Updated: Apr 10, 2018

 

What is dark sky compliant outdoor lighting anyway? To begin with, taking back our night sky does not have to mean reduced security or drab, uninteresting fixtures. Dark Sky lighting brings together the best in lighting technology. Eco-friendly fixtures center and direct light only where it’s needed instead of up into the sky where it scatters and is wasted. Properly focused light uses less energy saving you money every year in electricity. When light is focused and there is no glare, your home security is enhanced.  With some careful planning and thought, dark sky compliant fixtures can create a beautiful nighttime outdoor space for you, your family, friends and neighbors.

Dark Sky Compliant Outdoor Lighting is here to stay

Over the past 10 years that I have been writing for this site, the choices of dark sky compliant outdoor lighting have increased exponentially and they are much easier to find and compare. There truly is something for everyone’s budget and taste.

Environmental benefits of dark sky compliant outdoor lighting

Environmental, that which is everything around us and the world we live in. Birds, insects, nocturnal animals, non-nocturnal animals creating too much light in both cases. For nocturnal animals dangers multiply. They are unable to forage without being seen and eaten by predators. Birds are dying at alarming rates as a direct cause of light pollution, or too much and too bright lights creating glare. According to the International Dark Sky Association (IDA), in a book written in 2012, that light pollution is increasing at a rate of 6% per year. [Fighting Light Pollution: Smart Lighting Solutions for Individuals and Communities]. 

International Dark Sky Association

The IDA gives the following definitions of adverse effect of artificial lighting. Their definition of light pollution is any adverse effect of artificial light. These are broken down as sky glow, glare, light trespass, light clutter, decreased visibility at night and energy waste. These four lighting components causing light pollution (from same book), are as follows:

  • Urban glow: the brightening of thenight sky over inhabited areas
  • Light trespass: light falling where it is not intended, wanted, or needed.
  • Glare: excessive brightness that causes visual discomfort and decreases visibility
  • Clutter: bright, confusing, and excessive groupings of light sources, commonly found in overlit urban areas