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.