International Dark Sky Places

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The Program


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The Program


The International Dark-Sky Association is the authoritative voice on light pollution. IDA educates lighting designers, manufacturers, technical committees, and the public about light pollution abatement. We recognize that the best way to accomplish our goal of protecting and restoring our natural night environment and our heritage of dark skies is through promotion of quality outdoor lighting. It is in this spirit that we have developed the Fixture Seal of Approval (FSA) program for dark sky friendly fixtures.


The Fixture Seal of Approval provides objective, third-party certification for luminaires that minimize glare, reduce light trespass, and don’t pollute the night sky.


Fixture Seal of Approval Program Update

From the program’s inception, the Fixture Seal of Approval criteria have only specified shielding and light distribution requirements. With the advent of the LED, IDA is concerned about the potential negative effects of blue-rich white light, even from fixtures with proper shielding. In 2010, IDA published a white paper outlining the potential hazards of blue-rich white light sources; in the years since the report was issued the scientific evidence has solidified around its conclusions.

The case against blue light is well founded with regard to discomfort glare, circadian rhythm disruption, light scattering, sky glow, and biological system disruption in wildlife.

Outdoor lighting with high blue light content is more likely to contribute to light pollution because it has a significantly larger geographic reach than lighting with less blue light. In natural settings, blue light at night has been shown to adversely affect wildlife behavior and reproduction. This is true even in cities, which are often stopover points for migratory species.

In order to address to these concerns, The IDA Fixture Seal of Approval Program will now only accept products that offer a listed correlated color temperature (CCT) configuration of 3000K and lower (up to 3220K actual measured value – ANSI C78.377).Recently approved products in a configuration of 4100K CCT and below (IDA’s previous CCT criteria) will have one year to comply with the new standard.




  • Fixture must emit no light above 90 degrees (with the exclusion of incidental light reflecting from fixture housing, mounts, and pole)
  • The fixture must have a listed correlated color temperature (CCT) configuration of 3000K or below (See Table below – ANSI C78.377)
  • The fixture must be mounted at 0 degrees with no tilt (tilted mounting angle voids compliance)
  • Please submit the photometric files for the highest lumen output at all available distribution types
  • Include spec sheets and images of the fixture
  • The fee is for product family (not per photometric file)
  • The initial evaluation fee is $250 per product family
  • The annual web database renewal fee is $25 for web maintenance and updates
  • Spec sheets must distinguish which CCT configurations (3000K and below) are Dark-Sky Approved


Residential Products without Photometry:

  • Submit Spec sheets, images and cad drawings of fixture
  • If compliance cannot be determined from these materials then you may be asked to submit a physical sample
  • The light source must be fully-shielded and emit no light above 90 degrees
  • No vertical glass or drop lens is permitted
  • The fixture must have a listed CCT configuration of 3000K or below (up to 3220K actual measured value- see Table below – ANSI C78.377)
  • Compliant configuration must consist of a lamp rated at 3000K CCT or below if lamp is sold separately.
  • Product literature must specify compliant lamp CCT configuration



Table Allowable CCT and Duv (adapted from ANSI C78.377)

Manufacturer-Rated Nominal CCT (K)

Allowable IES LM-79 Chromaticity Values

Measured CCT (K)

Measured Duv


2580 to 2870

-0.006 to 0.006


2870 to 3220

-0.006 to 0.006


3220 to 3710

-0.005 to 0.007


3710 to 4260

-0.005 to 0.007


4260 to 4746

-0.004 to 0.008


4746 to 5311

-0.004 to 0.008


5312 to 6020

-0.003 to 0.009


6022 to 7040

-0.003 to 0.009



  • IDA Fixture Seal of Approval service marks may only appear in reference to approved products in approved configurations. This includes the updated correlated color temperature criteria of 3000K CCT or lower. Utilization of the service mark on non-approved products or misrepresentation of the service mark can result in complete removal from the program listing.
  • An annual renewal fee of $25 will be assessed for website listing maintenance and information updates. This will help us keep our online fixture database accurate and current.
  • Certification is valid for 2 years from approval date.
  • Submissions may take up to 4 weeks to process.
  • You will receive certificates for approved products, service marks, and a link to upload approved product information to our publically accessible dark sky friendly product database
  • Products approved at CCT ratings above 3000K have one year from approval date to comply with the new standard


Correlated Color Temperature:

IESNA Definition: the absolute temperature of a blackbody whose chromaticity most nearly resembles that of the light source.

The correlated color temperature (CCT) is a specification of the color appearance of the light emitted by a lamp, relating its color to the color of light from a reference source when heated to a particular temperature, measured in degrees Kelvin (K). The CCT rating for a lamp is a general "warmth" or "coolness" measure of its appearance. However, opposite to the temperature scale, lamps with a CCT rating below 3200 K are usually considered "warm" sources, while those with a CCT above 4000 K are usually considered "cool" in appearance.

IDA-Approved™ Products

Hundreds of products and over a hundred manufacturers have already been approved under our Fixture Seal of Approval program.


FSA Application