Light Pollution Abatement Resources

Reducing light pollution is a classic example of a "think globally, act locally" issue. While the negative effects of light pollution are widespread, most lighting is regulated either at the municipal or regional (provincial/state) level. To help preserve dark skies, advocates need to work with municipal planners, councils, and regulators to encourage lighting standards and practices that preserve the night sky.

You can find resources to support your efforts in light pollution abatement on the RASC Public Google Drive. Currently, these resources include:

  • A collection of lighting bylaws and policies from across Canada
  • A variety of scientific articles about light pollution and its impacts
  • A collection of recommended practices and community-specific lighting standards


Visit the Public Google Drive


Please note that we continue to add and update resources on the Public Google Drive, and are working to expand our collection to support those advocating for light pollution abatement in their communities.

In addition to the material on our Google Drive, information can be found here on our website. Navigating using the links in the sidebar to the left, you can find pages such as Crime and Safety, Example Bylaws, and Outreach Materials. Finally, this page has a list of manufacturers of amber lights. Lights like these that minimize the amount of light emitted at blue wavelengths are critical to LPA efforts.

When advocating for the protection of dark skies, the RASC encourages advocates to frame their cause as protecting night ecology rather than purely protecting the sky. While protecting the sky is a worthwhile goal to astronomers, protecting nocturnal flora and fauna will appeal to a wider audience, and will therefore typically yield more success, while also benefiting the night sky as a side effect.

Other Advocates

In addition to the case made by astronomers for preserving the night sky, there are other advocates who are aligned with this goal:

  • the FLAP (Fatal Light Awareness Program) encourages office buildings and other structures to reduce their lighting at night to help preserve the lives of migrating birds.
  • the Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms conducts research into the negative effects of excessive lighting on natural sleep rhythms
  • and many environmental groups have an interest in reducing energy waste caused by inefficient and ineffective lighting.
  • there is an extensive set of resources on the RASC Calgary website.

Global Light Pollution Maps

Resources that show the extent of light pollution around the world can be useful for visualizing the over-arching situation.

  • The Blue Marble Program provides one such resource. This annotated and navigable image of the Earth at night shows the lights of towns smaller than 1,000 persons. The effort originated in Denmark, but covers the entire world.
  • Another is the Light Pollution Map website, which displays annual research data on global light pollution. This includes the comprehensive 2015 Light-Pollution Atlas data, as well as annual Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) data dating back to 2012.
Last modified: 
Monday, February 12, 2024 - 9:32pm