Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Lights Out LA was a huge success, thanks to all of you! We'd also like to extend a special thanks to those of you who sent photos and feedback. We've gotten amazing publicity including local, national, and international press, television, and radio.

Building off of all the positive responses we've received from folks across the country and even around the world, we're moving forward with Lights Out America. Please join us in taking it to the next level by participating in Lights Out America on March 29th, 2008! To pledge you support and learn more, please visit Lights Out America.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Not sure what to do when the lights go out?

After you turn off your lights (8-9pm PST tomorrow, Saturday, October 20th) try out one of the following:

-Help us out by taking photos and emailing them to

-Treat yourself (and someone else) to a candlelight dinner.

-Learn How to Celebrate Candle Night.

-Tell scary stories or play hide-and-go-seek.

LOLA in the press

We've been featured in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune and CBS2!

Arctic Warming

Evidence of global warming is made quite apparent by the disappearance of ice in the Arctic. Today, the New York Times ran an article demonstrating these effects: "New Coast Guard Task in Arctic's Warming Seas.

For more information on the effects of climate change take a look at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Arctic Report Card, which "indicate[s] that the overall warming of the Arctic system continued in 2007."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Light Bulbs

We've been getting quite a few emails and questions regarding CFLs. Below you will find some information that I hope will prove useful:

5 Ways to Recycle a CFL

How to live with CFLs

Sierra Club's "Mr. Green" on CFLs

In response to those of you who have asked about "dimmable" and other types of CFLs, I suggest you inquire about them at your local hardware store or search online.

Yesterday I spoke with a representative from the SF Department of the Environment about the best way to dispose of used incandescent bulbs. Unfortunately, the best way to dispose of them is to put them in the garbage. The good news is that, if you're replacing your incandescent bulbs with CFLs, you'll be saving resources in the long-run!

Monday, October 15, 2007

A post for Blog Action Day

In honor of Blog Action Day, I'd like to point out an article the SF Chronicle ran on Sunday. Cities throughout California are setting up solar-powered parking lots. According to the Chronicle, “[a]lthough the demand for electricity peaks on days when the sun shines brightest, solar power accounts for less than 1 percent of California's total electricity supply”. Wouldn’t it be great to harness more energy from this life-giving star at the center of our solar system? For more information, read “Solar-powered parking lots”.

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Eco news

According to the New Economics Foundation, "[t]he world moved into 'ecological overdraft' on Saturday, the point at which human consumption exceeds the ability of the earth to sustain it in any year and goes into the red". While it is not definite that this is the case, the article "World moves into the ecological red" includes some very scary and eye-opening facts. This one struck me as particularly poignant:

"If everyone in the world had the same consumption rates as in the United States it would take 5.3 planet earths to support them, NEF said, noting that the figure was 3.1 for France and Britain, 3.0 for Spain, 2.5 for Germany and 2.4 for Japan."

Thank you to Graham, who wrote in to alert us of an article entitled "Is light pollution killing out birds?" which states:

"Recent research has shown a reduction in the populations of moths, spiders, sparrows and amphibians, supporting the case for light pollution being considered a threat to the environment as well as to astronomers - who find the glare interfering with their observations - and householders - who complain of the visual intrusion caused by security lights and insensitive street lighting."

Visit to download a PDF of the entire article.

Just some more food for thought.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

LOLA on Treehugger

Due to Treehugger's writeup we've bee receiving some positive feedback. Thanks Treehugger!

A comment from Sherman Oaks

Greg Wright, of Sherman Oaks, wrote in with the comment posted below. I appreciated his perspective, and have decided to share it with the folks who keep up with our blog.

Greg wrote:

Congratulations to Lights Out Los Angeles and L.A.'s civic leaders for this great "CO2sciousness-raising" activity.

Rachel Hadjipateras, a Californian living in Senegal, wrote in a letter to the editor of the L.A. Times (Sept. 23rd) that "one hour without lights is not likely to enlighten anyone in California" about going without power or reducing our carbon footprint.

But it should! The North Polar Region is melting in front of our eyes. The oceans are dying. Species are disappearing in a spasm of extinction unseen since the end of the Cretaceous Period 65 million years ago. Humanity needs to dim, turn down and turn off a lot of unnecessary lights and other unnecessary stuff, fast, to avoid a slew of terrible effects that, if we don't, will last for the rest of our stay on Earth, and of many of our fellow mammals and other creatures. The one hour of relative electrical dimness in San Francisco on October 20th, or the Lights Out America on next March 29th -- or the annual Sydney Earth Hour or last year's Lights Out London -- will have value only if these events become the prelude to a massive reduction in commercial nighttime illumination that happens by law and new custom every night after a certain hour (say, at midnight): a regular practice instead of an annual celebration. At least until the world is powered completely by carbon-free renewable energy. This should start with billboard illumination (except in a few special entertainment districts, such as the Sunset Strip), and then the many blazing-bright auto dealerships and the many large freestanding signs on closed businesses.

