Light Pollution Wastes Energy and Money
As much as 50% of outdoor lighting is wasted, which increases greenhouse gas emissions, contributes to climate change, and renders us all more energy-dependent.
Light Pollution Makes Us Less Safe
Glare reduces visibility and makes driving and walking at night dangerous. Plus, there is no clear scientific evidence that increased outdoor lighting deters crime.
Light Pollution Robs Us Of Our Heritage
Our ancestors experienced a night sky that inspired science, religion, philosophy, art, and literature. Now, millions of children across the globe will never know the wonder of the Milky Way.
Light pollution, or the excessive or poor use of artificial light at night, is one of the most pervasive forms of environmental alteration caused by humans. Light pollution has many negative impacts, including the disruption of the natural patterns of wildlife, wasted energy and increased output of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases, interruption of human sleep and other adverse health impacts, and the loss of the aesthetic qualities and cultural significance of the night sky.
NYS Senate Bill S7663
Brad Hoylman (D, WF) 27th Senate District
Regulates outdoor night lighting to preserve and enhance the state’s dark sky.
For more info, visit NYS Senate Bill S7663
NYS Assembly Bill A8644
Patricia Fahy (D) 109th Assembly District
Enacts the "dark skies protection act"; restricts the use of outdoor lighting fixtures that are not shielded in a manner to protect against light pollution of the night sky.
For more info, visit NYS Assembly Bill A8644
New York State enacted Lights Out legislation in 2014, which successfully reduced excess light from state-owned buildings. It’s time for us to build on that success that by reducing excess light throughout the state.
Be part of the solution to light pollution! Here are some simple steps you can take to help fight light pollution where you live and across the State.
- Contact your representatives in Albany and the bills’ sponsors
Urge your representatives and sponsors to pass the bills before the Legislature. You can find your State Senators and Assembly Representatives, along with contact information and options, with these links.
- Assess the lighting around your residence.
Poor lighting not only creates glare and light pollution but also wastes enormous amounts of energy and money. Take a few moments to inspect your property for inefficient, poorly installed, and unnecessary outdoor lighting. Learn how by visiting the IDA’s Residential/Business Lighting page.
- Use dark sky friendly lighting at your home and business.
Look for the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) Fixture Seal Of Approval on any outdoor lighting you purchase. IDA maintains a searchable database of lighting products certified to minimize glare, light trespass, and skyglow. These products are recommended when replacing outdated or inappropriate lighting fixtures.
- Talk to your friends, family, and neighbors.
You can be a powerful dark sky advocate for your neighborhood, your city, and even your state and country. Solving the light pollution problem involves raising awareness of the issue so that people are empowered to make better decisions as consumers, voters and community members. The IDA has many resources available to help you spread the word.
- Advocate for a lighting ordinance in your town.
Local lighting ordinances ensure that your municipality is addressing artificial light at night. Find out if your town has a lighting ordinance. If not, try working with them topass one. If your town does have an ordinance, make sure that it’s being enforced.
Here are some useful Resources to help solve the problems of light pollution:
Downloads and Handouts
- Public Outreach Materials from IDA
- GOOD LIGHTS FOR GOOD NIGHTS, diagrams courtesy Bob Crelin
- IDA Board Recommendation for maximum 2200 Kelvin fixtures
- 1800 Kelvin fixtures available
- Five Principles for Responsible Outdoor Lighting from IDA
- Residential streetlight Guidelines from Illuminating Engineering Society
- Declaration on the use of Blue Light Sources
- Sample Lighting Code (enacted in Sag Harbor, Long Island, 2022)
The Economic and Environmental Impact Along with the Solutions to Ineffective Outdoor Lighting. Presented by Susan Harder. Hosted by Hamptons Observatory and the Middle Country Public Library.
The International Dark-Sky Association works to protect the night skies for present and future generations. IDA’s grassroots advocate network is a nimble and effective distributive network, capable of sharing best practices and tools while remaining locally attuned to specific geographic, political and demographic needs.
The NY Chapter of the IDA provides education and advocacy, and brings people all across New York State together to fight harmful and wasteful lighting practices
This chapter is organized by Susan Harder.