Good lighting principles for reducing Light Pollution and safeguarding Dark Skies 

  • New lighting should not erode existing dark sky qualities or project light beyond the immediate area needing to be lit.
  • Lamps of 500 lumens* and less are appropriate for most domestic purposes. Light to the appropriate illuminance – do not over light needlessly.
  • Avoid bright white and cooler temperature LED’s – use 3,000 Kelvins or less**
  • Angle lights downwards and use shields – no unnecessary light above or near the horizontal. Point where the light is needed not in a direction that causes a nuisance to neighbours, nearby public or wildlife. Up lighters should not be used.          


  • Switch lights off when not needed – for example at close of business (including illuminated advertisements).
  • Use dimmers and proximity movement or time sensors, not dusk-till-dawn all night bright lighting.
  • Avoid purely decorative lighting (except temporary celebrations!).
  • Install lights at the lowest possible height to achieve lighting levels & use low reflective surface materials.
  • Minimise external glazing and/or use low transmittance tinted or smart-glass. Projected internal lighting through excessive glazing will cause light to spill horizontally and – in the case of sky lights – directly upward, which are the most damaging paths of light.
  • Use and shut the curtains or black out blinds at night. 

See our: Outdoor Lighting Tips

*Lumens = The total light radiated by a lamp. A 500 lumen output is sufficient for domestic purposes and is comparable to a standard 40 to 60Watt incandescent bulb or a 5Watt LED lamp. 

**Kelvins = represents the colour temperature of the light emitted by a lamp, with an appearance such as white, blue, amber or red. 3,000 Kelvins or less should be used in intrinsically dark landscapes. This reduces overall light levels and is less harmful to people and wildlife.