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'Sconset's Dark Sky

Those who visit 'Sconset for the first time are often in awe of our dark sky and the amazing, unobstructed view of the stars. Miraculously, it is like time has passed us by and we still have a natural resource that many communities can only dream about, a night sky free from light pollution. It is a treasure that many of us take for granted, but we shouldn't. Our view of the starry skies is at risk of slowly, imperceptibly, disappearing if we're not careful. Let's all work together to protect our dark sky from the glare of artificial lights so it will be preserved in all its beauty.  

Contact us if you have any questions about, or suggestions for, our Dark Sky initiative.
Board Dark Sky Policy

Replace bad lights with good lights.
You'll save energy and money. You'll be a good neighbor. And you'll help preserve our view of the stars.

Which bulb should you use for your outdoor light fixtures?

           Kelvin Temperature Scale

What You Can Do

We can all help protect 'Sconset's dark sky through our individual efforts. Here are some things you can do that will make a real difference:

  • Install exterior light fixtures that are downward pointing and shielded.
  • Use the minimum brightness needed and minimize blue light emissions. (The International Dark Sky Association recommends a color temperature of 2200K for outdoor lighting applications, wherever possible.)
  • Use outdoor lighting only when essential and only for the area that needs it.
  • Turn off all your outdoor lighting no later than 10:00 pm. (If you'll be returning home after that, a flashlight can light the way!)
  • At a minimum, comply with Nantucket's outdoor lighting ordinance

Click here to access

A violation of Nantucket's outdoor lighting ordinance is subject to a penalty of $100 each day a violation continues after receiving a warning from the Lighting Enforcement Officer of Nantucket and being given 30 days to come into compliance.

Among other things, the following are prohibited for residential exterior lighting, with certain exceptions, if the lighting output is more than 600 lumens (about 40 watts incandescent and 7 watts LED). (See the ordinance itself for more detail, including additional restrictions, and contact the Lighting Enforcement Officer with any questions.)

  • Fixtures that allow the bulb to be directly visible from adjacent and neighboring properties or public rights-of-way (Section 102-3B)
  • Ground-mounted floodlighting and floodlighting that is not down-directed and fully-shielded (Section 102-4D)
  • Uplighting of an entrance that is not under a roof, eave or other architectural element (Section 102-4A(1))
  • Uplighting of building facades, trees, and shrubs (Section 102-4B and C)
  • Blinking, flashing, moving, revolving, scintillating, flickering, changing intensity and changing color lights except for temporary holiday displays (Section 102-5C)
  • Safety and security lighting that does not have a motion sensor, photocell or timer to control the duration of nighttime illumination (Section 102-4E)
  • The use of lighting for recreational purposes after 10:00 pm (Section 102-4F)

  • Any architectural lighting that does not comply with relevant HDC guidelines and application procedures (Section 102-5A)

Nantucket's Lighting Enforcement Officer:  
Marcus Silverstein, 
508-325-7587, Ext. 7021; 

We support
Nantucket Lights!

Nantucket Lights is a volunteer-run citizen advocacy group exclusively dedicated to combating light pollution on Nantucket to preserve its dark skies. Learn more at


Please report any public street lights that seem unnecessarily bright to the Civic Association.

The Civic Association will contact the appropriate authorities to ask them to correct the situation.

The goal will be to have street lights that don't interfere with our beautiful dark sky but are still sufficiently bright to provide visibility at key intersections. 

Regardless of the street lights, please always use FLASHLIGHTS and BIKE LIGHTS at night to ensure your personal safety!

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