Dark Skies Cumbria

Light up February with a spectacular array of online events celebrating the wonders of our night sky

Live events over 17 evenings in February give you the opportunity to explore our dark skies with astronomers, astrophotographers, authors, filmmakers, lighting and design professionals, performers, poets and outdoor adventurers.

Book Now for individual event information and booking options. We've also produced this handy little leaflet which you can download as a reminder of what's in a line-up which we think is out of this world!

(View / Download Festival Line-Up - pdf)


Saving Our Night Skies

Cumbria's dark skies allow us to see the natural wonder of the stars, but are also critical for the health wildlife and our own natural well-being. Sadly light pollution in Cumbria is increasing each year, threatening to obscure our view of the stars and blinding and confusing animals so they can’t feed or find a mate. We need urgent action now to stop light pollution. Stargazers, photographers, wildlife lovers and local communities… please help.

     

Or you can give by text to 70085. Just message DARKSKIES along with your chosen donation amount (eg DARKSKIES 5 to donate £5). Standard message rates apply.

The Lake District and Cumbria offers some of the most spectacular and precious skyscapes in England and we want you to join us on an interstellar adventure. Download our Dark Sky Discovery Pack and get started today!

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.