What Is Dark Sky Lighting

Do you stay in an environment that is filled with darkness at night? Then this article on what dark sky lighting is for you.

Outdoor lighting is one of the fastest-growing segments of lighting design.

Outside lighting is becoming increasingly important to consumers and retail businesses for security and safety reasons. Also, to enhance and beautify their property or business fronts.

Dark Sky outdoor lighting is an invention designed to direct light to the ground, which can contribute to reducing light pollution. There are lots of reasons to apply these fundamental ideas to your homes and streets.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad lighting everywhere. When there is poor placement of lighting and the use of improper products, it can cause a lot of problems, like light trespassing, light pollution, and light glares.

Therefore, I will be discussing sequentially in sections; the meaning or overview of what dark sky lighting is, how the lighting works, and even the factors to consider when purchasing the device.

I will also look at the advantages and disadvantages of having the device in our homes and my 5 best-recommended picks, and I will also go into frequently asked questions, so you understand more about the product.

So let’s start with the overview where I will explain the meaning of this wonderful invention:

What Is Dark Sky Lighting: Overview

What Is Dark Sky Lighting_ Overview

Dark sky lighting is simply a means of lighting that makes sure that the sky is dark by fully covering the light bulb on the top and sides to direct the light downward rather than to the sides or to the sky, which will create glare, and also hide the stars.

The brightness dimes and is no brighter than necessary, it only comes on when and where there is a need for it, and it often uses timers or motion sensors.

There are different reasons why people go for this device, one of which is to illuminate the environment they find themselves.

Another reason is that buying such a product reduces glare and improves visibility, in which most lights are directed toward the ground. Therefore you can reduce the level of light pollution in your area.

This device happens to be one of the fast-growing areas of lighting design. Many consumers and retailers are focusing on outside lighting, not just for safety purposes but also to add beauty to their property and businesses.

But, when the light is installed carelessly, it contributes to the sky glow meaning that light goes upwards instead of downward, causing light pollution and depriving you of your beautiful night sky.

Now, I will look into how the dark sky light works:

What Is Dark Sky Lighting: How it Works

What Is Dark Sky Lighting_ How it Works

Dark sky lighting can give new looks to your house or your property. In addition, extra light is not only for entertaining at night but also for security purposes.

I am going to discuss the different types of dark sky lighting and how each type works:

Landscape Lighting

This type of lighting can be used in private gardens and public landscapes, also known as landscape lighting or garden lighting, to achieve safety, recreation, sports, entertaining events, visibility, night-time aesthetics, etc.

Landscape lighting can extend to exterior lighting design, including pedestrian wayfinding, along sidewalks and pathways, building façade illumination, corporate campuses, and illuminated signage for businesses and public parks.

Parking Lot Lighting

Parking lot lighting has made lots of contributions when it comes to securing and safeguarding your property. This type of lighting prevents stealing or attacks on individuals in the parking lot.

So, every part of your parking lot should be bright, like entrances and exits, around the recycling bins, all doors leading to the offices, and even along all walkways.

Perimeter Lighting Around Buildings

This type of lighting provides visibility to areas surrounding a building, including parking lots, sidewalks, driveways, and more. This improves safety and security, especially for pedestrians.

Some perimeter lights are motion-active, and they turn on when they detect movement; this helps to save energy by illuminating only when needed. Lots of perimeter lights come with photocell sensors that automatically turn on at night and go off at dawn.

Some models are built to shine up or down to reduce light pollution while giving enough illumination.

Time Clocks Photosensors

This device automatically turns lights on and off based on ambient light levels. This type of device saves power by turning off lights in areas that are not in use. So, the time clock photosensors are mainly controlling lighting for both inside and outside spaces such as parking garages and warehouses.

The time clock photosensors calculate the ambient light levels in an area; then, they use this data to determine whether to turn the lights on or off. Most times, the time clock photosensors come with a manual override, allowing the controller to manually control the device and turn the lights on or off.


Downlighting is a name that refers to an outdoor light model that you mount on a wall or ceiling facing it down. So, you can mount this model of lighting on a post or a wall.

The most popular type of Downlighting is a ceiling-mounted model. And you can find most of them in bathrooms, living rooms, kitchens, and patio areas. Some examples of downlighting for the outdoors include porch lights and outdoor patio lights.

