'Lights Out' Initiative

Boston skyline at night under a full moon © Ramkumar Subramanian
Boston skyline at night © Ramkumar Subramanian

Mass Audubon is leading a coalition of property owners and managers in a campaign to turn off architectural and window lighting in cities at night. Doing so doesn't only save energy and money—it saves the lives of migratory birds that can become fatally disoriented by artificial lights.

Participating buildings commit to extinguishing window and architectural exterior lighting between the hours of 11:00 pm—5:00 am. 

Save Energy & Fight Climate Change

Many buildings are unnecessarily lit at night. By turning out the lights, buildings use less electricity, cutting the amount of heat-trapping greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. This effort also helps municipalities that are seeking to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Save Birds

Illuminated structures attract birds that fly at night, including many nighttime migrants like orioles, wrens, and warblers. They can become disoriented when passing over a brightly lit skyline, aimlessly circling a skyscraper until they collide with it or collapse from exhaustion.

By turning out the lights, we can remove one source of mortality from already stressed bird populations.

Save Money

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, energy is the largest operating expense for commercial buildings. Reducing energy use by shutting off lights makes both environmental sense and fiscal sense.

How to Participate

To take part, complete our simple online form to let us know of your commitment to Lights Out! You can also print out the form and mail it to us at Mass Audubon, 6 Beacon Street, Suite 1025, Boston, MA, 02114

Sign Up >

If you're interested in working with Mass Audubon to bring the Lights Out program to your city, please contact us.