Saturday, May 1, 2021

New IDA - IES Outdoor Lighting Policy Guidance: Comprehensive Decision Making = Better Outcomes

The International Dark-Sky Association's Board of Directors recently passed a resolution aimed at a chronic problem: lighting decisions (particularly LED streetlight conversions) typically ignore most facets of quality lighting and continue to increase glare, light trespass, and skyglow.  IDA asserts that the interplay of five key principles "must be considered in the design, installation, and use of outdoor lighting, and that treating the principles in isolation from one another is insufficient to address the glowing global problem of light pollution".  

The Values-Centered Outdoor Lighting policy frames Five Principles for Responsible Outdoor Lighting, which address whether lighting is justified and which ensure that it is targeted and shielded, that it is of an appropriate illumination level, that it employs adaptive controls, and that it is not too blue in color. Implementation of the five principles is more fully discussed here and you can also read the original resolution. 

This initiative is a collaboration of IDA and the Illuminating Engineering Society, which sets standards and recommendations for outdoor lighting.  Virginia IDA encourages citizens to use these resources in educating elected officials, local planners, and other decision-makers.  We deserve less glare, less light trespass, and less polluted night skies! Quality lighting exists with an ever-expanding market--we need to insist on it. 

Virginia Adds Two More Dark Sky Parks

 Two Virginia state parks---Sky Meadows in the northern Piedmont and Natural Bridge in the central Shenandoah Valley--recently received IDA designation as Dark Sky Parks.  Virginia is now home to a total of five Dark Sky Parks (Staunton River State Park, James River State Park, and Rappahannock County Park are the first three). 

You can read the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation's press release here

The Roanoke Times ran a story  as did The Fauquier Times

You can find IDA's press release on the IDA website

A Dark Sky Park designation does not imply that the skies over that location are pristinely dark. In fact, both these parks are in regions where development, and light pollution, have dramatically increased and spread in the past few decades.  Rather the designation indicates relatively dark skies that meet a minimum standard for night sky observation and reflects the park's dedication to protecting the park's nocturnal environment.  

Learn more by visiting IDA's Dark Sky Places conservation program.