In the past century, light pollution has increased tremendously as a result of human development and urbanization. Today 99% of the United States population lives under light polluted skies and nearly 80% cannot see the Milky Way. Both nonprofits like The International Dark-Sky Association and government agencies like the National Park Service are working to maintain areas of dark skies for adequate astronomical viewing. Diminished human enjoyment of dark skies, however, is not the only damage observed due to increased light pollution as it has also caused ecological damage to birds, insects, fish, and plants. The negative aspects of light pollution are largely countered by the need for light to ensure human safety at night. My thesis examines the strategies and trends in lighting technology and policies to find which practices will yield the best dark sky experience, minimize ecologic effects, and ensure a proper level of safety is maintained.
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