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The DarkSky Approved program is open to manufacturers whose light fixtures meet our rigorous criteria.

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Criteria
DarkSky Approved logo use guidelines
Fees
Application
FAQ


Criteria

Version 2.25 updated May 11, 2022. 

All of the following criteria must be met:

General

  • Approved luminaires must employ warm-toned 3000K CCT and lower light sources.  Amber and PC amber light sources are also allowable under this program. If other CCTs and mounting options are available for the luminaire, a notation must be made on the web page, spec sheets, and order forms that 3000K CCT (or  warmer) and fixed mounting must be ordered to be DarkSky Approved.

Commercial luminaires

  • Photometric files are needed to validate performance characteristics.
  • There is an uplight allowance of 0.5% of total output or 50 lumens; whichever is lower, with no more than 10 lumens in 90–100 degree UL zone. This is allowable uplight as a byproduct of the structure and not the source.
  • Roadway & Area luminaires must have a pre- or post-installation shielding option.
  • Luminaires are required to have fixed mounting to ensure they are installed as tested. It is allowable to have +/- 10-degree adjustment for leveling if needed.
  • Luminaires must have dimming capability to 10% of full rating.
  • Light sources shall have a maximum Correlated Color Temperature of 3000K.
  • Luminaires must have Safety Certification by an independent laboratory.

Residential luminaires

  • Uplight allowance: Not to exceed 50 lumens from source reflection or support structures. Light source shall not be visible from the horizontal plane, i.e. the luminaire must be fully shielded. 
  • Luminaires are required to have fixed mounting to ensure they are installed as tested.
  • Light sources shall have a maximum Correlated Color Temperature of 3000K.
  • Luminaires must have Safety Certification by an independent laboratory.

Specialty luminaires

Significantly reduce light pollution and nocturnal habitat disruption

  • Photometric files are needed to validate performance characteristics.
  • Spectral Power Distribution measurements are needed to validate color characteristics.
  • No uplight allowance, BUG rating U-0.
  • Must have a pre- or post-installation shielding option.
  • Luminaires must have dimming capability to 1% of full rating.
  • Smart controls that meet program purposes.
  • No more than 7% of visible emissions in 380–520nm.
  • Luminaires must have Safety Certification by an independent laboratory.

Wildlife tuned luminaires

Luminaires specifically tuned for sea turtle habitats

  • Photometric files are needed to validate performance characteristics.
  • Spectral Power Distribution measurements are needed to validate color characteristics.
  • No uplight, BUG U-0.
  • Must have a pre- or post-installation shielding option.
  • Sea turtle specific spectrum 565nm Mono-Chromatic Amber light sources only.
  • Luminaires must have dimming capability to 10% of full rating.
  • Luminaires must have Safety Certification by an independent laboratory.

DarkSky Approved retrofit solutions

Products that modify existing luminaires to improve their performance characteristics, such as lamp replacements, shielding, uplight control, warmer CCTs, and reduced short wavelength emission, etc. Replacement of the lighting system within a luminaire may make products that were not approved earlier now compliant with our certification criteria.


Use of this seal by any non-certified entity is strictly prohibited.

DarkSky Approved logo use guidelines

The DarkSky Approved logo is to be used in association with approved products only. These situations include:

  • On the approved product specification and ordering documents on both print and websites as a unique image.
  • On the approved product specification and ordering documents on both print and websites as part of a cluster along with other certification logos such as UL, DLC, IP65, ETL, etc.
  • In a catalog or portfolio document or a website page in a Table of Contents, indicating approved products can be found in a particular section containing only approved products.
  • On retail packaging, store “shelf talkers,” in-store promotional materials, price signs for the product, or in advertisements for approved products.
  • In advertisements for approved products.
  • When used in association with the approved product in promotional materials by some third party, such as a utility company describing fixtures being installed by them.
  • In HOA and project specification materials describing approved products.

The DarkSky Approved logo may never be associated with products that haven’t been evaluated and approved by DarkSky. The logo should not appear without approved product descriptions or explanation of the significance of the logo, such as randomly placed on a document or web page without context to its meaning.


Certification fees

Version 2.26 updated January 1, 2024.

  • Company Registration (one time fee) — $3,000
  • Each product family listing* — $350
  • Single** commercial or residential luminaire$150

* Only one fee is required per product family — that is, a group of luminaires having the same body but differing distributions and/or lumen outputs — not per individual SKU or specifier code.

** Single — i.e. not part of a product family.

Residential luminaire is defined as either having traditional retail packaging, sold in retail situations such as home improvement stores or lighting showrooms, and utilizing power voltages found in residential housing.


Application

  1. Photometric (.ies/.ldt) files must be submitted for each luminaire seeking certification.
  2. Product identification or specifier code(s) must be provided for each listed luminaire with a CCT of 3000K or less.
  3. Recertification is required when new photometric data (intensity distribution) is obtained demonstrating a change of 10% or more for candela at any measured angle.
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Product Information

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          FAQ

          Who do I contact with questions?

          Please contact the DarkSky Lighting Program Manager.