Light Pollution and the Darkest Time of Year

One of my persistent complaints about Columbia is that there is a lot of light and therefore a lot of light pollution. This is not necessarily noticeable when walking in the shadow of buildings downtown in the middle of the night, but my west-facing windows on the east side of town are lit up by a harsh glow as I try to sleep. During this time of year, that usually means that the unsettling glow picks up as early as five in the afternoon and there are few stars to be seen. (I sometimes wonder if I would have the same negative reaction if there was the blue glow of LEDs coming from town and suspect not because it is a softer light.) However, I do like that many of the buildings around town are outlined with lights during the winter, giving the town a sort of cubist look against the skyline. Similarly, I like that many of the trees lining the streets downtown are lit up in the evenings. Mid-December is a dark time of year and these flairs of light are nice touches. I want those lights to be there, but would like some way to contain them somehow.

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