Recent Activities & Updates

Desert Aurora- Photograph by Dennis Mammana

Activities & Accomplishments

This page lists recent IDA activities and accomplishments that no longer appear on the home page. Entries are arranged in chronological order. 

For additional information on IDA, please see IDA Press Releases. More information on the dark sky movement, articles on light pollution, and articles on IDA can be found on the e-News page, which backlogs a compilation of articles documenting the fight to save the night all over the globe

Thanks for telling McDonald's that the light sculpture resembling French fries is unappetizing

McDonald's Corporation's "Best Fries in the World" campaign was beaming yellow light into the skies of Chicago suburb Oak Brook until 8 December. Light from the billboard, created by advertising giant Leo Burnett, could be seen up to three miles away. Read more >>

IDA has sent missives to McDonald's and Leo Burnett to educate them on the cost of this type of advertisement. 

DC Update: 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 >>


Chicago's Adler Planetarium exhibition studies light pollution  Slide show  >>


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


Marines Enjoy the Night Sky The Marines and sailors say it’s a treat to sleep outside because they get to see a sky that’s untainted by artificial light. Read more by Cpl. Marco Mancha >>


Light Pollution Reports from Europe are Basis for Ongoing Lighting Policy

The Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has passed resolution on the basis of Rafael Huseynov’s report on noise and light pollution.  In a resolution adopted yesterday, the Assembly called on member states to combat the harmful effects of noise and light pollution. Read article >>

Read report and draft resolution >>

EU-backed project lights up energy savings in England Looking for ways to reduce the amount of energy it uses for lighting streets and public spaces, the town of St Helens in North-West England decided to work with partners in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. This partnership provided the basis for a five-year project called BLISS, which is being supported by the EU.  Read more >>

Adaptive Lighting Legislation

Settlement Paves the Way for Adaptive Outdoor Lighting in Missouri, USA A settlement has been reached in outdoor lighting issues in the Kansas City Power & Light utility rate case. The agreement between the Office of the Public Counsel, Robert Wagner (2010 President, International Dark-Sky Association) and KCP&L will allow customers interested in adaptive lighting access to such services through KCP&L. Read more >>

Part night lighting saves energy and money
In early March,
Leo Smith, IDA Board member and leader of IDA Northeast undertook a campaign to promote part night outdoor public lighting among all 50 state governors. The project first encourages electric utilities to create a special rate for part-night street lighting, then selects public lighting to be safely dimmed or shut off after midnight. Adoption of midnight curfews in Maine, Connecticut, and New Hampshire has reportedly resulted in significant reductions in public utility costs. Read letter >>


Updates on Human Health 

Light Pollution Boosts Air Pollution A new study shows sky glow over cities reduces the efficacy of the nitrate radical, a natural air cleansing particle that forms during hours of darkness. The BBC reports on the December 2010 study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Read article >>

 Night owls may want to dim their lights By Janet Raloff, Science News
People who spend their evenings in relatively bright light run the risk
of stressing their bodies by ratcheting down the production of melatonin.  Read article >>

Mice kept on unnatural schedule go haywire By Brandon Keim, Wired
Artificially separated from a natural cycle of light and dark,
the bodies and brains of mice go haywire in ways that may mimic the human effects of circadian disruption. Read article >> 

Light at night linked to high blood pressure, diabetes By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore, cnet news
So not only have researchers recently found links between light at night and cancer and depression, there is now reason to further investigate its effect on blood pressure and diabetes.  Read article >>

 More on IDA's Reports and Studies page >>

Kitt Peak remains in dark, shows effectiveness of local lighting laws The darkness of the sky directly above Kitt Peak "has stayed remarkably constant" over the past two decades—a phenomenon that researchers Kathryn F. Neugent and Philip Massey of Lowell Observatory to local lighting ordinances.

Read article in the Arizona Daily Star >>

 Dark skies on Gizmodo Why Living in Cities Sucks (13 October)
A Brief History of Luminance (teaser for Dwell Magazine article- 13 August)

Update on Light Pollution Action in Slovenia (08 September 2010) Three years ago Slovenia became the first country to pass a national law to curb rising light levels. Read BBC News article, "Slovenia Takes Dim View of Light Pollution" by Phil Cain >>

Greek article on IDA appears in Epigrafi Magazine
  Download article (in Greek) by Dr. Margerita Metaxa >>

 Bat Conservation Researcher Receives UK National Award (11 September 2010) Emma Stone  has received the Vincent Weir Scientific Award for her research investigating the impact of artificial lighting on bats. Read article >>

 Light Pollution: A Growing Problem for Wildlife (9 July 2010) A new article from Discovery News discusses the 24th Annual International Congress for Conservation Biology. 

Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Kejimkujik National Park as a New Dark Sky Preserve Read more >>

IDA Argues for Part-Night Outdoor Lights in Kansas City Power & Light Rate Request Board member Leo Smith offered testimony if favor of part-night streetlight rates and listed the benefits of programmable photocells. There are a variety of programmable photocells, the most common shut to light off from midnight to 5:30a.m.

The primary benefits are:
1) Reduction in energy use (43.5%)
2) lower maintenance costs (relamping from 4.5yrs to 7yrs)
3) reduction in CO2 emissions that result from energy generation
Read testimony >>

IDA thanks Reid T. Nelson, Attorney at Law, for assisting us in this endeavor.
Council of Europe Draft Resolution on Noise and Light Nuisance Reviews the Damage Caused by Noise and Light Pollution to Man and Other Living Species The resolution finds that these types of pollution can have serious repercussions, such as disturbing ecosystems and provoking diseases in humans and states that light pollution affecting flora and fauna poses one of the worst threats to urban biodiversity but above all has harmful effects on the human metabolism. Read the Draft Resolution on Noise and Light Nuisance >>