What is International Dark-Sky Association (IDA)

Horace He

Last Updated: August 7, 2023

What is International Dark-Sky Association (IDA)

The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) is a non-profit organization that focuses on preserving and protecting the nighttime environment by reducing light pollution. It serves as an authoritative voice in educating lighting designers, manufacturers, technical committees, and the public about the importance of controlling light pollution.

The IDA collaborates with various stakeholders, including lighting professionals, scientists, engineers, and policymakers, to develop and promote lighting standards and guidelines that minimize the negative impacts of artificial light on the environment and human health. One of its significant contributions is the development of the Model Lighting Ordinance (MLO), which provides guidance for municipalities to develop their own outdoor lighting standards.

The MLO introduces innovative approaches such as lighting zones and the “BUG” classification system for fixtures to ensure that outdoor lighting is tailored to specific needs, minimizes light pollution, and promotes energy efficiency. The IDA also offers the “Fixture Seal of Approval” program, which provides certification for lighting fixtures that meet their standards for minimizing glare, light trespass, and skyglow.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is IDA Approved Light Fixtures

IDA’s Fixture Seal of Approval program is a certification program for outdoor lighting fixtures that are considered “Dark Sky Friendly.” This means that these fixtures are designed to minimize glare, reduce light trespass, and minimize skyglow. All products that are approved in this program must be fully shielded and must also minimize the amount of blue light in the nighttime environment.

What Is IDA Dark Sky Approved

Dark-sky compliance is determined by the IDA Fixture Seal of Approval program, which certifies outdoor lighting ordinances. According to this program, a fixture must be completely shielded and should not emit any light above the horizontal plane. Additionally, it should not have sag or drop lenses, side light panels, uplight panels, or similar features.

What Does the Dark-Sky Association Do

The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) is widely acknowledged as the expert in the field of light pollution and is at the forefront of the global effort to combat light pollution.

What Are the Lighting Guidelines for the International Dark Sky Association

IDA suggests using lighting with a color temperature of 3000 Kelvins or lower. Lighting with lower color temperatures, known as “warm” lighting, contains less blue light in its spectrum. On the other hand, light sources with higher color temperatures are abundant in blue light.

What Is IDA Compliant

An outdoor lighting fixture is considered IDA compliant when it is awarded the IDA (International Dark-Sky Association) Seal of Approval. The IDA serves as an advocate against light pollution and works to educate manufacturers, designers, local governments, and the public on how to minimize its impact.

What Makes a Light Fixture ADA Compliant

ADA compliant light fixtures are designed with a slim profile, enabling them to be installed in narrow areas such as hallways, aisles, passageways, and bathrooms without obstructing the path of individuals. Additionally, to meet ADA requirements, these fixtures should be mounted at a minimum height of 80 inches from the ground.

Do LED Lights Cause Light Pollution

Typically, incandescent bulbs emit warmer yellow and amber tones, whereas LEDs emit harsher white and blue tones. As a result, the light from LEDs scatters more in the atmosphere, leading to a greater contribution to outdoor light pollution.