Dark Sky Communities
We are dreaming of cities that become magical
International Dark Sky Week
April 15th - 22nd 2023
A pitch-black night sky with glistening stars is much more than just the perfect background for designing urban space using light. A night sky is important for natural rhythms, and as a result for the well-being of human beings, animals, and plants.
Light influences both human and animal emotions and behavior – including those of insects and generally nocturnal creatures such as bats, owls, and migratory birds. The shift from daylight to darkness and moonlight and starlight, also plays an important part.
Bats, for example, hunt only at night using echolocation. Migratory birds navigate their passage using the stars in the sky. On the water, insects hatch their larvae at night.
The IDA – International Dark-Sky Association is based in the USA and has launched an award for cities that is aimed at preserving starry night skies. The designation “Dark Sky Community” is awarded to those municipalities and places which demonstrate particular dedication in relation to reducing light pollution.
Which features of our luminaires help attain this goal?
With all our new products, we offer the following features aimed at reducing light pollution and taking into account the needs of animals and human beings, which can be implemented by cities and municipalities to meet the standards for certification as a Dark Sky Community.
Dark Sky Optics
Targeted light with a clear cut-off
Specially developed optics with a precise downward beam enable an even more targeted focus. This means that no direct light enters the plane above the horizon. As a result, the star-studded black night sky, that is so crucial to people, animals, and plants is well maintained.
Warm color temperatures
The composition of light is a determining factor as we journey towards sustainable lighting. Living organisms are highly sensitive to spectral compositions of electromagnetic radiation in the visible range, many of them to blue light in particular. The spectrum used should therefore minimize short-wave light (blue/violet) as much as possible. The recommendation is to install street lights with maximum 3000K.
The lower the color temperature, the more warm tones the light will have, and the less impact it will thus have on the animal kingdom. Wherever lighting and urban development impinge on the habitat of sensitive or endangered animals, the recommendation is to use < 2700K or Amber color tone.
Reduced light intensity
Light should be no brighter than it needs to be. Where possible, normative specifications should not be exceeded. Illuminated surfaces also play a role: some materials reflect more light back into the night sky than others. Every last detail counts here — we design our luminaires to consider any light that might hit their pole, and work to reduce it.
Light that adapts to the circumstances: it’s there when you need it and not when you don’t. Lighting should be operational according to use. Motion sensors or timer controls ensure light is provided at the right time, and is otherwise dimmed or switched off completely.
At a glance
Which types of lighting protects the dark sky?
Indirect lighting over surfaces such as façades enables atmospheric effects and avoids excessive radiation from the directional light.
Surfaces that are illuminated with sharp contours also offer the possibility of illuminating buildings without generating too much stray light. Entrances, signs, and architectural highlights thus remain safely and efficiently illuminated at night.
Grazing light as a further option for light can, if directed clearly downwards, provide visual accents while being applied directly to the relevant surface - and avoid light pollution in the process.
Luminaires that are well shielded avoid radiation in the direction of the night sky. Suitable housing shapes can be found for functional but also decorative applications.
To visually achieve the appearance of elegance, suitable special optics that direct the light without a visible housing can be used.
Our products - design accents during the day, magic for the city at night under a sky full of stars
Choose from our portfolio of Dark Sky friendly luminaires