Sunday, 29 March 2009

Lights Off in Edinburgh

Earth Hour came and went yesterday. We switched off all our lights and electricals, but instead of doing something by candlelight, we went for a walk round Edinburgh to see how dark it was. Although it did seem darker, there were a lot of shops that were still fully lit, which lead to us discussing how much lighting do shops need to have overnight? The streetlights adequately light up the fronts of the shops that don't keep their lights on, so why do some businesses feel the need to be lit up like Christmas trees all through the night? It was very disappointing to see the large council offices still with lots of lights on (the city had signed up to join in Earth Hour), though there was a lot less floodlighting on around the city, when we were walking home, via the same route, we saw the floodlighting back on, which did give us a fairly good contrast between Earth Hour and normal lighting. The most dramatic difference was that the Castle disappeared for Earth hour:

stars
above the dark castle -
crescent moon.

15 comments:

Dave King said...

I have heard it said that shops have to keep their lights on because their insurance companies insist on it.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Dave- ah thanks, good point, I hadn't thought of that, but then, why do some shops never have their lights on overnight and why do those that do have lights on, need so many?

Alison Wiley said...

In my view, any lights left on overnight should be LED's (light-emitting diodes). They give perfectly good light and use much less energy even than compact fluorescents (CFL's).

The Castle going dark must have been dramatic indeed. I'm glad it participated.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Alison - yes, you're definitely right there, but i don't think LEDs are quite mainstream enough yet for most shops.

debg said...

I participated. But after I turned everything off, I went to bed. I'd been up since 4 AM. Makes me think about how different our lifestyles would be if we had limited light, especially in latitudes with short winter days.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Deb - yes i wonder that too, I'm currently readign a book about Antartica (which I'll review here at some point) and its really making me think about daylength and the effect it has on us...

d. moll, l.ac. said...

OMG we totally forgot.......

Mistlethrush said...

I didn't know anything about Earth hour - should have read your blog yesterday.
I think artificial light very much affects or lifestyle. If there were no street lights & shop windows etc maybe there's be fewer kids on street corners?

Crafty Green Poet said...

Mistlethrush - interesting point, though i do know that if there were more youth clubs and interesting youth activities, there'd be fewer kids hanging around on street corners!

D Moll - don't worry, there's always next year!

lunarossa said...

Hi J., we switched off all our lights yesterday night, even my very difficult teenager agreed! We lit candles in the living room and started talling spooky stories. We were so amused that we did not realized that the hour was well over. I just wish this will be useful...Ciao. A.

RoadBunner said...

We switched off our lights last night! I spent one year in Edinburgh studying abroad and miss the city dearly!!

inlandempiregirl said...

Having spring here and daylight savings time even helps turn off more lights, plus the lovely solar garden lights we purchased!

b said...

We really had wonderful hour full of surprises...talking in the dark is so wonderful. I am beginning to think that we should discuss all our big decisions in the dark!

I might add that my husband went to the window several times to see if we were the only ones that observed Earth Hour in Tucson. We don't have any castles to look at.
b

b

Jacquie said...

Here on the west coast of Canada, Earth Hour hit us later than many other major cities, so it was fun to watch the updates posted on the Earth Hour website (showing light going off in various cities) leading up to our own participation. Unfortunately, the inside of our house was kept fairly well lit by the light coming from the houses across the street.

Just someone said...

Thank you for your lovely comment! I hope it helped! Yes, hopefully more people will be inspired! not just on these days, but every day!