"The greatest generation" blacked out the lights during World War Two to help win that war. Hopefully we of the present, of all ages, can be "the greenest generation" and dim our lights to help win the war for the planet.

Energy conservation is the low-hanging fruit of the rapid societal decarbonization desperately needed to save our biosphere. Now that more than half of humanity lives in cities, permanently reducing nighttime urban electric illumination as a widespread practice will save a lot of fossil-fueled electricity and the atmospheric carbon it causes -- and quite a few people, ever more disconnected from nature, will be able to see the night sky again.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Thanks to Apartment Therapy for blogging about us today!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

How much electricity do my appliances use?

A friend asked me if even her flat iron uses electricity if it's plugged in, but not in use. While I was unable to find out about flat irons, I found a helpful website that explains electricity usage. Generally speaking, anything with a display will draw a charge even if it is off. Appliances that run off transformers also draw a charge. Learn more.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Seeing stars

Nate appeared today on national news! Check him out on Fox News.

Inhabitat has also featured us on their website.

The Old Town Sidewalk Astronomers will have their regular astronomy event in Monrovia on Saturday evening, October 20, at the corner of Myrtle and Lime, Library Park, Monrovia. Hopefully this will be a great time to see some stars!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Lights Out America!

We’re excited to announce the launch of our nationwide effort. For more information, stay tuned to

LOLA in the Press and on the Web

We’re making headway! Over the past few days, LOLA was featured in the United Press Internation, the LA Times, Digg, The Oil Drum, and Yelp LA.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

LOLA in the press

Our first Lights Out LA article went to print! We were featured today in theSan Gabriel Valley Tribune. The article has also been reposted in the Los Angeles Daily News, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, and the Whittier Daily News.

Blog Action Day

Today we joined Blog Action Day. Bloggers everywhere will join together on October 15th to spread the word about way in which we can help the environment. Each blogger will address environmental issues by writing a post relating to their own topic. Check it out!

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Stop Your Junk Mail and Learn About Green Jobs for All

Green for All is a campaign dedicated to “harness[ing] the growing power of the green economic revolution to fight the war on poverty.” They intend to secure training for thousands of workers for the green job market in order to create job opportunities for impoverished urban community members in cities such as Baltimore, Detroit, Oakland, and New Orleans. To learn more, or to get involved, visit their website.

According to , over 100 million trees are cut down each year to print junk mail. This month, New American Dream: Carbon Conscious Consumer is asking folks to remove themselves from mail junk lists in order to save paper. New American Dream is a site directed toward encouraging individuals to adopt “climate-friendly daily habits”. You can also sign up at website to stop receiving junk mail.

MORE PRESS: The Boston Globe featured the article John M. Glionna wrote about Nate and Lights Out in the Los Angeles Times

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Seattle's Climate Action

While California is doing an exemplary job of implementing “green” programs, we can always learn from other states. Washington State is also working toward a sustainable future. Learn more about what they’re doing in the Northwest by reading “It takes a city to limit greenhouse gases”.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

MySpace us!

Help us spread the word.
Find us on MySpace and be our friend!

Black Balloons and Sea Level Rise

A new friend tipped me off to an interesting visual. Black Balloons:making CO2 real provides an interesting visualization of household greenhouse gas emissions. Yet another reason we need to conserve energy.

If those black balloons aren’t scary enough, watch ABCs Fear of Rising Waters video. For more information, read Architecture2030’s Coastal Impact Study: Nation Under Siege.

Monday, September 24, 2007

We are Lights Out LA!

Hello and welcome to our blog,

We are Lights Out Los Angeles, a grassroots community group now organizing a citywide energy savings event on Saturday, October 20, 2007. On this night, we invite the entire city and county of LA, including businesses, city and federal government agencies, schools, and individuals to turn off all non-essential lighting to save energy.

We started with a local event in San Francisco for which we created a template and lessons learned that can be applied in creating similar events in cities throughout the country. In the process of building Lights Out San Francisco we were contacted by people in cities across the country, and even around the world, in hopes of organizing Lights Out events in their own towns. LA and LA county are the first to join.

You may ask: what good does one hour do? What do we hope to accomplish?

Today, the United States consumes more energy and emits more greenhouse gases than any other country in the world. Our nation's growing appetite for energy must be controlled to protect our planet from the effects of the climate crisis.

We estimate that turning lights out for even one hour could save as much as 15 percent of the energy consumed in LA on an average Saturday night. This savings will reduce carbon emissions into our air, preserve the natural resources used to produce this energy, set a positive precedent for the rest of the world, and result in ongoing reduced costs to citizens and businesses.

Please join us in turning out your non-essential lights from 8-9pm on Saturday, October 20th, and stay tuned here for more information.

If you would like to get involved in Lights Out LA, please email

Warm regards,

The Lights Out LA Team