Allentown, Pennsylvania is a city located in the northeastern part of the United States. With an estimated population of 121,303 as of 2021, it is the third-largest city in the state. Allentown is known for its rich history, beautiful architecture, and vibrant nightlife. However, with the rise of light pollution, the city's night sky has become increasingly polluted, causing concern among its residents and environmentalists alike.
Light pollution refers to the excessive or misdirected artificial light that interferes with the natural darkness of the night sky. In Allentown, light pollution is caused by a combination of factors, including urbanization, industrialization, and the widespread use of artificial lighting. The city's downtown area is home to numerous commercial and residential buildings, which emit a significant amount of light at night. Additionally, Allentown has a large industrial sector, which operates around the clock and contributes to the city's light pollution.
One of the most notable landmarks in Allentown is the PPL Center, a multi-purpose arena that opened in 2014. The arena is home to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, a professional ice hockey team, and has hosted numerous concerts and events. The PPL Center is illuminated at night by a series of powerful floodlights, which contribute to the city's light pollution. Another notable landmark is the Allentown Art Museum, which features a collection of over 19,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. The museum's exterior is illuminated at night by a series of lights, which highlight its unique architecture and draw attention to the building.
The people of Allentown are known for their love of sports, music, and nightlife. The city has a thriving downtown scene, with numerous bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. The nightlife in Allentown is a major contributor to the city's light pollution, as many of these establishments use bright and colorful lighting to attract customers. Additionally, many residents of Allentown leave their porch lights and other outdoor lights on all night, contributing to the overall level of light pollution in the city.
The impact of light pollution on the environment is a growing concern for many residents of Allentown. According to the World Atlas of Artificial Night Sky Brightness, Allentown has a light pollution level of 21.56 on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being the brightest. This level of light pollution can have negative effects on the health of local wildlife, including birds and insects. It can also interfere with astronomical observations and disrupt the natural rhythms of nocturnal animals.
Allentown, Pennsylvania, is a vibrant city with a rich history and a thriving nightlife. However, its growing problem with light pollution is a cause for concern. The city's population, industry, and nightlife all contribute to the level of light pollution, which can have negative effects on the environment and the health of local wildlife. As the city continues to grow and develop, it will be important to address this issue and take steps to reduce the impact of artificial lighting on the natural world.