Protect our Dark Skies

Our society is losing the ability to see the night sky. Light pollution has a number of harmful effects including human health, animal and bird migrations, and this region’s astrotourism.

We now have several communities and locations that are certified as International Dark Sky Communities, municipalities that have an outdoor lighting ordinance that meets the requirements of the International Dark Sky Association. Each municipality enforces the outdoor lighting ordinance and continually educates the residents about the importance of reducing light pollution.

∙       Flagstaff

∙       Sedona

∙       Camp Verde

∙       Big Park/Village of Oak Creek 

∙       Cottonwood (IDA application submitted)


We also have a number of Dark Sky Parks in Arizona and the Colorado Plateau:

∙      Canyonlands National Park

∙    Flagstaff Area National Monuments (Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater, Wupatki National Monument)

∙       Grand Canyon National Park (Provisional)

∙       Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument

∙       Hovenweep National Monument

∙       Tonto National Monument

∙       Tumacacori National Historic Park


Needless to say, we live in one of the few areas of the world where you can still see the Milky Way. So what can you do at work and at home to protect the night sky? 

The International Dark Sky Association (IDA) is the go-to source for best practices. Consider whether you really need light or as much exterior light. Is it all going where you need it or is it escaping into the sky or neighboring properties. The IDA's website contains a database of Dark Sky Compliant fixtures. Most building supply retailers carry a number of styles. Follow this advice from the IDA website and Keep Sedona Beautiful, our local resource. 

∙       Lighting should only be on when needed

∙       Lighting should only light the area that needs it

∙       To save energy, don’t use excessive amounts of illumination

∙       Use timers, dimmers and motions sensors whenever possible

∙       Lighting should be fully shielded (pointing downward). Fully shielded lighting can be purchased or retrofitted.

∙       Use energy-efficient lighting sources and fixtures.

∙       Lighting should minimize blue light emissions, ideally around 2400K but certainly less than 3000K.

Learn more :

Darcy HitchcockLighting, Dark Sky