Lights Out Texas

Lights Out Texas

Texas is globally important for birds. Approximately 1 of every 3 birds migrating through the U.S. in spring, and 1 of every 4 bird migrating through the U.S. in the fall, or nearly two billion birds, pass through Texas.

Birds are essential to our planet’s ecology – and local economies. Birds provide ecosystem services, act as benchmarks for environmental health, increase livability, and connect people of all ages and abilities to the natural world.

Protecting birds in Texas promotes conservation of bird populations across the Americas. This spring, American Campus communities across Texas are helping to protect Texas birds by turning out non-essential lights at night as part of a statewide initiative, Lights Out Texas!

The Lights Out Texas effort is led by a coalition of partners that includes conservation non-profits, universities, governmental organizations, and Texans dedicated to the conservation of birds. The initiative is asking all Texans to turn off their non-essential lights at night from 11 PM - 6 AM through the full spring migration of March 1 – June 15. Where conflicts apply, it is suggested to prioritize the peak migration period between April 19 – May 7, when half of the total spring bird migration traffic passes through Texas.

ACC markets that will be participating are: 

"One of our core values is to 'do the right thing' and that includes supporting conservation efforts across the country in our student communities," said Jennifer Beese, chief operating officer at American Campus Communities. "Joining the Lights Out Texas initiative is an immediate action that we can take as a Texas-based business to do our part to ensure millions of birds migrate successfully while also educating our residents on conservation.” 
What measures is ACC taking to participate in Lights Out Texas?
At 36 of its communities, ACC will turn out non-essential lights at night from 11pm-6pm to help birds successfully migrate across our region. 
How is ACC messaging Lights Out Texas to it’s community members?
ACC is encouraging residents through social media to turn off all non-essential lights. 
What advice would ACC provide to another company that is considering joining the Lights Out Texas initiative?
We believe that the value generated by operational efficiency and sustainable practices benefits us not only as a company but also extends to our shareholders and for generations to come. Sustainability and conservation efforts is an area where we can all take on a leadership role, across multiple industries, to do our part for the environment. 


How YOU can participate in Lights Out Texas:

Guidelines for Everyone:

  • Turn off all non-essential lights from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. each night.
  • Do not use landscape lighting to light up trees or gardens where birds may be resting.
  • For essential lights (like security lighting) use the following dark skies friendly lighting practices:
    • Aim lights down
    • Use lighting shields to direct light downwards and to avoid light shining into the sky or trees
    • Use motion detectors and sensors so lights are only on when you need them
    • Close blinds at night to reduce the amount of light being emitted from windows

Additional Guidelines for Buildings Taller Than 3 Stories:

  • Extinguish or dim: Exterior and decorative lighting (i.e. spotlights, logos, clock faces, greenhouses, and antenna lighting); lobby/atrium lighting; and lighting in perimeter rooms on all levels of the building.

  • Avoid: Floodlights; illuminating interior plants or fountains, and unoccupied floors; scheduling cleaning crews after dark; and blue-rich white light emissions (lighting with a color temperature of over 3000 Kelvins).

  • Use: Desk lamps or task lighting rather than overhead lights; blinking lighting in place of continuously burning lights; and warm light sources (less than 3000 Kelvin) for outdoor lighting.

Lights Out Texas Recognition Opportunities:

  • If a company is seeking a deeper level of recognition, via a write-up, Texan by Nature can recognize companies through the Texan by Nature Certification program. Certified projects are highlighted on TxN website via a mini case study webpage and on TxN social media channels, newsletter, etc.

  • Your commitment to go lights out is newsworthy, check out this social media toolkit to share on your channels.

Lights Out Texas Migration Radar & Alerts:

Learn more about Lights Out Texas here: https://birdcast.info/science-to-action/lights-out/