Electric lamp is a necessity of modern life. It can prolong working hours, improve working efficiency and safety.
In cities, light can be a powerful social force and a tool for urban design that transcends beauty.
After all, Paris is not called the "Dark City".
"However, we have effectively expelled the stars.
Light pollution emits wasted energy into the air.
The circadian rhythm is disordered.
Migratory birds die in millions.
The halo around Las Vegas can be seen in the desert 250 miles away.
Thomas Edison's subversive technology has both the dark side and the bright side. Forward-
Urban planners are becoming more and more sensitive to the adverse effects of light pollution.
Controlling it is now even part of the National Park Service's mission.
Darkness is a fragile natural resource, no less than clean water or air. It is attacked by human intervention and needs to be protected.
However, everyone likes the iconic city sign, which emits 218,000 LED lights to Kenmore Square every night.
Tim Love, head of Utile, an architectural design firm and urban design Commissioner at the Boston Society of Architects, said: "Ideally, it's hard to be an environmentalist as well as a landscape of a modern city. "
"If you fully support one or the other, you may feel deeply contradictory.
Boston City Hall showed this tension.
In 2007, the Menino government launched a protection program called Boston Lighting Control to encourage private property. -
The owner of the downtown turned out the lights between 11 p. m. m. and 5 a. m.
For spring and autumn bird migration.
The lights of high-rise buildings make birds lose their sense of direction. They either bump into windows or circle desperately until they are exhausted and die.
Of course, this program saves more than just feathered friends.
Jim Hunter, the city's environmental director who oversees the lights-out, said 600 owners who volunteered to serve the lights-out reported energy efficiency as high as 25 percent.
But the Minino government also supports Light Boston, an organization that advocates urban lighting.
The organization has raised funds to focus on historic buildings, bridges and church spires, and has developed an ambitious plan to create a "diamond necklace" to illuminate the historic landscape around the city. So which is it?
Boston or lights out?
"With the advancement of science and technology, we can still use light to maintain the safety and vitality of the city without wasting energy or causing major environmental damage," Hunter said.
"In fact, Light Boston advocates sustainable technologies such as timers and shades, and works with designers to get the most efficient lighting with the least energy.
Nevertheless, Ben Colburn, president of Boston alone, said Boston was a special challenge because many of its historic buildings were light. -Absorption brick.
Edison tested the first street lamp in New York only 120 years ago. -an eye-
The Evolution of Human Beings-
There are already two. -
A third of Americans can't see the Milky Way from their backyard.
Only a few years ago, amateur astronomers could calculate the number of up to 50 stars in Orion.
Now most people don't see more than 10.
It's not just about wanting a more difficult meteor.
Lost in the dim light-
The sky washed by water is a kind of intimate relationship with the natural world. It is a huge and wonderful feeling. It comes from standing alone under the stars.
Isn't it more spiritual than watching the spire of a church filled with light?
In Cambridge, the forces of darkness and light are fighting for changes in the city zoning regulations that allow more signs to be placed on large commercial buildings in some parts of the Charles River.
The amendment establishes a special licensing procedure to avoid existing restrictions on marking height, size and lighting.
At a City Council hearing this month, residents denounced the proposal as a violation of Cambridge's identity.
"The Charles River is the main resource in the region," said Pebble Gifford, a real estate broker and activist.
"It's troublesome to mess it up with signs of this nature.
As strongly supported by the American Chamber of Commerce, this change is also business-friendly.
The Committee must take action on the proposal by 10 October. 5.
For him, love was not surprised by the duality of the Cambridge debate, but he wanted it to be more subtle.
There is a lot of aesthetic space between Borrego Springs, a desert town in California. -
The nearest traffic light is 50 miles away. -
And Times Square.
For example, love points to Fenway Park.
The signs in the park conform to the standard green background white letters, or, if they are as bright as the new Cumberland Farm sign, he says, "Every letter is its own glowing object.
"This makes these symbols more sculpture-like.
In his view, the first step in resolving the Cambridge dispute is to make any sign over a certain scale an aesthetic issue, not just a legal one.
"More broadly, there are technological solutions to light pollution that can be adopted tomorrow.
Boston uses about 19 different street lamps, usually named after their shapes: acorns, cobras, lollipops, shoe boxes.
How sustainable? -
Enjoy the eyes-
If the lights in these cities are converted into new energy sources-
Can shielded suction pipes direct light to where it is needed?
Boston is moving in this direction, but it lags behind other cities such as Pittsburgh and Seattle.
The good news is that promoting darkness helps raise public awareness, so we may think twice before blowing up parking lots or lanes with megawatt sodium lamps.
But just to unplug, there's so much fun in a bright and beautiful city.
Although this will simplify the debate, it's not a question of-off switch.
Ren Ailuo's columns often appear around the world.