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Learn More about Light Pollution

Introduction to Light Pollution – A brochure from the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) introducing the problems caused by light pollution and potential solutions (2009).

Better Lights for Better Nights – A quick and helpful guide to for choosing the best lighting fixtures

Missing the Dark – An article from Environmental Health Perspectives discussing the detrimental health effects of light pollution and the value of dark skies (2009).

Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) – Program to safeguard migratory birds through education, research, rescue and rehabilitation. Artificial lighting in the out of doors poses a significant, often fatal threat to migrating birds.

Urban Wildlands Group – The Urban Wildlands Group is dedicated to the conservation of species, habitats, and ecological processes in urban and urbanizing areas. Their website has many great links to conservation information and programs including their book “Ecological Consequences of Artificial Night Lighting”.

Our Vanishing Night – A paper on light pollution from the National Geographic.

Outdoor Lighting Control: A Win-Win Situation! – Educational materials, solutions, and helpful resources from the McDonald Observatory.

Dark Skies Awareness – A nonprofit organization educating the public and providing information on light pollution and the benefits of dark skies as part of the International Year of Astronomy project.

International Dark-Sky Association Home – The home page for the IDA, a major authority on the preservation of the night sky . Link:

Sky and Telescope – News and helpful information on light pollution including tips on how to restore the night sky from Sky and Telescope Magazine.

Health Effects of Light Pollution – Delves deeply into the health issues connected to light pollution.


Fun Activities for Kids of All Ages

The GLOBE at Night Program – An international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by inviting citizen-scientists to measure their night sky brightness and submit their observations to a website from a computer or smart phone. Light pollution threatens not only our “right to starlight”, but can affect energy consumption, wildlife and health.

Dark Skies Rangers Program – The preservation of dark skies is important for many reasons including astronomy, energy conservation, wildlife and even human health. Through the Dark Skies Ranger Program, students learn about the importance of dark skies and experience activities that illustrate proper lighting, light pollution’s effects on wildlife and how to measure the darkness of your skies.

Nighttime Rocks! – An activity book from IDA for kids and their parents. It includes information on how to apply for the George and Edythe Taylor Student Award. Winners in their age category receive $100 prizes.

Educational sites about Astronomy and Space


Information on Protecting Night Skies

Night Sky Ordinances and Resolutions – City and county ordinances and resolutions in Texas and around the country

Sample Texas Ordinance – The premier information source for leaders in the public sector, industry, and academia driving the LED streetlight revolution.

Medical Effects of Light Pollution

Billboard Lighting Breakthrough News from the International Dark-Sky Association about how some U.S. cities and companies are reducing light pollution through more effective billboard lighting (2008).

The Starlight Initiative and World Night The World Night is an opportunity to get involved to raise awareness about defending our starry skies. Our ability to maintain the right to observe stars for ourselves and future generations is in our hands.

Lighting Code Handbook – This Handbook discusses issues relative to outdoor lighting codes, their effectiveness, implementation, and enforcement.

Pattern Lighting Code – Updated version of the pattern lighting code that is included in the Lighting Code Handbook listed above. This code is a comprehensive definition of practical and effective measures by which the obtrusive aspects of outdoor light usage can be reduced, while preserving safety, security, and the nighttime use and enjoyment of property.

Dark Sky Communities – An IDA award program for a town, city, municipality, or other legally organized community that has shown exceptional dedication to the preservation of the night sky through the implementation and enforcement of quality lighting codes, dark sky education, and citizen support of dark skies.

Dark Sky Friendly Development of Distinction – IDA award program for subdivisions, master planned communities and unincorporated townships that have actively promoted sensitive outdoor lighting in an effort to preserve their environment from unnecessary light at night. The award is designed to garner community support for environmentally responsible outdoor lighting.

Texas IDA – The Texas chapter of the International Dark-Sky Association.

Locations in Texas Where You Can See Lots of Stars – Visit these locations around Texas to have a great view of the stars. Let’s get the Hill Country on this map!

Sports and Recreational Area Lighting – A good lighting guide from the International Dark-Sky Association

Oilfield lighting can coexist with dark skies – (2014) Published by the McDonald Observatory


Helpful videos

Losing the Dark
A Simple 6 ½ minute video about light pollution and what to do about it, produced by the International Dark Sky Association.


The Hidden Costs of Light Pollution
A great 1.38 minute introduction to light pollution from Insurance Quotes’ Hidden Cost series.