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Dark Nights Require Dark Sky Lights

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dark sky lights curb bright nights

The bright spots on the map say it all. There's not a whole lot of dark sky, but an abundance of dark sky lights. Light "pollution" is everywhere. 

Urban planners and environmentalists alike claim that light pollution interferes with our natural bio rhythms and disconnects us from the beauty of a starlit sky. While the brilliant auras of Tokyo's Shibuya Crossing or New York's Times Square aren't likely dim anytime soon, the people at the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) have established a set of guidelines for reducing light pollution in urban and suburban areas across the globe. In the broadest sense, dark sky rules ask that homeowners keep the glare to themselves. For many modern homes, this leads to some stunning outdoor lighting looks.

outdoor lighting for a modern home

In more specific terms, the IDA requires that residential Dark Sky Compliant lighting be:

1. Fully shielded

2. Maximum 100 watts (for incandescent bulbs) and 26 watts (for compact fluorescent lights) 

3. Shielded such that the lamp itself is not directly visible outside the property perimeter.

Here are a few examples of "shielded" lights that Euro Style Lighting carries:

modern outdoor lighting fixture

Forio Silver ENERGY STAR 9 1/2" High Outdoor Wall Light

dark sky outdoor lighting fixture

Fairbanks Dark Sky Bronze Finish 9" High Outdoor Wall Light

Best practices also dictate that outdoor lighting should avoid being projected beyond the object a given light intends to illuminate. For example, you'll notice the up lights on this home stay contained by shining only on the structure, and not up into the night sky. Fortunately, this look also suits the modern home aesthetic perfectly. 

outdoor lighting on modern homes

The move toward a darker nighttime sky is gaining traction in even the most un-likely urbanized places. In the July 2011 issue of Monocle magazine, Christine Loh, CEO of Hong Kong based think tank  Civic Exchange, explains, "Street lighting can obviously make people feel safer but it doesn't have to be bright, bright, bright." If even a bustling city like Hong Kong - a city known for the nightly shows its skyline puts on - can move towards dark sky compliance, chances are we can all look forward to more starry skies in the years ahead.

Images: AAAS, Slim69,  Fresh Home Decor

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  • Thank you for your accessible and informative post. Here in California people are becoming more aware of the need to control the light levels around our homes. Some neighborhoods are already on the bandwagon working together to keep the beautiful night intact. Several lighting manufacturers have complete lines of Dark Sky fixtures in all kinds of decorative styles. What a  great movement this is!

Dark Nights Require Dark Sky Lights