Photo: Tod Grubbs
Stepping outside on a cold, clear Hill Country night to gaze at the stars helps us escape the fast pace of our daily lives for a few precious minutes. However, growing urban sprawl and development can bring more than just air pollution — they bring “light pollution,” where unnecessary artificial light floods peaceful natural skies, making stargazing a thing of memory.
Restoring the stars’ brilliance against an unpolluted sky can be accomplished through properly designed and installed outdoor lighting. Simple downlighting and shielding techniques can reduce glare, light trespass (light shining on other properties) and sky glow (hazy, amber or pink sky on cloudy nights) while improving safety, security and the enjoyment of property.
Some urban areas in the Hill Country area have instituted outdoor lighting ordinances in an attempt to minimize light pollution, including the City of Austin, the City of San Antonio, Bexar County (near Camp Bullis, Blanco, Village of Wimberley, Helotes, Bulverde, Boerne and City of Dripping Springs. However, Texas counties do not generally have the authority to pass ordinances for effective lighting for clearer night skies. See our County Authority page here for more information about county authority in the Hill Country.
“The stars are the jewels of the night, and perchance surpass anything which day has to show.” – Henry David Thoreau
The Night Sky Friendly Business Recognition Program is a cooperative
program between Hill Country Chambers of Commerce and the
Hill Country Alliance to recognize businesses and organizations that
have night sky-friendly outdoor lighting and to encourage others
to follow suit.
Night Sky Co-op
Join the Hill Country Night Sky Co-op,
a group of landowners, businesses and
communities who have pledged their commitment
to protecting the night skies.
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