Dark Sky
05 May

What is the Dark Sky Movement?

The Dark-Sky Movement is a worldwide campaign to reduce light pollution. The movement's goal is to decrease light pollution in order to preserve the natural night sky. 

Since our initial discovery of light pollution, amateur and professional astronomers alike have worked towards protecting the night sky. Faced with the unstoppable expansion of urbanization, astronomers began making efforts to reduce the effects of city lighting and skyglow. Today, the movement is stronger than ever and continues to fight for more responsible lighting practices. 


The first city light pollution ordinance occurred in 1958, in the small town of Flagstaff, Arizona, home to Lowell Observatory. As the discovery site for Pluto and dark matter, Lowell Observatory holds great historical and scientific significance. Flagstaff also housed the Northern Arizona University Astronomic Research Observatory, making light pollution a severe threat to future research and discovery. The supporters of the observatory and advocates for astronomy saw the importance of protecting the observatory from Flagstaff's growing light pollution, so they passed the ordinance to limit the effects. 

As the city grew, so did the regulations. The lighting control ordinance prevented the use of commercial searchlights, stricter lighting codes were enacted in the 70s, and billboard lighting was banned as well. Dozens of cities have followed in Flagstaff’s pioneering footsteps and continue to prevent light pollution’s growth. 

The first recognized authority on light pollution was founded in 1988. The International Dark-Sky Association has taken the lead on research on the negative impacts of artificial light on human health, wildlife, and climate change. Their mission: “to preserve and protect the nighttime environment and our heritage of dark skies through quality outdoor lighting”. 

Efforts to Reduce Light Pollution

The International Dark-Sky Movement has significantly contributed to the cause by designating and protecting “dark sky preserves.” These areas tolerate zero light pollution and are fully enforced by government policies. The parks allow visitors to witness the spectacle of a perfect and untouched night sky.  There are currently 53 dark sky preserves in the world today, with 37 of them in the United States. 

In 2009 the IDA entered the political scene in Washington D.C. by opening an office “to inform lawmakers and lobbyists about the energy efficiency of outdoor lighting and to promote the adoption of energy-saving measures”.

The foremost method of the movement for inciting change and reducing light pollution, however,  is advocating for increased lighting regulation and smarter well-designed efficient lighting fixtures. By supporting lighting ordinances and government policy, the Dark-Sky Movement is working towards benefitting mankind and surrounding wildlife ecosystems. Along with conservation, the Dark-Sky Movement seeks to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of outdoor lighting. 

Want to join the Dark-Sky Movement? Need lighting solutions for your outdoor or commercial lighting needs? Contact C&W Energy Solutions. Our products offer the latest technological advancements in spectral efficiency and can provide longlasting, cost-effective lighting. Help protect our night skies with smarter lighting and make every lumen count. Browse our website or call us at (480)-998-1694 for more information.