The EPA announced vastly more stringent and restrictive “personal light” pollution guidelines yesterday, to the general approval of anti-light activists around the nation. The new rules, which go in effect July 1st, will affect mainly suburban and rural residents.
Landscape lighting, that staple of upscale modern suburban yards, will be hit the hardest by the new regulations. Each individual light in a household’s landscape lighting system will now be required to be “no brighter than an average firefly,” or approximately ½ of one lumen. Moreover, every other light in a sequence of lights will have to emit no light whatsoever. EPA chief Charles Do-gooder stated, “You know how there is Coors and Coors Light or Bud and Bud Light? Well, now there are Lights…and Lights Lights! There is still light there, just not as much of it.”
There are other new restrictions as well, such as the limit on “rope” lighting. These lights are commonly used in some areas on patios and decks, and, especially, in portable ice houses across the northern tier of the country. The new laws restrict the length of these lights to ½ the length of the structure, or eight feet, whichever is less.
Portable lanterns, such as those used by campers, have been banned entirely, except for those powered by rechargeable batteries. “Propane or gas lanterns that generate an actual flame are obviously far too dangerous to be allowed to exist,” stated an anti-light spokesperson. “Besides the blatant risk that they may cause a forest fire, they are bright enough to induce temporary night-blindness in several owl species.” He went on to state that disposable battery operated lanterns pose a different threat to the environment, in-so-far-as the batteries themselves, when discarded, can leach lead and other chemicals into the ecosystem.
Head lamps and hat lights face new lumen limits, too. These lights, popular because they allow the wearer to see at night while retaining the full use of both hands, will now also have to be positioned at the back of the wearer’s head, so as not to risk affecting the night vision of others in the area that he/she may be looking towards.
Book-light regulations have likewise been revised, but the new restrictions are dependent not on the light itself, but rather on the book or books they are to be used to read, and where the books are to be read. If the book is to be read indoors, the light can be up to a maximum of 30 lumens. If, however, the book is to be read outdoors, the cap on lumens is 4.
However, if the book in question is “of an honest, tolerant, progressive nature,” there are no restrictions on the lighting tool’s brightness. If it is a “typically biased work by intolerant, right-wing, jack-booted thugs,” the light can be no more than 1/3 of a lumen.
It is now illegal to attempt to use any form of portable lighting while trying to read a book published by Regnery Publishing, Inc.