ST. GEORGE — Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine has partnered with the Ivins Night Sky Initiative to reduce blue light emission on its campus.
The Ivins City Council recently approved changes to outdoor lighting ordinances that affect new construction. Now, the Ivins Night Sky Initiative is sponsoring a study by Rocky Vista that analyzes if the lighting requirements can be adapted to fit already-existing fixtures.
Lights on campus were retrofitted with various additions over the weekend as part of the study’s “demonstration project,” allowing university officials to analyze the effect the adapted fixtures have on visibility.
The university installed shields and filters that will reduce glare and blue light emissions without affecting the safety of students returning to their dorms or walking to their cars after the sun has set, initiative director Mike Scott said.
Earlier this year, the Ivins City Council received a draft of 49 pages of recommendations from the Ivins Night Sky Initiative for ways to update outdoor lighting ordinances. The recommendations do not address streetlights, as those are included in the transportation plan, but they do address residential and commercial properties, city-owned buildings and sports fields.
The council addressed the latest draft in a meeting Sept. 5, asking Scott to allow more time for the Technical Review Committee to sift through the numerous footnotes and make comments pertaining to the lighting initiative’s effect on public safety.
The recommendations include an outline of what the International Dark Sky Association requires, small changes in wording and information on how to deal with new technologies, as well as recommended ordinances that Scott said he has seen in communities around the southwestern United States.
Changes to the lighting ordinances and structures around the city and at Rocky Vista University are being made in hopes of decreasing light pollution and earning the designation of a “Dark Sky Community” from the International Dark Sky Association. There are currently 22 communities with this designation worldwide in countries such as the United States, Canada and Scotland.
“The University’s study will help others determine the feasibility of retrofitting their own lighting to reduce blue light and glare. It will also help the city in its efforts to get designated as a Dark Sky Community by the International Dark Sky Association,” the Ivins Night Sky Initiative says in a blog post on its website.
The Ivins City Council has invited Marc Deshowitz to present at City Hall Thursday at 5:30 p.m. He will speak on the evolution of lighting technology, using energy-efficient lighting, driving safely at night and crime; he will also share how becoming a Dark Sky Community economically benefits residents.
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