NORTH SKY NEWS:


Mercury Vapor Lights Now Illegal

According to ARS 49-7 Article 1 (The Environment / Light Pollution / General Provisions) as of January 1st, 2011 the use of mercury vapor light fixtures is prohibited. Section 49-1104 reads:

A. No new mercury vapor outdoor light fixtures shall be installed after the effective date of this section. No replacement equipment other than bulbs for mercury vapor lighting fixtures shall be sold in the state after January 1, 1991 and the use of mercury vapor light fixtures is prohibited after January 1, 2011.
B. The provisions of this section shall not apply to outdoor light systems erected prior to 1950.

Except for pre-1950 fixtures, which are grandfathered in by paragraph B, this seems to say that one can now file a complaint with local planning and zoning authorities to seek relief from inconsiderate or uninformed neighbors who are using that bane of astronomy: the dusk-to-dawn mercury vapor yard light. Of course, it's always better to solve these problems via civil discussion. The document below is titled "How to Talk to Your Neighbor Who Has a Bad Light." It is provided by the International Dark Sky Association. The two versions contain essentially the same information, with version 2 being a bit more analytical.

Neighbor-1.pdf (425k)
Neighbor-2.pdf (1372k)

But for those who stubbornly cling to the erroneous idea that these fixtures provide security, there is now a means to force compliance. Simply contact zoning enforcement. Information about how to do that can be found on our Light Pollution page, along with many other resources on that topic.

The mercury vapor light is particularly onerous, since its bluish light scatters easily in air, and dusk-to-dawn fixtures are rarely properly shielded. We provide here some resources for those who want to know more. This first document is titled "The Top 10 Reasons for Not Installing a Dusk-to-Dawn Mercury Vapor Yard Light." It was written by DFAC President Dan Heim, published several times in local newspapers, and is provided copyright-free for distribution.

BadLight.pdf (106k)