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Dark sky in the Yorkshire Dales

Good lighting advice

Efficient and environmentally sensitive lighting benefits wildlife and wellbeing, saves energy and enhances our view of the inspiring night sky.

We’ve been working hard to make the Yorkshire Dales National Park an International Dark Sky Reserve, to help protect our exceptional night sky from the increasing problem of light pollution. Now that we’ve successfully achieved this status we need to work together to prevent light pollution in future.

This might be as simple as turning outdoor lights off when they are not needed or pointing lighting downwards. Making small improvements to lighting can lead to huge improvements in the quality of our dark night sky. 

Make your outdoor lighting Dark Sky friendly

Poor or unnecessary outdoor lighting not only creates light pollution but can also waste energy and money. 

Follow these simple steps when installing outdoor lighting to help reduce the impact on our dark sky:

  • Lighting should be used where needed and when needed
  • Angle lights downward – so there is no unnecessary light above or near the horizontal 
  • Lamps of 500 lumens and less are appropriate for most domestic purposes
  • All lights should have a colour temperature less than 3000K as a default specification
  • Point where the light is needed 
  • Switch lights off when not needed. Use proximity sensors. Avoid dusk-till-dawn sensors
  • Light to the appropriate illuminance – do not over light needlessly
  • Install at the lowest possible height to achieve lighting levels
  • Avoid bright white and cooler temperature LEDs 
  • Shut the curtains at night

Good light fittings 

Choose compact LED downlights or fully shielded pendant style fixtures, preferably with sensors to switch off when not needed.

Bad light fittings 

Unshielded or poorly shielded floodlights that cannot be tilted sufficiently to shine below the horizontal. Avoid common ‘Bulkhead’ style fittings that scatter light in all directions. 

The Institution of Lighting Professionals (ILP) website is a useful source of information and advice on lighting and reducing obtrusive light.  

Lighting Suppliers  

The list below is some of the wholesalers, distributors and retailers that currently supply dark sky friendly light fittings. The list is not exhaustive. 

  • B & Q 
  • City Electrical Factors (CEF) Ltd 
  • Collingwood Lighting Ltd 
  • Edmundson Electrical Ltd 
  • Firstlight Ltd 
  • Homebase 
  • Integral-LED Ltd 
  • Luceco Ltd 
  • Nordlux Lighting 
  • Philips Lighting plc 
  • Screwfix 
  • Searchlight Ltd 
  • Tamlite Lighting Ltd 
  • Thorn Lighting Ltd 
  • Toolstation 
  • Whitecroft Lighting Ltd 
  • YESSS Electrical Ltd

Easy ways to protect and enhance our dark skies 

For further Dark-Sky compliant lighting and lighting unit guides see:

  • Cranbourne Chase AONB International Dark Sky Reserve has produced some lighting guidance which you may find useful. You can access that guidance and download it here.
  • South Downs National Park International Dark Sky Reserve lighting guidance. This is a technical guide designed to provide developers and planners with the necessary information to submit and assess lighting schemes which are appropriate to a Dark Sky Reserve/Landscape. You can download this technical guide here.