Dark Skies Cumbria

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.


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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!

Cumberland Council in partnership with lighting company DW Windsor has installed dark skies and wildlife sensitive lighting across the busiest road crossing the river Eden in Carlisle.

As part of Cumberland Council’s continuing investment renewing its highway lighting, the council appointed leading British lighting manufacturer DW Windsor to supply the new bridge lighting.

The bridge is located near a world heritage site and the river Eden is a Special Area of Conservation, a vital habitat for nationally important species, including the Atlantic salmon, otter and several species of lamprey.  As part of the lighting assessment, the ecological implications on the river were considered, as this area is a valuable nocturnal highway for wildlife. Discreet light shields were added to prevent light spilling down into the river.

Image above: Eden Bridge lighting with shields to direct the light onto the road and prevent light spill into the river.

The project faced an engineering challenge when locating the lighting columns due to the many utilities using the bridge to cross the river Eden. The lighting needed to be flexible to meet design standards, remain sympathetic to the night-time ecology and fit within the limited available locations. Lighting also needed to be quick to install and easy to maintain due to heavy traffic in the area.

The lights - DW Windsor’s Daytona luminaire - are a warm colour, dimmed after 9pm by 50% and no light spills down into the River Eden Special Area of Conservation below.  This protects aquatic insects, migratory salmon, otters and allows bats to feed safely above the river surface in their natural darkness. 

Ten Daytona luminaire lights were the ideal solution thanks to their innovative Tunable White technology, which can automatically adjust colour temperature and brightness throughout the night to reflect traffic flow changes.  As the traffic, cyclist and pedestrian flows decrease the colour temperature at dusk of 2700 Kelvin changes to 2400K at 9pm, and finally 2200K at midnight, with a dimming profile down to 50%. 

Shields direct light only where it’s needed, ensuring safety for road users while also preventing light pollution and glare. Meanwhile, Bluetooth control works via a smartphone app, allowing ease of use by Cumberland Council lighting team to adjust colour temperature profiles and programme settings for the luminaire lights.

Cumberland Councillor, Denise Rollo, Portfolio Holder for Sustainable, Resilient and Connected Places said:  “Cumberland Council recognises that dark skies are integral to the health and wellbeing of our communities and night-time ecology.  The council is committed to putting health and wellbeing at the heart of everything we do.  One way we can achieve this is by being innovative in the way we deliver our services, and the technology applied by DW Windsor’s Daytona luminaires with Bluetooth control enables us to provide environmentally sensitive lighting while meeting the needs of our communities.  We enjoy a great working relationship with DW Windsor as a reliable and trusted partner and look forward to strengthening this partnership in the future.”

Eden Bridge is now an attractive, well-lit passageway for visitors on their way into Carlisle and is an appealing sight viewed from the surrounding areas.

Jack Ellerby, Dark Skies Officer in Cumbria at Friends of the Lake District, said:  “Cumberland Council is one of the key partners delivering positive lighting solutions to help achieve a reduction in light pollution within Cumbria. Research into the ecological effects of artificial light entering the water environment shows it can be very harmful to many species of wildlife, including aquatic insects, fish and mammals. River corridors also provide essential feeding grounds for several protected bat species. So this carefully designed lighting scheme preventing light spilling into the River Eden provides another great example of Cumberland demonstrating best practice in public lighting.”

Project credits:
Design and Supply: Cumberland Council and DW Windsor: Commercial Lighting Case Studies & Projects | DW Windsor
Installation: Aptus Utilities Limited and Sockets provider: NAL Limited