Boulder City to upgrade lights to protect dark skies

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Boulder City’s skies are about to darken.

Boulder City and the Nevada Outdoor Recreation Division plan to retrofit every city light with energy-efficient fixtures that will reduce light pollution. The project will begin in 2023 and contribute to the city’s goal of receiving Dark Skies Community Certification.

The light fixture replacements, which will be funded by a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Authority, will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the city’s energy costs and protect the wildlife from the impacts of light pollution, the city said in a news release.

Fixtures will include dimmers and timers to help reduce the amount of energy used, as well as light shields to reduce the amount of light sent into the sky.

Boulder City’s plan follows the signing of Senate Bill 52, also known as the Dark Sky Bill, in May 2021, which established the ability for municipalities to participate in the “designation of black skies”. The bill’s goal was to make Nevada a leader in dark sky tourism as dark skies disappear across the world, according to a press release from Governor Steve Sisolak.

Maine, New Hampshire, and New Mexico also have laws that promote dark sky preservation.

Two dark sky sanctuaries exist in Nevada out of 14 in the world: Great Basin National Park and the Massacre Rim Wilderness Area in northwestern Nevada, according to a report by The Associated Press.

Colin Robertson, administrator of the Nevada Outdoor Recreation Division, said in a press release that the city’s lighting upgrade will help “provide families and visitors with exceptional opportunities to enjoy Boulder City under the stars”.

“Preserving special qualities of a place, like the starry night sky of Boulder City, helps ensure that these important natural resources can be enjoyed and protected for generations to come.”

Contact Taylor Lane at [email protected] Follow @tmflane on Twitter.

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