Take Action!

ambitions“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” -- Margaret Mead

 

Help save our stars!
Light pollution not only impairs the study of the Universe, it hurts society and the planet by increasing energy consumption, wasting money and harming the health and safety of humans and wildlife.

Luckily, light pollution is reversible and its solutions are simple, cost-effective, instantaneous and save money!

Ten Things – big and small – You Can Do to Make a Difference

  1. Make Sure that You Use Quality Outdoor Lighting
  2. Look for the IDA “Fixture Seal Of Approval” Seal on Outdoor Lighting
  3. Light Your Home for Good Health
  4. Become Part of the IDA Community
  5. Stay Informed
  6. Spread the word
  7. Write and/or Call Your Elected Officials
  8. Visit an IDA Dark Sky Park
  9. Shop to Support IDA
  10. Give a Gift

Change Your Lighting & Make a Difference 
Renters and property owners are a significant contributor to the problem of light pollution, but most are unaware of the amount of energy (and money) they waste using bad outdoor lighting. Make a quick inspection of the outside of your home or business to see how you can improve your lighting.

 

Make Sure that You Use Quality Outdoor Lighting

  • Use only fully shielded, dark-sky friendly fixtures, so lights shine down, not up. Directing light downward requires less illumination by placing light only where it’s needed.
  • Use lights only when they are needed. Installing timers, dimmer switches and turning lights off when not in use cuts light pollution and saves money.
  • Use only the right amount of light needed. Too much light is wasteful and creates glare and harsh shadows that impair vision.
  • Avoid blue light at night to minimize the negative health effects. Choose lighting with color temperatures less than 4000 Kelvins.
  • Read the IDA Residential Lighting (Good Neighbor) Practical Guide for more information on good lighting and how to talk to your neighbors.

Look for the IDA “Fixture Seal Of Approval” Seal on Outdoor Lighting

  • IDA recognizes that the best way to protect and restore our natural nighttime environment is through promotion of quality outdoor lighting.
  • In this spirit, we have developed the Fixture Seal of Approval (FSA) program to certify products that minimize light pollution and glare, and reduce light trespass.
  • Search our database of Dark Sky Friendly light fixtures to find quality outdoor lighting for your home or business.


Light Your Home for Good Health

  • Keep the blues away. Two to three hours before bed, avoid tablets, smartphones, computers, televisions, and other devices with screens.
  • If you must use devices at night, consider installing a color temperature app. See below.
  • Keep the television out of the bedroom. TVs emit blue light and stimulate brain activity, making it more difficult to fall asleep.
  • Keep your bedroom dark. Use blackout curtains to block light from the outside. Cover or remove other light sources such as clock radios and charging stations.
  • If you need a night-light, use one that emits dim red or amber light.

Color temperature apps:

  • F.lux is available for Mac OS/X, Windows, Linx, iPhones and iPads
  • Flux is available for Android devices (free or pay)
  • Twilight is available for smartphones or tablets

 

Take Action & Help Make Change! 

Changing your lighting is just the beginning. There are many other actions you can take to make a difference.

 

Become Part of the IDA Community

  • Join IDA. As the world’s only international non-profit organization dedicated to combatting the problem of light pollution and promoting dark skies, your membership helps sustain and extend these efforts.
  • Start or join a local IDA chapter in your area. We need you! Without our volunteers on the ground, we could not accomplish what we do. Click here for a list of chapters in the US and abroad and information on starting a new chapter.
  • Participate in the IDA Save Our Stars program, a new IDA outreach initiative intended to help people learn about astronomy, participate in star gazing events, and hear presentations on light pollution.

Stay Informed

Spread the word

  • Talk to family, friends, and neighbors about light pollution. You can be a powerful advocate for your neighborhood, city, and even your state and country.
  • Use our Information Brochures and Practical Guides and other educational resources to start the conversation. The IDA Residential Lighting (Good Neighbor) Practical Guide is particularly helpful and includes a “sample letter to your neighbor.”
  • Watch, download, and promote "Losing the Dark," a "public service annoucement" about light pollution. It can be downloaded in 13 language in flatscreen or full dome versions
  • Watch and promote What Can You Do in One Minute videos by Kevin Poe, Dark Sky Ranger and IDA Dark Sky Ambassador
  • Entertain and educate the children in your life by giving them the Nighttime Activity Book and the “Light Problem” mini-page.
  • Host a Star Party and use the event to talk about the problem of light pollution.

