Damaging Economies and Ecosystems: Light Pollution in Logan City

Rachel K. Nydegger, Utah State University
Shane L. Larson Ph.D.

Presentation given at a USU Student Showcase. Link to presentation is available here.


Though the view of city lights is considered a modern beauty, indicative of the strength of the human intellect, it is the cause of an assortment of negative effects. Most street lights emit light radially, sending large portions of the light into the sky, leaving the ground dim. The excess light- light pollution- directed at the atmosphere destroys our ability to view beauty of the night sky and represents a loss of energy and money. Damage is also done to nocturnal and migratory animals as well as greatly affecting local ecosystems. To improve the efficiency of astronomical endeavors, the economy, and ecosystems, small innovations must be made to outdoor light fixtures. This project analyzes the luminosity output of outdoor light fixtures and the ambient light pollution of Utah State University Campus. As Utah State University has a sustainability program, Blue Goes Green, that has already implement lighting codes, the goal of this project is the work with the collegiate administration to renovate old lighting fixtures.