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Dark Sky Minor Students Assess Light Pollution in the Glendale Neighborhood

Over the course of the spring 2023 semester, students in the Dark Sky Studies minor worked to determine the safety hazards caused by artificial lighting present in Glendale, Utah, a neighborhood on the West side of Salt Lake City. Throughout this process, they worked with the Glendale community and engaged them with education about dark sky conservation, outreach to the residents, policy suggestions, art by creating a dark sky inspired mural at the Glendale Wallace Stegner Academy, and taking measurements to examine the amount of lighting pollution in their neighborhood.

The students measured locations using a luminance meter and illuminance meter in several areas of Glendale. They wanted to make sure to have a comprehensive set of measurements from different areas of the community, so measurements were taken in areas of single family homes, public spaces like schools and libraries, large and small intersections, industrial sites such as a car dealership, and the Fife wetlands which is a heavily trafficked park the Glendale community is trying to turn into a wildlife preserve.

The measurements show there is inconsistent lighting, over-lit environments, areas of high contrast, under-lit environments, and lastly excessive glare. The research indicates that the lighting issues identified could be fixed with minor interventions such as dimmers, light shields, light angles, and replacement of light bulbs with lower color temperature.

Lighting Assessment Full Report