Artificial light at night has revolutionized the way we live and work outdoors, but it has come at a price. When used indiscriminately, outdoor lighting can disrupt wildlife, impact human health, waste money and energy, contribute to climate change, and block our view of the universe.
Since 1988, IDA has led a movement to protect night from light pollution. Together, we have made significant strides.
Our impact now reaches 51 countries, with members, advocates, and dark sky places in North America, East Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa, Oceania, and South Asia.
But the problem of light pollution continues to grow. Light pollution is increasing worldwide at twice the rate of global population growth. Eight out of ten people live under a light-polluted night sky, at least three billion dollars is wasted on outdoor lighting each year in the U.S., and virtually every species studied has been harmed by light pollution.
Tonight, wherever you are, go outside and look at the sky. Can you see the wonders? Overhead are countless distant fires, stars upon stars in clusters and constellations, a natural darkness where the faintest colors and lights shine. For most of human history, wherever on the globe, this was the night we knew. This was the darkness in which all life evolved and which our body and spirit still crave. Art and science and religion all flowed from our experience of natural darkness and a starry night sky. This is where we came from, this is who we are.
–Paul Bogard, author of End of Night, 2019
Developed in 2019 in collaboration with advocates and members, the Board of Directors approved a bold new plan to slow the growth of light pollution and begin to reverse it.
The International Dark-Sky Association promotes win-win solutions that allow people to appreciate dark, star-filled skies while enjoying the benefits of responsible outdoor lighting.
Our Vision: The night sky, filled with stars, is celebrated and protected around the world as a shared heritage benefitting all living things.
Our Purpose: To protect the night from light pollution.
Our Approach: We will realize our vision by guiding strategy, monitoring results, and supporting aligned actions among IDA chapters, volunteers, and other stakeholders. By providing leadership, tools and resources for individuals, policymakers, and industry, we will reduce light pollution and promote responsible outdoor lighting that is beautiful, healthy, and functional.
Our Values: In all our words and deeds we are guided by our core values.
- Passion: We are enthusiastic advocates for the night that benefits all living things, and its star-filled sky.
- Credibility : We base our actions in evidence – where it is lacking, we proceed cautiously and support rigorous inquiry.
- Relationships : We build enduring relationships to find solutions that benefit everyone.
- Consensus : We strive for consensus and invite public participation.
- Inclusion : We believe the night sky is a shared global heritage for every person for all time.
- Nonpartisan: We work to advance public policy without regard to political ideology.
- Celebration: Our spirit is enriched by the wonders of the night—from the star-studded sky to the flash of a firefly.
- Light Pollution : Any adverse effect or impact attributable to artificial light at night.
- Artificial Light: Light, ranging in wavelength from the ultraviolet to the near-infrared, that is caused, directed, or used by humans for any purpose.
The plan focuses on four strategic priorities:
- Celebrate The Night: Increase awareness of the benefits of the night for all living things, and how light pollution is an urgent environmental threat that individuals can help solve.
- Dark Sky Protection: Protect exemplary dark skies through our certification program.
- Lighting Where We Live: Engage cities and communities in reducing light pollution through responsible lighting policy and practice.
- Skyshed Restoration: Implement coordinated, intentional, and scalable actions to slow, halt, and reverse the increasing rate of light pollution.
To learn more about our plan to protect the night from light pollution, or to find out more about how to support our strategic priorities, please contact us.