Dark Sky Friendly Outdoor Lighting

Sep 20, 2021

When you think of eco-friendly lighting, what comes to mind? Chances are, the first thing you think of is energy efficient lighting, which allows you to achieve bright lighting for a fraction of the energy used by outdated incandescent lights.

As important as it is, energy efficiency isn’t the only factor that goes into a lamp’s eco-friendliness—especially when it comes to outdoor lights.

It is extremely important for outdoor lighting to be dark sky compliant. Outdoor lighting is one of the main causes of light pollution.
Dark sky friendly lighting prevents light pollution, which can contribute to circadian disruption for many forms of wildlife. It also creates problems for astronomical research and can cause difficulty sleeping even in humans.


Benefits of Dark Sky Lighting

Dark sky lighting offers many benefits for businesses, people, and the environment. Energy savings, light pollution reduction, and increases in property values are all positive outcomes of dark sky friendly outdoor lighting.

Provides Energy Savings

How does light pollution work? Typical light fixtures give off an ambient glow, which includes light directed up toward the sky. The result is a large amount of wasted light that never reaches the ground. In the US, about a third of all light from dusk-to-dawn fixtures is wasted.

So, how does this translate into financial savings? Wasted light means wasted money, as well. For every $100 spent on outdoor lighting, about $45 is wasted on the light that spreads upward, rather than toward the ground.

Since dark sky friendly street lights reduce wasted light, they also reduce wasted money.

Reduces Light Pollution

There are a number of light pollution effects on the environment. First, overexposure to artificial light at night can disrupt animal and human sleep patterns.

For humans, disrupted sleep can increase the likelihood of negative health effects, including diabetes, sleep disorders, and depression. In animals, light pollution can disrupt wake-sleep rhythms, interfere with migration patterns, and harm habitat formation.
Reducing light pollution with dark sky outdoor lighting is the right thing to do for human health and ecosystem preservation.

Preserves Property Values

Too much light pollution can have a negative effect on surrounding property values. Light pollution interferes with a property owner’s use and enjoyment of their land.

As dark, starry skies become more and more scarce, night sky quality has more and more of an impact on the value of a property.
An investment in quality, dark sky compliant lighting helps to preserve your property value and the value of nearby properties.

How to Shop For Dark Sky Outdoor Lighting

So, ready to reduce light pollution by upgrading to dark sky friendly lighting? Planning a new project and plan to incorporate dark sky compliant exterior lights? Here’s what to keep in mind when shopping for the low light pollution outdoor lighting.

  1. The warmer the color temperature, the better. Try to avoid lamps with intense blue spikes, since blue light wavelengths cause the most sleep disruption.
  2. Fully shielded lighting reduces waste. Fully shielded fixtures keep light from glowing upward, and instead concentrate it downward, where it’s actually needed.
  3. Dim lighting is best. To keep light pollution to a minimum, use outdoor lighting at the dimmest possible setting while still being safe for its application.
  4. Only light necessary areas. If an outdoor area doesn’t absolutely need light, opt out of lighting. This can even mean setting up lights on a timer or motion sensor to avoid keeping lights on when they are not needed.


TCP Lighting Solutions

TCP has the dark sky friendly lighting you need for your next outdoor, commercial lighting project. The LED Sports Light from TCP, for example, is available with an optional up-light shield that works to minimize glare and light pollution. It delivers bright, uniform light, making it an excellent energy efficient alternative to fluorescent and HID fixtures. TCP’s Select Series Wall Pack has an integrated 90 degree lens that reduces uplight concerns. This angled lens alongside the product’s 2950K color temperature option make the Select Series Wall Pack dark sky friendly. Lastly, our TAL Area Light emits zero light above 90 degrees, making it a stellar lighting solution for parking lots, walkways, campuses and other public areas.

TCP is here to help reduce your project’s carbon footprint for a greener commercial space. Contact us to discuss your next lighting project.


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