News Archive


July 9 — The outdoor-lighting bills now before the Massachusetts Legislature got a public hearing before the Joint Committee on Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. NELPAG members Paul Valleli, Mario Motta, and Kelly Beatty testified. See [:S_1573:this page] for details about the bills.

June 26 — The Land Use Committee for Burlington, MA, will meet to discuss a comprehensive outdoor-lighting ordinance proposed by NELPAG member and town resident Paul Valleli. Please come to voice your support during the “Citizen’s Time” portion of the agenda.

June 26 — Officials in South Berwisk, ME, are considering adopting an outdoor-lighting ordinance, as detailed in an article by

June 11 — The Maine Department of Transportation intends to retrofit 105 high-mast light towers that illuminate Interstate 295 with LEDs, according to this announcement. Light towers in the Falmouth area already have them, and they’ll be used in light towers that illuminate the Portland, Saco, Kittery, Waterville, Bangor, and Medway rest areas.

June 7 An editorial in The Recorder praises the dark skies over Greenfield, MA, and rails against a plan to add 18 digital billboards along state highways.

June 1 — MA Department of Public Utilities has approved a new streetlighting rate tariff, effective today, that includes with low-wattage tiers for LED streetlighting. For details, look for M.D.P.U 1217 (beginning on page 54) in this document.

May 30 — The Board of Aldermen in Newton, MA, is considering whether to converting all of the city’s 8,400 streetlights to LED fixtures. According to the Newton Tab, a pilot project involving 26 LED streetlights has been installed along three local streets.

May 14 — Cambridge resident Charles Teague has petitioned the Cambridge City Council to tighten – and enforce – the city’s existing bylaw concerning light trespass. The online news site Cambridge Day has all the details.

Apr. 17 — NELPAG member Kelly Beatty discussed light pollution during a well-attended lecture at Bristol Community College in Fall River, MA.

Jan. 14 — A new push for statewide outdoor-lighting controls is back in the hands of Massachusetts legislators. Drafted by NELPAG members in concert with lighting groups NEMA, IES, and IALD, a bill to control state-funded lighting installations has been submitted by Sen. Cynthia Creem and Rep. Sean Garballey.


Dec. 21 — Two marine biologists from Bowdoin College’s Coastal Studies Center are studying the impact of light pollution on the ecology of Orr’s Island in Maine. Here’s a great article about this research by Will Grunewald for Northwestern University’s Medill Reports.

Nov. 10 — Community activists, spearheaded by NELPAG’s Robert Gillette, have convinced the New Hampshire Department of Transportation to downlight (not uplight) the new Memorial Bridge that will link Portsmouth with Kittery, Maine. More details are here.

Sep. 16 — The 2nd annual Maine Starlight Festival drew to a close after a week of events provided by astronomy clubs, planetariums, science centers, and other members of Maine’s starlit communities.

Sept. 7 — NELPAG member Kelly Beatty presented a lecture on light pollution at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, in conjunction with the Bates College Museum of Art show “Starstruck: The Fine Art of Astrophotography”.

Sept. 5 — After a contentious four-year process, MA officials denied a permit to allow Capital Advertising to construct billboards on land along Route 3 owned by the town of Chelmsford. Details from the Chelmsford Independent are here.

Sept. 2 — Today’s Lewiston Sun Journal features “Darkness in Distress”, an op-ed article by NELPAG member Kelly Beatty.

June 19 — Thanks to efforts by NELPAG member Mario Motta, the American Medical Association has taken a strong stand concerning the negative health effects of excess light at night. The newly adopted AMA policy is entitled “Light Pollution: Adverse Health Effects of Nighttime Lighting.”

Apr. 16 — Transportation officials in New Hampshire intend to turn off about three-quarters of the streetlights along state highways, according to this report.

Mar. 27 — Crews in Boston have replaced 18,000 mercury-vapor streetlights with fully shielded LEDs. Officials hope to retrofit the city’s MV-topped acorn-style lights with LEDs by this fall.

Mar. 20 — The Massachusetts legislature has once again failed to enact a bill (S.1651) that would regulate outdoor lighting statewide. Massachusetts remains the only New England state that has passed outdoor-lighting legislation.

Feb. 16 — The Illuminating Engineering Society’s New England section hosted a showing of The City Dark, followed by a discussion of light-pollution issues.


June 22 — At the Massachusetts State House, the Joint Committee on Telecommunication, Utilities and Energy held a public hearing on the pending dark-sky bill S.1651. In addition to a personal appeal from Rep. Sean Garballey (the House cosponsor), testimony was presented by lighting designer Glenn Heinmiller, and by NELPAG members Glenn Chaple and Kelly Beatty.

Apr. 29 — The City Dark will be shown at the Somerville Theater at 7 p.m. as part of Boston’s Independent Film Festival.

Mar. 30 — The City Dark, Ian Cheney’s new film about light pollution, will be shown at the 2011 Environmental Film Festival at Yale University at 7 p.m. Discussion to follow with the director, NELPAG’s Bob Crelin, and Yale astronomer Robert Zinn.

Feb. 9 — The Planning Board in Chelmsford, MA, approved permits for construction of a two-sided billboard along Route 3. Silver lining: thanks to the town’s outdoor-lighting bylaw, the billboard must be illuminated from the top down.

Jan. 21 — NELPAG members have once again introduced an outdoor-lighting bill in the Bay State’s legislature. Separate but identical bills were submitted by Rep. Sean Garballey (as HD 1240) and Sen. Cynthia Creem (as SD 911).

Jan. 10 — Mayor Joseph Polisena has ordered town officials to stop paying for 771 streetlights along state highways running through Johnston, RI, as has the mayor of North Providence. For now National Grid is keeping the lights on.