Light pollution is a big issue nowadays because of the excessive use of light, which makes you wonder if you can make your light dark sky friendly and how to do it. Artificial light illuminates our surroundings during the night. On the other hand, excessive light is bad for the environment and can cause pollution. It is almost impossible to see the stars at night, especially in the city because of all the artificial lights. If you are concerned about light pollution and are wondering how to make your light at home dark sky compliant, check out the rest of the article below.
How do you make light dark sky compliant? You can make light dark sky compliance by using shielded lights so that the light is directed downward and only lights up a specific area. Moreover, you can also use LED lights which are more eco-friendly as compared to other types of lights. You can also add motion sensors to light fixtures so that it only lights up when there are people in the area.
Outdoor lighting is necessary at night. Not only do artificial lights illuminate our surroundings, it also provides a sense of safety and security. The downside to using a lot of outdoor lighting fixtures is that it contributes to light pollution. Luckily, there are ways to make your lights dark sky compliant so that it helps reduce light pollution. Find out more about this topic below.
What is Dark Sky Outdoor Lighting?
Dark Sky outdoor lighting is created so that it directs light to the ground. It prevents light from going upwards into the sky where it can cause light pollution. Nowadays, more and more people are concerned about light pollution and many places have a dark sky ordinance.
Dark Sky Lighting and Light Pollution
Dark sky lighting helps reduce light pollution. In the modern world that we live in today, outdoor lighting is considered a necessity. As a matter of fact, many businesses are improving their outdoor lighting for security and safety concerns. Moreover, having appealing outdoor lighting makes their store more noticeable. On the other hand, excessive and bad lighting are widespread which leads to light pollution.
Wrong lighting placement and using the wrong fixtures can lead to different lighting issues such as light trespass and glare. Aside from that, outdoor lights that are not positioned properly or placed in the wrong area can contribute to sky glow. This means that the light goes upwards. Dark sky ordinance is created to help control light pollution.
✅ Video – Where Are the Stars? See How Light Pollution Affects Night Skies | Short Film Showcase
National Geographic shared a short film below on YouTube. It discusses how light pollution affects the night skies. The short film was shot by Sriram Murali in California. Check out the video below for more information.
How to Make Outdoor Lighting Dark Sky Compliant
There are many ways to make outdoor lighting dark sky compliant which include installing light shields, using LED lights, choosing the right light color, installing motion sensors or dimmers, and using timers. By adhering to simple lighting techniques, it will reduce glare, light trespass, and sky glow. Proper position of the lights will also improve safety and security around your property. Find out more about the different ways on how you can make outdoor lighting dark sky compliant below.
One of the best and most effective ways to make your outdoor lighting dark sky compliant is by using shield lights. Choose outdoor lighting fixtures that are fully shielded. This makes sure that the lights are pointing downward. Shield lights also help reduce glare and improve nighttime visibility.
Fully shielded lighting is designed to have a barrier at the top and surrounding the light bulb. Moreover, it is angled in a way so that the light source is not seen by people or wildlife. It is also beneficial to your neighbors because it prevents light trespass into their property.
Reduce Light Waste
Make sure that you reduce light waste by using lights only in areas that need it. You do not need to surround your house with lights just to feel safer. More often than not, it makes it easier for burglars to scout and enter your home if it is lighted in all areas because they can see everything and can plan where to break in. Moreover, you can also reduce light waste by turning the lights on only when it is required. It is ideal that you purchase a light with a timer or sensor so that it automatically turns off and reduces the amount of light waste.
Another way to make your light dark sky friendly is by using LED lights. LEDs are a good choice when white light is required. They are energy efficient so it also helps cut down energy waste. You can choose dimmable LEDs for your outdoor lighting because they can be completely turned down. For more information about this topic, you can check out this article titled, do LED lights reduce light pollution?
You also need to make sure that you choose the right light color. Avoid using lights that give off blue light because it is harmful to humans, nature, and wildlife. Take note that LEDs can contain larger amounts of blue light. Hence, it is best that you choose LED lights with color temperatures that do not exceed 3000 Kelvins.
Another way to make your light dark sky compliant is by adding dimmers. Make sure that your outdoor lights are not giving off excessive lighting. Use dimmers to adjust the illumination and set it at a comfortable level so that you do not contribute to light pollution. Moreover, you can use LPS or low-pressure sodium lights. These types of lights are energy-efficient and do not emit a pumpkin-like color. LPS are ideal for lighting environmentally sensitive areas.
Make your outdoor lighting fixture dark sky compliant by installing timers. This will automatically turn your fixtures off at a set time. Not only will this reduce light pollution, but it will also significantly lower your energy bill.
If you do not want to use timers, you can use a motion sensor. They are more convenient to use. Your outdoor light remains off and will only turn on if it senses motion in the surroundings. You can choose from a wide array of lighting fixtures with motion sensors available on the market.
What is Dark Sky Compliance?
Dark sky compliance is a campaign to help reduce light pollution. Poorly designed or excessive use of outdoor lighting can cause light pollution. Light pollution makes it hard to see stars at the sky. In a city with too much lighting, you will only see a halo of bleary light when you look up the sky at night. Dark sky movement aims to make the night sky more visible, reduce energy and minimize the impact of artificial light on the environment. We have also shared this article that discusses if there are lights that don’t cause light pollution. You can check out the article for more information about the topic.
Why Is Dark Sky Compliance Important?
Dark sky compliance is important because aside from reducing light pollution, it also reduces the amount of blue light during the night. Take note that high levels of blue light can affect the quality of your sleep. Moreover, blue light causes glare, discomfort, circadian rhythm disruption, and skyglow. Blue lights can adversely affect the behavior and reproduction of wildlife.
Lighting should have less than 3000 CCT or correlated color temperature before it can be approved by the Fixture Seal of Approval. Moreover, a dark sky compliant lighting fixture is also important because it prevents outdoor lighting from being a nuisance to your neighbors. An ordinary street light can emit bright light that can trespass into your neighbor’s property and prevent them from sleeping peacefully. Dark sky compliant lighting fixtures have reduced light or are fully shielded so that it only directs light downward. You can also check out this article that discusses how to block your neighbor’s light. We have shared tips that you can follow.
Why Switch to Dark Sky Lights?
It is ideal to switch to dark sky lights because it offers a lot of benefits. Dark sky lights emit light down towards the ground so it effectively reduces glare while improving visibility. As a result, you can minimize the wattage and number of lights that you should install in an area. It will save energy and money.
Why Are Dark Skies Important?
Dark skies are important for the proper functioning of ecosystems. Night skies do not only provide a magnificent view of the heavenly bodies, but it also affects humans, wildlife, and the environment. Artificial lighting affects the migration patterns of different species, the relationship between predator and prey, as well as the circadian rhythms of many organisms. We have also written this article that discusses what is considered light pollution. Check out the article for more information about the topic.
In this article, we have discussed how to make your light dark sky compliant. We have shared different ways on how you can make your outdoor lighting fixture dark sky compliant. The good thing is that you can find a lot of dark sky compliant lighting sold on the market. Using dark sky compliant lights does not only reduce light pollution, but it also offers many benefits which include saving energy and money. Thank you for reading!