How to Reduce Light Pollution in Your Own Backyard

By Falon Mihalic, Houzz

Lights in the landscape create light pollution that adversely affects nocturnal animals and migratory birds. Many animals rely on darkness as part of their habitat and behavior, and lights at night can disrupt their natural cycles. A concept called dark sky lighting is a movement to reduce light pollution produced by cities in order to protect wildlife and to create more visible stars in the night sky. You can play a part in reducing light pollution by using recommended fixtures for wildlife friendliness and designing your lighting with care.

Landscape Lighting 1
Turnquist Design, original photo on Houzz

1. Cast light downward.

A major culprit of light pollution is lights that are unnecessarily pointed upward — called uplighting — to illuminate trees and buildings. This sends light pollution directly into trees and sky.

A more efficient and environmentally sensitive way to light the landscape is with downlighting. Downlights cast light from above to below. In the image here, light fixtures are positioned in the roof overhang and cast light down onto the building’s facade.

Landscape Lighting 2
CWB Architects, original photo on Houzz