Write and/or Call Your Elected Officials

  • Get involved with a local planning or zoning commission tasked with approving plans for outdoor lighting installations.
  • Ask your local city or county government if they have rules to help control light pollution. If not, refer them to the IDA’s Model Lighting Ordinance (MLO)
  • Research candidates’ positions on lighting and energy issues ahead of time, and keep the results in mind as you head into the voting booth.

Visit an IDA Dark Sky Park
Support an IDA Dark Sky Place and enjoying the beauty of exceptionally dark skies all at the same time. Your tourism dollars can go a long way toward helping sustain and protect these rare and fragile locales for the benefit of future generations.

Shop to Support IDA

  • Participate in the eBay Giving Works Program and proceeds from items you sell on eBay are donated to IDA.
  • Be an Amazon Star Supporter. A small commission is sent to IDA when Amazon purchases are made through the IDA website.
  • Purchase IDA T-shirts, tote bags, mugs and more.
  • Designate IDA as your charity of choice and use GoodShop for online shopping GoodSearch for online searching. Each time you shop or search, you raise money for IDA. It's easy!

Give a Gift

Videos

What Can You Do videos


What is Light Pollution and How You Can Help 
Kevin Poe, Dark Ranger and International Dark Sky Ambassador, talks about what light pollution is, and provides ways you can help reduce it.



Our Connection to the Stars
Kevin Poe, Dark Ranger and International Dark Sky Ambassador, shares celestial reasons to protect the night sky.



What You Can Do: Protect the Night Sky
Firefighter Jack Halaby explains how to ensure that your outdoor lighting is dark sky friendly.



What You Can Do: Help Protect Wildlife
Firefighter Jack Halaby explains how easy it is to change your lighting and help protect wildlife.


Protect the Night: Sea Turtles 
Kevin Poe, Dark Ranger and International Dark Sky Ambassador, explains how light pollution affects baby sea turtles and provides ways in which we can help them successfully make their journey from the shore to the ocean.



Help Protect Birds
Alicia Arinella explains how you can protect birds through good lighting.



Prevent Light Pollution for Your Health
Kevin Poe, Dark Ranger and International Dark Sky Ambassador, talks about how indoor lighting at night can harm human health and what you can do about it.


What You Can Do: Why Should We Protect the Night?
Kevin Poe, Dark Ranger and International Dark Sky Ambassador, provides a great overview about the harms of light pollution and light at night and solutions to the problem.



What You Can Do: Protect the Night Interview 
Kevin Poe, Dark Ranger and International Dark Sky Ambassador, explains why more light does not make us safer. 



Protect the Night: Light Pollution and Human Safety
Kevin Poe, Dark Ranger and International Dark Sky Ambassador, discusses how light pollution affects human safety and crime. Learn how to keep yourself safe in the dark.

Other Videos


Come on Baby Light My Sidewalk
Kevin Poe, Dark Ranger and International Dark Sky Ambassador, explains the difference between good and bad street lighting. 



A Capitol Compromise
Kevin Poe, Dark Ranger and International Dark Sky Ambassador, uses the Utah State Capitol to explain good and bad lighting. 



Urgings for a Globe Free Globe
Kevin Poe, Dark Ranger and International Dark Sky Ambassador, explains why outdoor globe lights create light pollution and should not be used.

Recent news on fighting light pollution & new lighting technologies

Take the Eyes on the Sky Light Pollution Reduction Challenge.
Eyes on the Sky is a blog that exists to raise awareness about light pollution and work towards reducing it.

Taking back the night sky. Can we dim the lights in some parts of Australia to bring back the wonders of the night sky?
It takes about 20 minutes – longer if you’ve just left the glare of fluorescent lights, but rather less if it was only the glow of a desk lamp. Either way, the result is the same. Your exposure to complete darkness triggers a sequence of biochemical processes in your eyes, rendering them a million times more sensitive than they were in daylight. You have become dark-adapted.

Colchester Daisy Scouts try to cut light pollution (Norwich Bulletin)
Bright outdoor lights on a house or in a parking lot can actually be harmful to nature, and a Norwich (CT) astronomer and local Daisy Scouts have teamed up to get the word out about the problem.

Clever? Smart Street Lamps Light Up Only When Needed
The Tvilight lighting system is designed to dim when no one's around, saving cities as much as 60 percent on energy bills each year.

Eco-friendly, beautiful and pollution free; the new glow in the dark pavements!
A British-based company has thought up of a way that will turn park paths into glow-in-the-dark promenades that serve as energy-friendly works of art. Starpath, envisioned by Pro-Teq, is a spray applied elastomeric coating of light-absorbing particles that cultivates ultra-violet rays from the sun throughout the day and emphatically brightens up just like a starry sky at night.