About Ohio Lights Out

Collisions with buildings are a leading cause of bird fatality during migration in North America, and it is estimated that up to half a billion birds die each year in North America from building collisions. Lights Out programs provide an opportunity to reduce the number of collision-related kills, and have been successful in a number of cities across the U.S., including ChicagoNew YorkIndianapolis, and Minneapolis.

Research has shown that increased light from urban areas affects landscape scale stopover decisions by migratory birds. Birds have increased exposure to reflective glass in urban centers, which can have devastating consequences.

The Ohio Lights Out campaign is an innovative approach to bird conservation, as it could significantly reduce bird collision deaths, as well as assist building owners and managers to decrease their energy costs. Ohio Lights Out staff and volunteers work with managers at enrolled buildings to adapt the building’s current lighting scheme and suggest modifications to glass to reduce dangers to nocturnally migrating birds, while maintaining the building’s safety standards and aesthetic beauty. For more information on treating reflective glass, click HERE.

Collision fatalities collected from a morning during 2017 in downtown Cleveland. Photo by Janice Soos Farral.

While Ohio Lights Out is a statewide initiative, OBCI is working with partners to expand regional programs in Ohio’s major cities. For more information on our regional programs, click HERE.

Buildings that enroll in Ohio Lights Out pledge to reduce lighting by taking as many of the following steps as possible:

  • Turn off exterior decorative lighting
  • Dim lobby and atrium lighting
  • Turn off interior lights or draw blinds, especially on upper floors
  • Consider reducing the reflectivity of glass surfaces, especially those adjacent to green spaces

Do you work at or manage a building that is not yet part of the program? Click HERE to find out how you can enroll the building in our Lights Out program. You can even help to reduce bird collisions at home, and residential buildings can also join the program. Find out more HERE. Whether you are managing a large building, or reducing your light emission at home, we recommend reducing or eliminating lighting during the following periods:

  • Between midnight and dawn
  • Fall: August 15 to October 31
  • Spring: March 15 to June 1