When considering the environment and pollution, thoughts usually go to water, air, and the land.  But there are other kinds of pollution, including pollution from lighting.  International Dark Sky Week aims to bring attention and action to this lesser known type of pollution. 


Any artificial light that is not needed is considered light pollution. Light pollution is increasing at 2x rate of population growth and 83% of the global population lives under a light-polluted sky.  

Light pollution:

  • disrupts and threatens wildlife by: 
    • decreasing reproduction
    • disrupting migration
    • increasing predation
  • impacts human health
  • wastes money and energy
  • blocks the view of the universe

Outdoor lighting at home is very welcoming.  Among other things It illuminates landscaping and walkways and allows outdoor living space to be used for relaxing and recreation later into the evening, However, a lot of the outdoor lighting used at night is inefficient, overly bright, poorly targeted, improperly shielded, and in many cases, completely unnecessary. This light, and the electricity used to create it, are being wasted because it spills into the sky rather than being focused on objects and areas that people need illuminated.  

Use outdoor lighting responsibly by:

  • only using the amount of light required
  • only using light where it’s needed, and using shielding to target the light so it does not spill beyond where it is needed
  • only using light when it’s needed by utilizing controls such as timers or motion sensors
  • limit the amount of shorter wavelength (blue-violet) light being used -  a wide variety of dark-sky-friendly lighting fixtures that minimize glare and reduce the impacts of lighting on the sky are available from manufacturers. 

Let's all use this week to focus on our proper and efficient use of outdoor lighting!