International Dark Sky Places

Stars over Big Bend National Park by Tyler Nordgren

   Interest in our International Dark Sky Places is on the
   rise.  Learn all about them here.>>

CHAPTER NEWS                                                                          Share on Facebook


What's New with Chapters?

Have an update or news you'd like to share? Scott would love to hear from you. Please send him an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 IDA Arkansas Section leader Jim Fisher featured in Arkansas Online.
Read "Our disappearing night" by Joyce Hartmann >>

An Inexpensive Light Pollution Solution

By Dave Oesper, IDA West Texas

For a total cost of around $21, you can combine the Dark Sky bulb from Bulbrite ($10.25) with a single floodlight bulb holder ($10.48—white model shown, black would better match the bulb), to give you (or your neighbor) a very effective full-cutoff or at least highly directional outdoor light. A rectangular box instead of a circular electrical box could be used.

The Dark Sky bulb is a 15-watt compact fluorescent (CFL) with a rated lifetime of 8000 hours and a minimum starting temperature in the range of -10° to 0° F. This bulb has an integrated external adjustable shield and reflector, generates 900 lumens of light at a color temperature of 2800K, which is a very pleasing warm white similar to incandescent.
There are several improvements I would like Bulbrite to consider. First, the small print on the box says, "Do not use in locations directly exposed to water." I'm not exactly sure what this means, but if the bulb can only be used in enclosed areas such as front porches and the like, this would severely limit its usefulness as a general outdoor lighting solution. I am in the process of field testing this bulb in a non-enclosed location where the shield is up and the bulb faces down (the horizontal, full-cutoff orientation), so we'll soon see whether we have any problems when it rains. In any event, I would encourage Bulbrite to improve the design of the Dark Sky bulb so that it is better suited for a wet environment.

Second, when the bulb burns out, you have to purchase a new Dark Sky bulb. You can't just replace the CFL and reuse the external shield and reflector system. Along the same lines, the Dark Sky comes only in a 15W CFL configuration. If the bulb were completely separate from the shield and reflector, you could use a lower-wattage bulb for many applications.

Third, Bulbrite should offer a 2800K LED model. This would probably automatically make the bulb more water resistant, and not being able to change out the light source separately from the shielding would be much less of an issue with a lifetime of 50,000+ hours.

For base-up applications, Bulbrite makes another model (CF15C/DS/BU) which provides very effective full-cutoff downlighting.

IDA Chapter Stars

Illinois at Large Chapter Leader Dave Toeppen wins 2011 David L. Crawford Lifetime Achievement Award

Toppen was one of IDA's earliest and most passionate members. Dave was the longtime leader of the Illinois at Large IDA Chapter, and according to IDA Board member Debra Norvil, the heart and soul of the dark sky movement in Illinois.  In Mount Prospect he succeeded in getting proper street lighting installed with side shields to protect residents. He worked with the Village of Homer Glen for many years to help them establish a good outdoor lighting ordinance and then apply for Dark Sky Community status.   Until his death he was working with a Wisconsin Indian tribe to install fully shielded lighting at a casino they are building.

IDA New York Leader Susan Harder recognized as Long Island Sierra Club's Environmentalist of the Year

For more than a decade, this East Hampton resident has been educating local municipalities about the often misunderstood subject of light pollution. As a result, codes and guidelines have been implemented to save taxpayers' money and lower Long Island's carbon footprint.Read more >>


Chicago's Adler Planetarium Exhibition "Hidden Wonders" Studies Light Pollution

Slide show by IDA Board Member (and leader of IDA Chicago) Audrey Fischer. This fun and informative exhibit was made possible by her hard work. View slide show >>




Ordinances and Civic Action

Thanks to the hardworking Chapter leaders and volunteers who have made a difference in their area!

NEW! Dark Sky legislation passes in Norman, OklahomaRead more >> (22 June 2011) The Norman City Council voted 6 to 2 Tuesday night to adopt a contentious outdoor commercial lighting ordinance.

Congratulations and thank you to Eileen Grybowski and Tom Kovach!

NEW! State legislation to protect McDonald Observatory passed in Texas! (26 May 2011) Read more >>

Hearty congratulations to Dave Oesper, Gil Bartee, Bill Wren and the rest of the Big Bend and McDonald Observatory coalition, and to Benjamin Jones of IDA Texas!

Dark sky friendly legislation passes in Maryland Efforts of Maryland Delegate Al Carr and IDA Board Member Leo Smith have paid off in the passage of Maryland bill HB643.  This bill prohibits the use of State funds to install or replace a permanent outdoor luminaire for lighting on the grounds of any State building unless the luminaire meets energy efficiency and dark sky requirements. Read bill >>

Porter County, IN Passes Light Pollution Prevention Resolution
County commissioners relate the resolution— the first in the state—to the existing "green space" ordinance to preserve the natural qualities of the county. Read article >>  Read Resolution >>

Lighting Progress in Illinois, USA
Illinois resolution HR #0884 passed the full State House of Representatives unanimously on 17 March 2010. Read the resolution >>

King County, WA USA Passes Lighting Efficiency Legislation

(08 March 2010) Cost and energy efficiency, along with the reduction of unnecessary glare from outdoor lighting, is the goal of legislation unanimously adopted 08 March by the Metropolitan King County Council. Read the Covington Reporter article >>

Eureka Springs, Arkansas USA Unanimously Passes Lighting Ordinance

Congratulations and thanks to ES resident Sam Evans for promoting the ordinance to the city council. Read the ordinance >>


Read more in Nite Net >>



 Nite-Net is the Chapters eZine available to all Chapter leaders and members for free.  Published monthly, the magazine includes features on recent studies or upcoming events of interest to the Chapters.  It also highlights Chapter activities and creates a forum for Chapter Leaders to share ideas or ask questions. (A sample Nite-Net is provided: September 2008)

Nite Net is currently on hiatus, but the archive is available. For back issues, please login as a member.

Got Recognition?


The IDA Chapters logo is available for your use.  Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for your personalized logo.

Find a Chapter

Locate a Chapter near you or learn how to start on the Chapter Directory page.

NEW Lighting Resource

Want to learn more about the mechanics of lighting but don't know where to start? Learn the common lighting terms and you are on your way.

Lumens to Watts and Footcandles: Three Important Terms in LEED by Sara Gudeman, LEED AP EIT, for

Reports of Interest

Rational for Color Quality Scale, Yoshi Ohno and Wendy Davis, NIST (June 8, 2010), comments to the authors are encouraged.  Download the .pdf here>>

The UK has recently produced a number of bat studies, emphasizing the importance of night to habitat and procreation.


Student Jake Longenecker, a winner of the George & Edythe Taylor Student Award, has provided the following study on fireflies from his science course.


 Back to IDA Chapter Directory >> 

Sections logo.png