Lights Out Newark

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Each year, tens of million birds pass through Delaware during the spring and fall migration. Most of these birds migrate at night. Research by scientists at the University of Delaware shows that the nighttime skyglow of cities attracts migrating birds; pulling them off course to stopover within and near urban areas. Unfortunately, many of these birds are killed when they fly into buildings, confused by artificial lights at night or by reflective or transparent glass surfaces during the day. Birds drawn to urban areas are also more likely to die or be injured from hazards like roads and domestic cats.


Lights Out is a voluntary program that involves turning off and/or blocking as many external and internal building lights as possible at night, when bird migration is occurring during the spring and fall.


Lights Out Newark FAQ

What is Lights Out Newark?

Lights Out is a national program with more than 32 participating cities. Newark is launching Lights Out Newark in spring 2021. You can be one of the first to join in this effort! We are asking tenants in building complexes to turn off lights during bird migration seasons to help save birds, save energy, and save money. Simply turn off your lights between midnight and 6 a.m. during spring migration, April 1–May 31, and the fall migration, August 15–November 15.

Are other cities participating?

Nationally, cities including Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Baltimore and Washington DC have Lights Out programs.

Will this cost me money?

No, this is a free program, and you will save money! By turning off lights, you will be lowering your energy usage and saving money on your electric bill.

What kind of energy and cost savings will I receive?

Without doubt, turning lights off will save energy and cost but the exact amount will vary based on the number and intensity of lights you have and the specifics of your lighting. One study in Washington D.C. showed that buildings could reduce their energy usage by up to 28% by dimming their night lighting. One participating municipal building in the Toronto Lights Out program reported cost savings of more than $200,000 in a single year.

Do I need to turn off all my interior lights?

No, however please turn off unnecessary lighting. Where possible, it is also helpful to turn off interior lights that are closest to windows, from midnight to 6 a.m or use task lighting. If you are unable to turn off interior lights, draw window blinds, shades, drapes, or window coverings.

What are the building height guidelines?

We encourage that all buildings, regardless of height, participate in this effort. Bird collisions have been documented at all heights, from lobbies to upper floors and are influenced by several factors including reflectivity, lighting, surrounding habitat and design.

Do I need to turn off all my exterior lights?

No, however please turn off unnecessary flood lights, decorative, event and spotlights during migration seasons or consider down-shielding lights. If you are using uplighting for flagpoles and signs, consider rep[lacing them with down lights.

What do I tell my employees and tenants?

Remind employees and tenants to turn off lights on unoccupied floors and in unused space from midnight to 6 a.m. When working late, employees can be encouraged to use task lighting at their workstation and turn off the ceiling lights closest to windows.