Dark Sky NM

inviting you to enjoy and protect the New Mexico night sky

What is Light Pollution?

Light pollution is excessive or inappropriate use of artificial lighting at night.

Light pollution results in energy waste and negative impacts to human health and safety, wildlife and ecosystems, and our view of the night sky.

Light pollution commonly occurs as:
♦ sky glow - the brightening of the night sky over inhabited areas, for example, the "light dome" you see in the distance as you drive toward a town at night;
♦ glare - excessive brightness that causes visual discomfort and reduced visibility, for example, a roadside light shining in your eyes as you drive past;
♦ light trespass - light falling where it is not intended, needed, or wanted, for example, your neighbor's yard light shining in your bedroom window;
♦ visual clutter - a confusing concentration of bright lights, for example, a typical city street in a commercial district.

A light dome in New Mexico

Bad lighting practices that contribute to light pollution include use of:
♦ unshielded lights
♦ poorly aimed lights
♦ excessively bright lights
♦ too many lights
♦ dusk-to-dawn lights
♦ digital billboards

Next Section: Bad Lighting