Dark-Sky Design

Designing for the Dark: Light pollution hides views of the cosmos and causes a host of environmental problems. But architectural and landscape lighting can be designed so that it is sensitive to the night sky and ecosystem yet still responds to clients’ requirements. RECORD explores projects that do just that.
Architectural Record
By Joann Gonchar, AIA, and Linda C. Lentz

Learning Objectives:

  1. Define light pollution and related terms, such as sky glow, glare, and light trespass.
  2. Discuss the ecological and human-health consequences of light pollution.
  3. Discuss policy efforts aimed at reducing light pollution.
  4. Discuss the methods used to minimize light pollution in recent outdoor lighting projects.


This test is no longer available for credit

Electric lighting has allowed us to transform the night. It extends our workday and permits us to punctuate the nighttime land- scape with illuminated buildings. Roadway lights allow us travel on foot and by car safely from point A to B. And illuminated signs and advertisements help businesses sell their products and services. But too much outdoor lighting can have deleterious effects.

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Photo of a town under a night sky.

© Arne Kaiser


Originally published in Architectural Record
Originally published in July 2016