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Dark Sky Friendly Developments of Distinction

Dark Sky Friendly Developments of Distinction Image

Dark sky friendly lighting in Harmony, Florida. Photo by Jim Richardson.

Please Note: Applications to the Dark Sky Friendly Development of Distinction program must be made on or before December 31, 2019, at which date IDA will close the program to undergo a review process. For questions about your application or this deadline, please contact our Dark Sky Places Program Manager, Adam Dalton at


The IDA Dark Sky Friendly Development of Distinction certification program is designed to recognize subdivisions, master planned communities and unincorporated neighborhoods and townships whose planning actively promotes a more natural night sky but does not qualify for the International Dark Sky Community designation. Developments of Distinction promote sensitive outdoor lighting in an effort to preserve the environment from unnecessary light at night, including (but not limited to) light trespass, glare and skyglow. The award is designed to garner community support for environmentally responsible outdoor lighting.

Certified IDA Dark Sky Developments of Distinction

Certification Process

  • Nomination by IDA member in good standing, with supporting signatures of at least two additional IDA members
  • Official supporting letter for nomination from a representative of the community where the development is planned
  • Support letter from homeowners or neighborhood association board or similar governing body
  • Written application form (below)
  • Approval of nomination by the local chapter and IDA staff

Candidacy for a Development of Distinction designation is strengthened by support from your local IDA Chapter. To find out if there’s a chapter in your area, click here. Additionally, developments that incorporate a quality night sky or designate a sensitive wildlife area or habitat will receive preference.