IDA & IES against Light Pollution
The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) announce a strategic collaboration to address the global issue of light pollution that negatively affects our environment and the human condition.
The Boards of Directors of IDA and IES have unanimously adopted Five Principles for Responsible Outdoor Lighting. By joining forces, IDA and IES seek to guide the outdoor lighting industry in the U.S. and beyond to be more socially and environmentally responsible.
“The Five Principles for Responsible Outdoor Lighting that unite our organizations are based on simple ideas; limit light at night to where and when it is needed, don’t overlight, and be sensitive to environmental concerns,” said Brian Liebel, Director of Standards and Research for the IES. “Following these Principles is not difficult and results in more effective and comfortable lighting installations.”
In recent years, light pollution has increased globally by two percent per year. The indiscriminate use of electric lighting at night leads to at least $3BN in wasted energy in the U.S. alone. This wasted light can harm wildlife, imperil important astronomical research, and can obscure our view of the star-filled sky.
“By following these simple principles, electric lighting at night can be beautiful, healthy, and functional. These principles work together to reduce light pollution, save energy and money, and minimize wildlife disruption,” said Ruskin Hartley, Executive Director of IDA.
Future avenues for engagement between the two organizations include convening experts to advance a new metric to characterize the color quality of outdoor electrical lighting, assessing and updating the Model Lighting Ordinance adopted by IDA and IES in 2011, and working to educate and inform municipalities and individuals about how these principles can be applied to save money and advance quality lighting that protects the night.
Here are 5 Principles to protect the night:
1 – Useful – All light should have a clear purpose.
Before installing or replacing a light, determine if light is needed. Consider how the use of light will impact the area, including wildlife and the environment. Consider using reflective paints or self-luminous markers for sign, curbs, and steps to reduce the need for permanently installed outdoor lighting.
2 – Targeted – Light should be directed only to where needed.
Use shielding and careful aiming to target the direction of the light beam so that it points downward and does not spill beyond where it is needed.
3 – Low light levels – Light should be no brighter, then necessary.
Use the lowest light level required. Be mindful of surface conditions as some surfaces may reflect more light into the night sky than intended.
4 – Controlled – Light should be used only when it is useful.
Use controls such as timers or motion detectors to ensure that light is available when it is needed, dimmed when possible, and turned off when not needed.
5 – Color – Use warmer color lights where possible.
Limit the amount of shorter wavelength (blue-violet) light to the least amount needed.