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Parks and Protected Areas

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Program Goals

The International Dark-Sky Association’s Parks and Protected Areas program is designed to help parks, nature preserves and similar locations to acquire quality lighting products that are both dark sky friendly and suitable for installation at ecologically sensitive sites.

Limited current demand for these niche products results in relatively high prices and long delivery lead times, which are counterproductive in our efforts to improve lighting in these important conservation areas.

A primary goal of the PPA program is to increase participation in the IDA Dark Sky Places program, which certifies protected areas based in part on stringent outdoor lighting standards. The PPA program helps lower the financial barriers that are associated with these lighting retrofits and upgrades.

Another important goal is to help establish and grow a viable market for these specialized products, eventually making our bulk orders unnecessary.

How PPA Works

IDA works with its partners in the lighting industry to negotiate bulk purchases on eco-friendly amber LED lamps at a 35 percent discount.

We then provide the lamps to parks on a sliding scale, depending on need, and in some cases, for free. The small margin we net from the lamps is put back into the program to help make it self-sustaining.

Because IDA purchases products in bulk, we’re able to provide savings otherwise unavailable to most customers and maintain an inventory that eliminates the usual eight-week lead-time on purchases. Parks that participate in the PPA program can benefit both from our low prices and our ability to provide products within a relatively short time frame.

IDA’s current product offerings are limited to narrowband amber LED lamps sold by Zenaro Lighting of Boynton Beach, Florida, Zenaro’s lamps are ideal for sensitive wildlife areas and rated to withstand a variety of environmental conditions. However, these fixtures are appropriate to retrofit situations where only re-lamping is required. As IDA expands the program, we expect to provide complete fixture replacement solutions.

Interested parks are encouraged to apply to the program. On meeting the eligibility requirements (see below), orders will be fulfilled directly from the IDA offices. Please note that particularly large orders (dozens to hundreds of lamps) will require special procedures and may be subject to an extended delivery lead-time.


A “park” or “protected area” is defined for program purposes as public or private land of a substantial size that is protected for the primary purpose of conservation of wildlife and other natural resources. These locations may include parks, refuges, forests, wilderness areas, monuments, protected rivers and lake/seashores, or other categories of protected lands. Participating places must meet the basic eligibility criteria for consideration under IDA’s Dark Sky Places Program. Preference will be given to those sites that have undertaken efforts to become IDA Dark Sky Parks or Reserves.

To learn more about the program or to inquire about participating, contact John Barentine at or +1 520 293 3198.