What Can You Do?
- Inspect your home’s lighting: Check your home for unnecessary or poorly
designed outdoor lighting and replace it, as needed.
- Use Dark Sky Friendly Lighting at your home and business: Look for Dark Sky Friendly Lighting with the IDA’s guide.
- Talk to your friends, family and neighbors: Raise awareness about light pollution by educating others about what they can do to reduce light pollution.
- Spread the word online: Increase education and awareness about light pollution by discussing it online.
- Use International Dark-Sky Association approved lighting: This lighting can be found here.
- Heed our calls to action: Stay up to date on IDA news to learn more about the best ways to reduce and prevent light pollution.
- Join or start a chapter: Find an IDA chapter near you by clicking here.
- Become a citizen scientist: Participate in projects like Globe At Night, MySkyatNight and others. Learn more here.
- Set up a table at a local event: Raise awareness with IDA Educational Materials.
- Give a talk: Educate groups and the public about light pollution by giving a presentation.
- Advocate for a lighting ordinance in your town: Make reducing light pollution a community effort by advocating for a lighting ordinance, code, or policy in your community.
- Visit an IDA Dark Sky Park: Enjoy the night sky at one of the IDA’s parks. Click here to find the park closest to you.
For more information, visit the IDA’s website.
Keeping Your Community Dark
Create Lighting Ordinances, Laws and Policies: Lighting Ordinances are a great way to
reduce light pollution as a community. Ordinances, codes, laws, or policies can be written to require that municipalities implement good and safe outdoor lighting. The IDA has designed a Model Lighting Ordinance (MLO) for North American communities. Click here to see the MLO template. Additionally, click here to learn how to identify existing ordinances, ensure their enforcement, and advocate for lighting ordinances in your community. To read more about lighting laws and policies, click here.
Talk to your Neighbors and Community Leaders: Some outdoor lighting is poorly designed, simply due to lack of education about light pollution. You can help by talking to your neighbors and community leaders about their lighting choices. Glare producing streetlights are very common in many areas, and can be remedied through education about the characteristics of bad streetlights and talking with the agencies responsible about alternative lighting. Communicating with your neighbors about harmful lighting can also help to reduce light pollution. For tips on how to begin this conversation, click here.
What can you do?
Follow the 6 rules of night sky friendly lighting:
- Use light only where needed.
- Use light only when needed. These two rules will not only decrease light pollution, but could potentially save you money on your electricity bill.
- Shield light to reduce glare and improve efficiency. This will direct light down to the ground, instead of upwards and will illuminate the correct area.
- Use yellow light when practical and minimize blue light emissions. Blue light can increase vulnerability to losing vision, especially for the elderly and put humans at higher health risk. For more information, click here to read a study by the IDA.
- Use the minimum amount of light necessary for the task. Dimmers, motion sensors and timers can help to reduce average illumination levels and save even more energy.
- Use energy efficient lamps. LEDs and compact fluorescents (CFLs) can help reduce energy use and protect the environment, but only warm-white bulbs should be used.
Here is an infographic to help you remember what you can do:
Finding Dark Sky Approved Lighting:
Dark Sky Friendly Lighting is required to be full shielded and minimize the amount of blue light that trespasses in the night sky. To buy Dark Sky Friendly Lighting, look for International Dark-Sky Association (IDA)’s seal of approval on lighting products, or click here.
Get Your Community Involved
We’ve provided a model light ordinance that can be used to create light ordinances specifically tailored to your community! Make a difference in your community today!