New Dark Sky Friendly Lighting Is Here

An outcome of a plenary resolution in spring 2020, dark sky lighting aims light at the ground, instead of up into the sky where it can contribute to light pollution.

Haverford is taking a significant step toward combating light pollution with its recent move to install dark sky friendly lighting. The new fixtures not only enhance campus aesthetics, but also align with Haverford’s commitment to environmental responsibility. Light pollution has been found to disrupt the ecosystem and wildlife, increase energy consumption, harm human health, and affect crime and safety. Dark sky friendly fixtures provide safe lighting levels and offer a visually pleasing warm light source that is gentle on the environment.

The change originated with a spring 2022 plenary resolution introduced by Sadie Kenyon-Dean ‘20. Professor of Physics and Astronomy Karen Masters says the switch is important, especially for the Strawbridge Observatory. “I am delighted that Haverford has made the decision to pursue dark sky friendly lighting,” says Masters. “This will make a major difference to the night sky brightness above campus, revealing more of the beauty of the stars on clear nights. It’s great for the wildlife on campus and the sleep cycle of the human residents, too—so it’s a win-win for everyone.”

The first phase of the change is already underway, with work scheduled for completion within the current fiscal year. Campus Safety has recently given the green light to sample installations, which can be found along the pathway to the west of Founders Hall and the south end of Harris Road adjacent to Barclay Hall. Over the next eight years, Facilities Management plans to replace all 280 light poles across the campus.

Check out photos of the new fixtures below!