What Is Dark Sky Lighting: Features/ Factors To Consider

What Is Dark Sky Lighting_ Features_ Factors To Consider

Factors To Consider

There are a few factors you have to put in mind before getting dark sky outdoor lighting. These factors have to be put into consideration cause the outdoor lighting you want to get will affect not only you but also your neighbors.

So some of these factors are:

 Motion Sensor

You have to Consider dark sky lights that use motion sensors. They come on when you need the light and go off when you don’t. This help to save power, reducing your cost of electrical bills. It also turns on when it is dark and goes off when it is dawn.

With the consideration of motion sensors, outdoor lighting will help increase the property’s safety and beauty while ensuring the reduction of electrical costs.

Visibility Of The Night Sky

At night, the sky provides light to the earth through the moon and the stars. But these sources of light are not enough for visibility at night. So, dark sky lighting provides more visibility so that the activities of the night can continue safety guaranteed.

Dark sky lighting also helps protect the sky’s visibility by avoiding up-lighting. This is achieved by covering the top and sides of the light bulb to direct the light ray downward, thereby avoiding light glares and light pollution.

Considerate To Neighbors

When getting dark sky lighting, you have to consider the neighbors. The light you will have to get should not be too bright for it to invade your neighbor’s compound or property.

If you don’t control the light trespassing causing it to bring blinding glares at your neighbor’s yards, you have succeeded in contributing to light pollution because it will affect your neighbor negatively.

Reduce The Wattage

Another factor to consider when getting or using Dark sky lighting is the brightness of the bulbs. So at night, the wattage of the light bulbs has to reduce, say from 100 to 50 watts. A good dark sky lighting brightness must correspond to its environment to avoid light glares.

Light Directions

As the name implies, dark sky lighting must be a lighting device that contributes to the protection of the sky at night. Therefore, when getting and fixing a dark sky light for your driveway, walkways, garden, and even street lighting, direct all of the light downward to the ground.

What Is Dark Sky Lighting: Pros and Cons

What Is Dark Sky Lighting_ Pros and Cons

TDarksky lighting is a very important device in the environment today due to the beauty it creates, its contribution to the security and safety of people and properties in the open at night, and its contribution to the beauty of the sky at night.

I will now discuss the advantages of the dark sky light to individuals and society. Also, I will discuss the disadvantages of the lighting, too, since what has an advantage also has a disadvantage.


Energy savings

This is one of the most advantageous parts of dark sky lighting as it’s economical. In the U.S., almost one-third of all lighting is wasteful. It is even worse at night as most of their lights do not reach the ground.

However, for every $100 spent on lighting, $45 is wasted on lights that never reach the ground that’s one-third of energy wasted.

Quality of life

Due to the light pollution, most North Americans cannot see the Milky Way. So, the main aim or goal of using the dark sky light is to protect the quality of life by preserving the beauty of the sky and the environment.


Dark sky lighting improves safety in an environment with the help of lighting with corresponding brightness to the environment. This is easier because individuals in that environment can carry out their activities with little or no fear.

So, Lower lighting levels, warmer light temperatures, and better coverage are safer lighting methods.


Light pollution does not affect humans alone, but also both wild and domestic animals are adversely affected too.

The continuous, direct contact with artificial lighting results in disorientation, alters behaviors, and changes breeding cycles. This disrupts natural processes in both humans, plants, and animals.


Most places where night skies are free from any form of artificial light pollution have become popular tourist attractions.

Tourism is one of economic development cause it provides local businesses with a steadier source of income, allows for more efficient use of community resources, and creates jobs.

This particular point might not mean a lot to you, but it’s also a benefit of dark sky lighting and an environment with little or no light pollution in it.


Tricky Setup

If it’s your first time setting up a dark sky light, it always becomes very tricky most times. So, you may end up doing it wrongly, causing light glares and light pollution.

The bad or wrong lighting can also result in light trespassing to neighbors around you, which negatively affects them and is not healthy.

What Is Dark Sky Lighting: My Recommendations

What Is Dark Sky Lighting_ My Recommendations
ProductBrandDimensionsWattageWeightMaterialPower Source
LUTEC 6222B-D2D 2500 Lumen 32 Watt Dusk to Dawn Dual-Head Flood Light LUTEC7.8 x 6.65 x 5.9 inches‎32 watts‎1.98 poundsAluminum, PolycarbonateCorded-electric
Large Size Dusk to Dawn Outdoor Wall Lanterns‎Hykolity‎21.5 x 16.05 x 10 inches5.50 watts16.42 pounds‎Glass, Metal‎Corded-electric
kolpop 6 Pack Solar Lights‎kolpop‎1.94 x 1.47 x 0.74 inchesN/A‎2.12 pounds‎Plastic‎Battery-powered, Solar-powered
LMP 4 Pack LED Square Up and Down Lights Outdoor Wall LightLMP‎4.3 x 4 x 9.4 inches‎50 watts‎9.2 pounds‎AluminumN/A
Globe Electric 44176 Bowery 16″ Outdoor Wall Sconce‎Globe Electric‎8 x 6 x 16 inches‎60 watts‎4.95 pounds‎Glass, MetalCorded-electric

What Is Dark Sky Lighting: Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
1. What makes an outdoor light dark sky compliant?

The International Dark-sky Association recommends using lighting that the color temperature is not more than 3000 Kelvins.
So, lightings that are lower have less blue in their spectrums and are known as being warm.

2. Do LED lights cause light pollution?

Yes, LED lights, especially the blue light released by LED bulbs, make it hard to gaze at the stars.
It also has negative effects on wildlife when they are very close to a lot of artificial light.

3. Are there lights that don’t cause light pollution?

Some LEDs and compact fluorescents (CFLs) do help to manage energy use and protect the environment. These must only be warm-colored bulbs to be used.

4. What is a fully shielded light?

A light with a solid covering at the top of the bulb and by the sides to prevent damage is fully shielded.

5. What are the 3 main types of light pollution?

I can mention three other kinds of light pollution: glare, clutter, and light trespass. Glare is when there is too much brightness, while trespass is when the light ray gets to where it’s not wanted.

6. What country has the lightest pollution?

Singapore has the highest light-polluted skies, followed by Kuwait, then Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. On the other hand, Africa has the dimmest skies; the top 10 least polluted countries are in Africa.

7. Can outdoor lights be on all night?

No. Because leaving your lights on will make intruders believe that you’re not home. Make use of a motion sensor light that turns on when anyone comes around, so you have light only when you need it.

8. When did light pollution start?

The problem of light pollution started as early as the 20th century; most big cities began to adapt to electrical lighting around this time.

9. Where is the darkest place in the United States?

The Cosmic Campground, which is located in New Mexico is the darkest place in the United States.
It is located in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico. The nearest place where you can find artificial light is more than 40 miles away.

10. What city in the US has the lightest pollution?

The city with the lightest pollution is Virginia Beach, Virginia, which scores the highest with a radiance value of 94.7 W/cm2.

What Is Dark Sky Lighting: My Final Thoughts

What Is Dark Sky Lighting_ My Final Thoughts

At the beginning of this article, I explained what dark sky lighting is and it is simply a means of lighting that makes sure that the sky is dark by fully covering the light bulb on the top and sides to direct the light downward rather than to the sides or to the sky, which will create glare, and also hide the stars.

I also explained that there are different reasons why people go for this device, one of which is to illuminate the environment they find themselves in, another is that buying such a product like this, in which most of their lights are directed towards the ground, reduces glare and improves visibility.

But, the basic aim why is not just to beautify your property alone; it is also to preserve the darkness of the night by reducing light glares and preventing light pollution.

I also talked about some of the factors to consider when getting a dark skylight device. Some of the mentioned points are; light directions, reduced wattage, consideration of neighbors, motion sensors, and night sky visibility.

So, I urge you to get the best dark sky lighting device so you can also help to reduce the problem of the high level of light pollution which the world suffers from today.

I hope this article was helpful to you. Kindly share your thoughts in the “Leave A Reply” section found towards the end of the article.

However, you might want to read other articles like this, then visit the pages below:

5 Best Photographic Lighting Umbrellas

What Is A Floodlight?

5 Best Solar String Lights

Victor Akin-Ojo
Victor Akin-Ojo is the founder and the Lead Editor of PowerVersity.com. Before he started PowerVersity.com, Victor worked in the IT industry for close to 15 years. He worked mainly as field Engineer on Installation of VSAT, Wimax Technologies, including but not limited to, Power Maintenance Sector for close to 10 years – Designing an electrical installation for Homes, Private and Government Offices and more.


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