Lights Out Boston

In partnership with the City of Boston and leading building owners and managers, Mass Audubon is working to turn off Boston’s architectural and window lighting at night, saving energy, money, and the lives of migratory birds that can become fatally disoriented by artificial lights.

Participating buildings commit to dimming or turning off all window lighting and external lighting (including architectural and atrium lighting) from 11pm to 5am during bird migration periods (March 1 to June 1 and again from August 15 to October 31).

Saving Energy and Fighting 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 helps to meet the City of Boston’s pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

Saving 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.

Saving Money

According to the 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.

To take part, complete the online form or download and print the form and return it to Mass Audubon, 6 Beacon St., Suite 1025, Boston, MA, 02114. If you’re interested in working with Mass Audubon to bring the Lights Out program to your city, please contact us.

For more information, visit our partner site, City of Boston Lights Out.