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By Rural Revolution
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Let There (Not) Be Light

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This is a street light.

It’s a particularly annoying street light because it’s located smack in our driveway, right near the house. (I believe the more accurate term is “yard light.”)

It was annoying because we couldn’t turn it off. It came on automatically at dusk and turned off automatically at dawn. This meant it illuminated the entire driveway area. In this photo, I caught a couple of deer going by.

The light also blotted out the stars, shone into bedroom windows, and probably drove the neighbors nuts. Why would anyone want one of these beasts in their driveway?

I had a friend in college who grew up on a dairy farm, and a bunch of us spent a week at his farm one summer. It was the first time I’d seen a yard light on private property, and in the case of a dairy farm, I “get” it. Nighttime light is crucial if you have situations that need immediate attention, such as farm emergencies.

But out here at the back end of nowhere? No way. We’re not living in the city anymore. We refused to put up with unnecessary light pollution.

So we called the local electrical provider and requested it be turned off. The customer service lady was puzzled and wondered why. “It only costs about $8 a month to run,” she said persuasively.

But we were undeterred. So about a week later, a couple of electricians came by and used what literally looked like a television remote control to turn off the light.

Now it’s nice and dark. We can see the stars. We don’t have light shining in bedroom windows. I’m sure the neighbors are happier. It’s been delightful.


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