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Oct 4, 2015

Lighting Tips

How-to Be “Dark Sky” Compliant and See the Stars

Be “Dark Sky” Compliant and See the Stars with our Top 5 Outdoor Lighting Tips

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Star light, star bright…. Where are all the stars tonight?

Is it only the astronomers and avid stargazers who seem to have noticed that our night sky is being swallowed up in a cloud of artificial light?

Glaring streetlights, flashy billboards, automobile headlamps, overly bright landscape and outdoor lighting…. all of these factors have had devastating consequences on our environment.

“Parking lots and gas stations, for example, are now often 10 times brighter than they were just 20 years ago and light pollution continues to grow at 6 percent every year.” Paul Bogart for The Sunday Star-Ledger, A bright idea whose time has come: Turning down city lights. March 3, 2013, P6

Not only does this wasteful illumination block our view of the stars and planets, this overabundance of nightlight disrupts circadian rhythms and negatively affects all life on earth.

“Fatal light attraction” -which is produced by excessive outdoor lighting-is deadly for migratory birds, causing over 100 million bird fatalities across the United States.–, Feb. 2015

So, what can YOU do to make your home more “Dark-Sky” friendly and stop the proliferation of profuse and destructive lighting design?

Top 5 Ways to Make Your Home “Dark-Sky” Compliant

1.  Become a partner with the International Dark Sky Association.  The International Dark Sky Association (IDA) is a US-based non-profit organization devoted to preserving the natural splendor and beauty of the nighttime sky.  Membership includes all 50 states in the USA and over 70 countries worldwide.

• Contact to learn more about Dark Sky awareness and support efforts to preserve and protect the nighttime environment with good outdoor and landscape lighting plans.

2.  Check around your home at dusk and after sunset.

•Make sure outdoor light fixtures are shielded and angled downward to minimize “light trespass” beyond your property.

•Install motion sensors and automated controls on outdoor security lights so they will shut off when not in use.

3.  Talk to your neighbors.

•Educate them about Dark Sky laws and help each other to light responsibly.

4.  Upgrade your home with “Dark Sky”compliant fixtures.

• These outdoor and landscape lighting fixtures are shielded to focus light downward.

•The latest Dark Sky outdoor lighting fixtures are eco-friendly and energy-efficient.

3144mose Maxim dark sky wl

5.  Throw a Star Party

•Enjoy a view of the nighttime sky with friends.

9836 Minka Dark Sky Wall Sconce

The latest Dark Sky outdoor and landscape lighting fixtures make it easy to get on board with the International Dark Sky movement.

Check out the latest Dark Sky outdoor wall lights from Modern Forms;

“Origami” WS-W27515

“Balthus” WS-W28514

“Kyoto” WS-W22520

We must all be part of the solution and take steps to preserve and protect the natural environment with Dark Sky-friendly illumination; and, in turn, we will have a smarter, more energy-efficient lighting design overall.

A few more “Dark Sky” facts to keep in mind….

  • The IDA has developed a fixture-rating program to outline standards for Dark Sky designations, factoring in such aspects as glare control, high efficiency, and automatic shut-off.
  • The ability to adjust the fixture to shine mostly downward and set wattage limits for landscape lighting has also been taken into consideration.
  • The IDA is currently working on a model lighting ordinance that may be easily adopted by states or local communities to encourage better lighting for industrial, city and residential applications.
  • If your town requires outdoor lighting fixtures be certified by IDA, you must look for products that have the IDA logo on the box:  ”IDA Approved.”
  • If your town has Dark Sky regulations but does not require IDA certification, you may look for fixtures that are shielded and consult with a professional lighting expert to make sure your outdoor lighting fixtures and landscape lighting designs are eco-friendly.
  • Some fixtures may use the label “Dark-Sky friendly,” and they may have all the benefits of Dark Sky compliancy without having been officially tested and labeled.

es31936-fbz Designers Fountain Oudoor post lamp


For more information:

International Dark Sky Association

3223 North First Avenue

Tucson, Arizona 85719