International Dark Sky Communities ~ 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.

An International Dark Sky Community excels in its efforts to achieve a community-wide lighting code, promote responsible lighting, dark sky stewardship, and exist as an example to surrounding communities on the possibilities available with the proper lighting. Each community shown below has gone above and beyond the requirements as stated in our International Dark Sky Community Guidelines.

Roadway Lighting Luminaire Code NA

Roadway Lighting Luminaire Codes for North America


Determining the lamp type and wattage of luminaires (and particularly roadway luminaires) in North America is fairly simple.  Each luminaire includes a small rectangular sticker that indicates type of lamp and wattage.  This sticker is to assist those responsible for replacing the burnt out lamps.

To purchase and view the full document, click here "Roadway and Area Lighting Equipment - High Intensity Discharge and Low Pressure Sodium Lamps in Luminaires - Field Identification" NEMA/ANSI C136.15-2009.

For a less formal reference, Wikipedia offers the article "History of street lighting in the United States" and makes reference to the luminaire identification system.

Identifying Color and Lamp Type

Yellow = High Pressure Sodium

Tan = Low Pressure Sodium

Blue = Mercury Vapor

Red = Metal Halide

Identifying Wattage

In general, there is a two digit number placed on the sticker.  You can easily identify the number by simply adding a "0" after the original two digits.  For example, if a lamp says "10" the wattage is 100.  Exceptions include 13, 17, 21, 87 which all have a "5" instead of a "0."  If a lamp states it is "X1" then it is a lamp of 1000 lumens.