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Data shows that 80% of people can’t see the Milky Way, mostly due to increasing light pollution as our cities grow.

The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) wants to change that—and we’re on board. Our dark-sky controls help ensure there is light only when and where it’s needed.

What is the IDA?

The IDA works to reduce light pollution today and for future generations. Reducing light pollution not only helps us see the night sky better, but it also helps reduce the effects of electric lighting on the environment and cuts down on energy use.

WATCH: Learn the basics of the dark-sky movement

The IDA advocates for any required lighting to be used wisely to minimize light pollution; therefore, lighting should:

Only be on when needed:

  • Our operating profiles allow you to select on-times that align with your application. For most applications, the standard, dark-sky friendly operating profile is 5 hours on from dusk, then dim until 2 hours before dawn. For street and roadway lighting, the standard is 7 hours on from dusk, then dim until 2 hours before dawn. 5 hours on and dim until 2 hours before dawn

Be no brighter than necessary:

  • We provide information on the lowest recommended light levels to help save money on system costs. Our standard scheduled dimming profile is 100% for 5 hours, then dim to 30% overnight, followed by 100% for 2 hours before dawn (for street and roadway lighting, the standard is 7 hours at 100%, dim to 30% overnight, followed by 100% for 2 hours before dawn).

Only light the area that needs it:

  • Our calculations for lighting layout ensure optimal light coverage so that light is only placed where intended, helping improve visibility and overall light quality.

Minimize blue light emissions:

  • Our recommended LED fixtures have a 3000K light output for a warm, comfortable color temperature. Unlike in the past, these LED fixtures can reach this warmer output without using more power.

Be fully shielded (pointing down):

  • Our fixtures offer a built-in shield for a dark-sky friendly BUG rating (backlight, uplight, and glare measurements from a fixture).
What does BUG mean?

BUG refers to the types of light that escape from a luminaire, and stands for:

  • Backlight (green section below): Directed behind the mounting pole—in the opposite direction it’s intended.
  • Uplight (gray section below): Directed above the luminaire and causes artificial skyglow. This is what affects astronomers and anyone looking up to watch the stars.
  • Glare: Emitted at angles known to cause glare—which at best is annoying and at worst, visually disabling. This unnecessary light could shine at the front or rear of the luminaire.

The light from a poorly rated fixture is on the left, while the light from an EverGen is on the right:

 

At Sol, we use Dark-Sky Compliant LED fixtures and scheduled dimming to help minimize light pollution—helping provide light where and when it’s intended.