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Conference Agenda

Learn what you and your community should know about outdoor lighting. The purpose of this educational conference is to provide you with experiences and information to allow you to have an in-depth understanding of the talking points and reasons others do or don’t embrace controlling outdoor lighting. You’ll be provided with real life experiences about how to approach the control of outdoor lighting with and without regulations. You’ll get details on the creation and implementation of lighting ordinances and development agreements.

The below schedule of events is tentative and is subject to change.


10:00AM  Registration and Exhibits open

Session I: Focus on Lighting

11:00AM  Welcome

A New Measure of Light by Camille Wheeler

The most exciting new frontier in light research has to do with the discovery of a non-visual light-sensing system in the mammalian eye, including that of humans. This second photoreceptor system is so sensitive to light that it can regulate the circadian clock function and sleep cycles in visually blind humans and animals. The discovery of this system is driving health and light research around the world, from long-duration space travel to comfort in our homes.


Lighting Demonstrations

The B-U-G Rating System by Klaus Bollmann

What is the BUG rating system for light fixtures? You'll learn what it is, what it tells us and how it's used. You'll also learn which fixture types are BUG rated and which fixture types are not.


12:10 PM   LUNCH

Session II: Understanding the Details

Glare, Light Trespass & Energy Costs by Andrew Gauld

Why do we care about glare and light trespass? What effect does it have on our ability to see at night? Can we save energy with lighting that reduces or eliminates glare and light trespass? Get answers to these questions and more during this presentation.

Actual Safety & Security vs The Feelings of Safety by Charles Thompson

Can we design lighting to help us be safer and more secure? You bet we can. Current fixtures that are often called "security" lights can actually reduce visibility having a negative effect on our safety and security. Bright lights can keep us from seeing the area around us. This talk will look at what actually helps you be more secure.

Roadway Visibility by Charles Thompson

New insights into better roadway visibility may  surprise you.

Save the Night by Cindy Luongo Cassidy

Almost every living thing on our planet uses the cycle of light and dark to trigger life processes. Humans are for the most part diurnal and have come to depend on artificial light for nighttime activities. So, how does our artificial light at night effect flora and fauna?

The Light at the End of the Tunnel is not Necessarily a Good Thing

by Dr. Russel J. Reiter

Dr Reiter will share key findings from his extensive research of the medical implications of artificial light exposure at night.

Saving Our Common View of the Sky and the Legislative Side of Protecting McDonald Observatory by Bill Wren

Protecting the night skies around McDonald Observatory covers more than just the county that can be seen directly from the observatory's home on Mt Locke within the Davis Mountains. Light scatters in the atmosphere and comes over the horizon from many miles away to destroy the view of the stars. Bill Wren is McDonald Observatory's ambassador of the Night Skies. His challenge is to protect the night skies around the observatory. This is our challenge in each of our hometowns too. Historically, views of the stars were available to every human. Today, less than two-thirds of the U.S. population can see the Milky Way. You will learn some of the ways McDonald Observatory is taking on this challenge and how the State of Texas has helped.

Session III: Ordinances, Agreements and Education

Reducing Light Pollution without an Ordinance by Debbie Moran

Follow the fight with one small Houston subdivision's quest to get full cutoff decorative lighting approved where others, including large affluent subdivisions nearby had failed.  When told that fighting Houston on the issue was a losing battle, Debbie Moran decided to try to use the subdivision's small size as an advantage.  The road was not easy and there was failure at first, but a lucky reprieve allowed the north half of the subdivision to become the first and so far only residential area in Houston to install full cutoff decorative lighting. This talk will share with you the points that convinced Houston Public Works and CenterPoint Energy officials to approve their full cutoff lighting.

Current Laws and Establishing an Ordinance by Alan Bojorquez

This presentation will outline the process to establish an Outdoor Lighting Ordinance for you. It covers policy, authority, procedures, scope applicability, establishing requirements, community education and how to deal with non-conforming fixtures.


Enforcement Issues and Unincorporated Areas by Ryan Kellus Turner

How can we enforce a lighting ordinance? What difference does it make depending on the location: within city limits, in and ETJ or in an unincorporated area? What can be done in our unincorporated areas to control light trespass?

Implementation and Inspections by Michelle & Ross Fischer

What has to happen day-to-day to implement the Dripping Springs Outdoor Lighting Ordinance? This is a fun dramatization of what happens after City Council says "Go".


Local Decisions for an Ordinance by Cindy Luongo Cassidy & Bill Wren

So, you decide you want an Outdoor Lighting Ordinance in your town, what do you need to think about other than for everyone to keep their lights below the horizon and on their own property? Doesn't that cover it all?


Session IV: Interpreting and Sharing What You've Learned

6:40 PM     Reception & DINNER

Dinner Speaker: What Does Better Lighting Have to Do With Trying to Attract Tourists? by Bill Neiman

Want a leg up in the quest to attract tourist to your community? The undesirable effects of light pollution - glare, light trespass, light clutter and sky glow - make our region less attractive to visitors who play an important role in many local economies. We're just learning about the negative effects light pollution has on the waterways and wildlife that attract residents and visitors alike. Visitors come to Texas to see the stars too. Can they be seen any more from your community? Tourism is important to the Texas economy and light pollution from miles away can damage the attractions they come here to see.

8:40 PM     Tour of Night Lights in Dripping Springs