Horseshoe Bay is a Dark Sky Community

The Hill Country Alliance and the City of Horseshoe Bay celebrated the inaugural "Hill Country Night Sky Month" in October 2020. Click the link below to learn more about this celebration and the efforts of Night Skies Teams throughout the Texas Hill Country.  

Hill Country Night Sky Month


Before the advent of electric light in the 20th century, our ancestors experienced a night sky brimming with stars that inspired science, religion, philosophy, art and literature. Do you remember the first time you looked up at the night sky as a child and saw the Milky Way swimming with millions of stars? The common heritage of a natural night sky is rapidly becoming unknown to the newest generations, including millions of children who will never see the Milky Way from their own homes. 

The nighttime environment is a crucial natural resource for all life on Earth, but the glow of uncontrolled outdoor lighting has hidden the stars, causing serious harm to human and animal health, and the environment. About 15 million tons of carbon dioxide are emitted each year in order to power residential outdoor lighting in the U.S.; 600 million trees would need to be planted to offset that amount of carbon emission. 13% of residential electricity use is for outdoor lighting, and 35% of that light is wasted by unshielded and/or poorly-aimed light fixtures. There are links at the bottom of this page if you would like more information on how excessive outdoor lighting affects our environment. 

The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), founded in 1988, is dedicated to preserving the natural nighttime environment by educating policymakers and the public about night sky conservation and promoting eco-friendly outdoor lighting. There are multiple links below for the Association.

In November 2015, in recognition of its exemplary efforts to preserve its naturally dark nighttime conditions, the International Dark-Sky Association designated the City of Horseshoe Bay a Dark Sky Community. Horseshoe Bay was the eighth Dark Sky Community named in the United States, and the second named community in Texas. Please view the Press Release when the City of Horseshoe Bay received it's Dark Sky Community designation. 

IDA is celebrating the 100th International Dark Sky Place Designation! You can find the press release (Horseshoe Bay is listed on page 3), find information on all Dark Sky Places, and watch the video below which celebrates all 100 places. 

IDA's 100th International Dark Sky Place Designation Celebration Video (Horseshoe Bay is at 1:13)

Below is an educational (and entertaining) video made by the staff at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, which demonstrates the importance of proper nighttime lighting:

IDA's Losing the Dark (video)

The Solution Starts with You - Get Your Home Certified as Dark Sky Friendly!

By following five simple principles for responsible outdoor lighting at home, you can protect nocturnal wildlife, be a good neighbor, and preserve the night sky.

After you’ve checked the lights around your home, and have taken steps to correct any lighting that does not meet the Dark Sky Friendly Home Lighting program criteria, you can self-certify your home and proudly display a Dark Sky Friendly Home Lighting certificate!

Click HERE to get your Dark Sky Friendly Home Lighting Certificate!

Educational Materials

Protecting the Night Sky (PDF)

Artificial Light at Night Can Put Your Health at Risk (PDF)

Solutions for Protecting the Night Sky (PDF)

Outdoor Lighting, Crime and Safety (PDF)

Light Pollution Can Harm Wildlife (PDF)

Light Pollution Wastes Energy and Money (PDF)

Energy Waste Infographic (PDF)

Introduction to Light Pollution Presentation (Power Point) (PDF)