum’s Tyson Wood said.

” Places like Tucson have regulations already so hopefully we’re moving towards that goal where we can really take down a lot of that light pollution and see a lot more of the night sky,” he said.

And there is a lot to see, scientists say.

In Albuquerque, you can view a couple hundred stars on a clear night. Outside the city, it’s thousands.

Unshielded searchlights and spotlights and floodlights now need to be shut off after 11 p.m., with exceptions for highway billboards, runway lights and sporting events.

Homeowners won’t have to worry about most unshielded lights under 150 watts.