International Dark Sky Reserves ~ a public or private land possessing an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and nocturnal environment that is specifically protected for its scientific, natural, educational, cultural, heritage and/or public enjoyment mission of a large peripheral area. The International Dark Sky Reserve consists of a core area meeting the minimum criteria for sky quality and natural darkness, and a peripheral area that supports dark sky values in the core and receives benefits from them as well. The International Dark Sky Reserve is formed through a partnership of multiple land owners and/or administrators that have recognized the value of the starry night through regulation and/or formal agreement and/or long term planning.

The IDSReserve program is the epitome of IDA's mission. Working to preserve a central core that is valuable because of its natural night, communities band together to create public awareness campaigns and conduct retrofits to restore the night sky. Each reserve shown below has gone above and beyond the requirements as stated in our International Dark Sky Reserve 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.