Discover the Night — International Dark Sky Week

Dark Sky Week 2023

Discover the Night
April 15–22

It may seem harmless, but light pollution has far-reaching consequences that are harmful to all living things. Effective outdoor lighting reduces light pollution, leading to a better quality of life for all. The dark sky movement is working to bring better lighting to communities around the world so that all life can thrive.

Join us this International Dark Sky Week to learn more about the movement, and discover the night where you live.

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Light pollution from unshielded lights

A lot of the outdoor lighting used at night is inefficient, overly bright, poorly targeted, improperly shielded, and in many cases, completely unnecessary. This light and the electricity used to create it are being wasted because it spills into the sky rather than being focused on the objects and areas that people need illuminated.

Cityscape to the Milky Way

With much of the Earth’s population living under light-polluted skies, over lighting is an international concern. If you live in an urban or suburban area all you have to do to see this type of pollution is go outside at night and look up at the sky. Notice what you don’t see?

Harmful effects on wildlife

Light pollution harms mammals, birds, amphibians, insects, and reptiles. It can decrease reproduction, disrupt migration, increase predation, and more.

Bad, better, best

Use outdoor lighting responsibly by only using it where it’s needed, when it’s needed, in the amount required, and no more. Make sure to use the lowest light level required, limit the amount of shorter wavelength (blue-violet) light, utilize controls (such as timers or motion sensors), and use shielding to target the light, so it does not spill beyond where it is needed.

Effective outdoor lighting

A wide variety of dark-sky-friendly lighting fixtures are vailable from manufacturers.

What is Light Pollution?

Any artificial light that is not needed is a pollutant that has serious and harmful consequences.

Light pollution can:

  • disrupt wildlife
  • impact human health
  • waste money and energy
  • contribute to climate change
  • block our view of the universe

Light pollution is increasing at 2x rate of population growth and 83% of the global population lives under a light-polluted sky.

Take Action

Be a community scientist

Community scientists count the stars

Globe at Night’s community scientists measure and submit their night sky brightness observations. It’s easy to get involved — all you need is computer or smartphone.

Visit Globe at Night
Watch video

Inventory your home lighting

Check your home's outdoor lights

Is your home night sky friendly? A few simple changes can lead to home lighting that is both beautiful and functional, without contributing excessive light pollution.

Learn more

Host a night walk

People walking through their neighborhood at night

Dark City Walks are guided walking tours that demonstrate how the lighting we add to our cities impacts the way we use them and the environment at large.

Watch the video
Download How-To Guide [PDF]

Become a Dark Sky Advocate

Map showing many pins where Dark Sky Advocates live

IDA Advocates around the world educate the public about light pollution, enact legislation, serve as local resources for other volunteers, and more. Join us!

Learn more

Partner with other orgs

Bad lighting negatively affects nighttime pollinators like bats

Connect with a partner organization and tell them about the importance of reducing light pollution — or better yet, host an event with them to help introduce new audiences to the value of dark skies.

Partner ideas [PDF]
Event ideas [PDF]

Join in the scavenger hunt

Scavenger hunt card

Discover the night by taking part in the International Dark Sky Week scavenger hunt! Find as many items on the list as you can during the week. Find them all, and IDA will send you an assortment of stickers!

Get hunting
Claim your stickers

About Us

IDA protects the night from light pollution

Artificial light at night has revolutionized the way we live and work outdoors, but it has come at a price. When used indiscriminately, outdoor lighting can disrupt wildlife, impact human health, waste money, and energy, contribute to climate change, and block our view of the universe. 

The International Dark-Sky Association promotes win-win solutions that allow people to appreciate dark, star-filled skies while enjoying the benefits of responsible outdoor lighting.

Our Vision

The night sky, filled with stars, is celebrated and protected around the world as a shared heritage benefiting all living things.

Thank you to our brand partners for year-round support

Leading Partners

Musco Lighting
The Home Depot
Lowes Logo

Guiding Partners

Sustaining & Ally partners

Earth Sun Moon
Deneb, The Stories
Selux Corporation

Outreach partners

Grand Canyon National Park Lodges
The Home Depot
Visit Utah


All around the world

Your Dark Sky Photos

Tag your Instagram posts with either #IDSW2023, #DarkSkyWeek, or #DiscoverTheNight.

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Support Dark Skies!

Can you pitch in a few dollars a month to protect the night? Support the International Dark-Sky Association by becoming an IDA monthly member today. When you join our monthly giving club, you will receive a special Nighthawk magnet.

Buy Dark Sky Merchandise

Printed in small batches. Lots of designs, styles, and sizes are available. Proceeds support the International Dark-Sky Association.