Light Usage for Night Applications (LUNA)

Light Usage for Night Applications (LUNA)

The DLC's LUNA program sets requirements for using the highest quality outdoor lighting at night - lighting that minimizes light pollution, provides appropriate visibility for people, and limits negative impacts to the environment. In addition to the benefits that appropriate lighting can provide to our outdoor environment, there are also energy savings to be captured by only using the right type of light, and only where it is needed.

The LUNA program establishes performance requirements for specific categories of outdoor solid-state lighting so that energy efficiency programs, cities and municipalities, and all outdoor lighting decision makers can be confident that their selections save energy AND follow best environmental practices for nighttime lighting.

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Why focus on light at night?

Goals of the LUNA program

Who benefits from LUNA?

How does LUNA work?

Get involved with LUNA


Cover Letter for Draft LUNA Technical Requirements V1

Draft 1 LUNA Technical Requirements V1

Comment Form for Draft 1 LUNA Technical Requirements V1

Why focus on light at night?

The use of artificial light at night has far-ranging impacts for humans, plants, and animals alike.

Sky Glow

Sky Glow

Sky glow from artificial light is likely a familiar sight to you - it is the cumulative scattering effect of man-made light sources that brighten the night sky and decrease your ability to see stars. The light pollution that causes sky glow may have consequences beyond suboptimal stargazing, including disrupting the circadian cycles of plants and animals, impeding the ability of nocturnal creatures to navigate their environment, reducing agricultural yields, interfering with astronomers ability to study the sky, and more.

LUNA Objective: Reduce sky glow from artificial lighting by requiring LUNA products to meet uplight, dimming, and CCT thresholds.

Light trespass

Light Trespass

Light trespass occurs when light spills or "trespasses" into locations where it is not wanted or needed. An example of light trespass is illumination from streetlights entering the windows of a house or apartment. Light trespass also contributes to habitat disruption for animals and plants. While appropriate levels of light and shielded, optimized light distribution can alleviate many complaints of obtrusive light, these solutions also represent an opportunity to reduce light pollution and outdoor energy usage.

LUNA Objective: Begin to eliminate disruptive light trespass by requiring LUNA products to meet dimming best practices and by offering efficacy allowances for products that use shields.



Glare occurs when light is scattered in your eyes from a particular angle of a light source or when light is too bright against the background. This can be painful or irritating, and it can also be very dangerous. When glare from a streetlight disrupts the vision of a driver or reflects off of a shiny surface, visibility is reduced and accidents on the road are more likely to occur.

LUNA Objective: Continue to participate in standards development for glare so that appropriate and effective glare requirements can be incorporated into future versions of the LUNA program.

    Negative effects on Ecological Systems

    Negative Effects on Ecological Systems

    Although artificial light has enabled us to increase our work and recreational activities outdoors at night, it has radically altered the nocturnal environment for many species. The widespread adoption of artificial lighting presents a growing threat to biodiversity in general, and nocturnally active wildlife in particular.

    LUNA Objective: Continue to develop strategies to minimize the adverse effects of artificial light at night, including the use of sensors and controls, light spectrum, and shielding.

      Energy savings

      Energy Savings

      We cannot ignore the clear opportunity for energy savings when light is used only where and when it is needed. According to the International Dark-Sky Association, approximately $3 billion worth of energy is lost to sky glow each year. Installation of LUNA-compliant outdoor lighting introduces an opportunity to significantly reduce that number.

      LUNA Objective: Create a faster path for energy efficiency programs to meet their energy efficiency goals by reducing the amount of wasted energy consumed by outdoor lighting.


      Goals of the LUNA program

      Minimize light pollution

      The LUNA program introduces requirements for light distribution, correlated color temperature (CCT), and dimming controls that ensure less light is scattered into the atmosphere, resulting in reduction of light trespass and sky glow, and darker skies for stargazers, astronomers, and wildlife.

      Minimize lighting energy use

      In addition to meeting the efficacy thresholds of the DLC's Solid-State Lighting Technical Requirements V5.1, LUNA qualified products must meet additional dimming, control, and shielding requirements to ensure efficient use of lighting energy. These thresholds will help efficiency programs meet or exceed their energy savings goals and end users reduce operational costs.

      Provide appropriate visibility for people

      The LUNA program incorporates all V5.1 spectral quality requirements, BUG reporting requirements, and additional spectral power distribution and intensity distribution reporting requirements, allowing spec lighting installations meet recommended practices and voluntary guidelines for dark-sky best practices.

      Who benefits from LUNA?

      • Utility and energy efficiency programs
      • Commercial building owners and end users
      • Cities, municipalities, road commissions and public works departments
      • Lighting specifiers and designers
      • ESCOs
      • University sustainability officials
      • National and state park decision makers
      • Federal and state DOTs


      How does LUNA work?

      Led by the DLC, the LUNA program is guided by the LUNA Advisory Group, comprised of experienced lighting experts from the research, industry, design, and utility sectors. The panel provides perspectives and recommendations for criteria related to light at night that will allow users to differentiate products that minimize light pollution. 

      Products that achieve the LUNA qualification will be listed on the DLC's Solid-State Lighting Qualified Products List (QPL). Lighting decision makers will be able to filter the QPL to show LUNA qualified products and may select from that list for their outdoor lighting projects. Additionally, LUNA qualified products will be identifiable by their use of the DLC LUNA logo, which will be released with the final Technical Requirements.


      Get involved with LUNA

      The DLC carefully evaluates every initiative for its impact on industry, environment, and end-users. We tap market experts, manufacturers, and other industry stakeholders to help establish verified, trustworthy requirements to keep the lighting industry at the forefront of carbon reduction efforts. The LUNA program will follow the DLC's 6-step process to craft comprehensive criteria that address the needs of our energy efficiency program members and industry partners alike.

      Your input on the LUNA draft policy will help shape the program many years into the future. Download the V1 draft requirements and comment form below and submit your comments to by May 21, 2021.


      LUNA V1.0 drafts and documents:


      Next steps:

      • April 28, 2021: LUNA Draft 1 release webinar
      • May 21, 2021: Draft 1 comments due
      • July 2021: Draft 2 released for comment
      • October 2021: Final LUNA policy released


      Learn more about the effects of light on nighttime environments: