Working Towards A City of Ballarat Dark Sky Community


At the  Earth Hour event on the 24th March 2018 all participants voted to work towards the City of Ballarat becoming a Dark Sky Community. The city of Ballarat could become the First Dark sky community in Australia, the first Dark Sky Park has been established in the Warrumbungle Range in NSW. If you would like tom support this project whether you are an Individual, Family, Community Group, Business or Institution, we would welcome your support to work towards a Dark Sky Community.

Register  your support here

NASA scientists are releasing new global maps of Earth at night, providing the clearest yet composite view of the patterns of human settlement across our planet. Early images can be compared to more recent images of the Earth.

The requirements for a Dark Sky Community are listed below.




  1. A quality comprehensive lighting code like the IDA/IES Model Lighting Ordinance (MLO)

with the following minimum standards for permanent lighting installations (more on developing a lighting code and guidelines may be found on our website  ttp://

  1. Fully shielded or full cutoff standard fro all lighting fixtures over 1500 lumens initial lamp output (or equivalent wattages), AND;
  2. Establishes s threshold of 3000 Kelvins for the allowable correlated color temperature of all lighting fixtures, AND;
  • Restrictions on total amount of unshielded lighting, such as a limit on lumens per acre or total site lumens in unshielded fixtures (or equivalent wattages), AND;


A policy to address over -­lighting, such as energy density caps, lumens/acre caps, or maximum illuminance specifications, AND;


  1. A provision that clearly: (1) indicates where, when and under what circumstances new public outdoor lighting (street lighting and lighting on other public property and rights-¬0f¬‐way) is warranted and will be permitted, and (2) requires that adaptive controls and curfews be employed in all future installations of public outdoor lighting


  1. Community commitment to dark skies and quality lighting as shown by:
  2. City owned lighting conforming with, or committed to conforming with, the lighting code (if the latter, a published plan with a timeline for completion in no more than 5 years), AND;
  3. Municipal support of dark skies and good lighting as indicated through city publications, flyers, public service announcements, funding of lighting upgrades, etc.


  1. Broad Support for dark skies from a wide range of community organizations such as:
  2. Chamber of Commerce
  3. Local electrical utility
  • Local IDA Chapter
  1. iv) Lighting retailers
  2. Home Owners Association
  3. Business Improvement Associations
  4. Others


  1. Community commitment to dark skies and education as shown by at least one of the following:


  1. Planning and execution of at least two community dark sky awareness events per year. This may be organized through a local astronomy club, municipality, school, etc. AND/OR;
  2. Inclusion of dark sky awareness documents (IDA brochures or Community created brochures) with other

Community informational documents for residents and visitors , AND/OR;

  • Inclusion of dark sky education in Community schools and curriculum.


  1. Success in light pollution control. At least one of the following conditions must be demonstrated:
  2. Examples of a minimum of ten projects built under the lighting code, demonstrating effective application of the local lighting code , AND/OR;
  3. Alternative demonstration of success in light pollution control, to be discussed with IDA for



  1. A sky brightness measurement program must be maintained either by the Community or by another public or private organization (university, research center, IDA chapter, astronomy club, etc .) to follow the evolution of light pollution in the DSC


  1. Designation is permanent, but is subject to regular review by IDA a nd possible revocation if minimum requirements are not maintained. More details may be found in the “Reassessment of DSC designation” section.


  1. Periodic checks, through the submission of the annual report due October 1st , will be preformed to ensure that

minimum standards and objectives of the program are being upheld and adequate progress is being made. This report is a short 1 to 2 ­‐ page synopsis of the Community ’s activities and initiatives throughout the last year. The Borrego Springs, CA report is included on the website for reference



  • In some cases, a Community interested in the program may lack all of the resources required to

achieve a designation outright . If resource unavailability otherwise hinders the progress of a Community’s application, that Community may apply for and be granted Provisional status at the discretion of the IDA Board of Directors . Provisional status recognizes the Community’s ongoing work to become an IDA Dark Sky Community and is intended as a leverage point to successfully enable actions such as lighting upgrades/retrofits and policy changes.


  • Provisional status expires after three (3) years . At any time before the end of this period, a Community

may reapply for full status. Material submitted for the removal of provisional status may be an addendum to the initial application as long as the material includes a current assessment of  the goals, outreach efforts, and lighting policy listed in the original application and clearly demonstrates that any program requirements left unmet at receipt of the Provisional status have been satisfied.


  • To be considered for a provisional status , send a nomination package that includes the following information:


  1. Documented intent to create and support an IDA Dark Sky Community;


  1. A description of the circumstances that currently prevent the Community from meeting the

minimum Dark Sky Community requirements; and


  1. An action plan describing steps the aspiring Community will take to meet all program requirements in the specified Provisional status period