Commercial Buildings

Badrock Volunteer Fire Department, Columbia Falls

Great example of fully shielded lights pointing down towards the ground where light is needed. Since the fire department might suddenly become active after dark, it makes sense to leave these lights on all night. A few small tweaks might make this even better. To the right, the flag light could be shielded to provide a cone of light on the flag at night. And right of the flag, there is an unshielded light fixture above an entry that should be shielded. Finally, a lighted sign out near the highway is much too bright and would be easier to read in the dark if it was less bright.

Hammerquist Casalegno, General Contractors, Kalispell

Here’s a Kalispell business with nice, easy-on-the-eyes lighting. The fixtures are recessed and the light sources are not visible, which eliminates glare. The lights are also a nice, warm color to reduce sky glow pollution.  A couple of tweaks that would make this lighting even better include using a timer so the lighting turns off or dims significantly by midnight. Also, the flag lighting should be shielded into a cone of light so there isn’t so much spill light on the tree nearby.

Good Food Store, Missoula

Missoula’s Good Food Store features a lot of good lighting that’s easy on the eye. The parking lot fixtures are on short poles that reduce the amount of glare, and the lights aren’t overly bright. Unfortunately, they are a little over 4,000 Kelvin and have too much blue in the spectrum. Lights need to be less than 3,000K to qualify as dark sky friendly. Also, the store name is unfortunately illuminated with lights pointing up into the sky. These fixtures are shielded on the bottom but not on the top. Canopies are used as mini-blinds that damper some of the interior light from shining up into the sky. 

Oil & Gas Development

Recommended Lighting Practices: A Collaborative Effort by the Permian Basin Petroleum Association,  the Texas Oil and Gas Association, and the McDonald Observatory (2018)

Ball Fields and Parks