Bluebonnet provides dark-sky compliant lights
Dark-sky security lights

A dark-sky compliant security light illuminates a Bluebonnet member’s property in Paige. Bluebonnet installs lights that shine downward but are shielded on the sides and top to prevent light pollution. Photo by Sarah Beal

By Will Holford

As the population increases across Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative’s service area and more rural land gives way to neighborhoods and businesses, preserving dark skies can help protect the quality of life that makes the region a desirable place to live and work.

For that reason, Bluebonnet has, since 2014, installed dark-sky compliant, LED lights when co-op members request security lights at their homes, businesses, farms and ranches.

The lights shine in a downward cone, with no light shining out from the side or above the fixture toward the sky.         

This preserves the dark night sky while providing the safety and security of well-lighted ground.

A dark-sky compliant LED light can still be seen from nearby or at a distance. It also appears brighter than a standard security light because its cone of illumination is focused on, and contained to, a smaller area. Such a shielded light pointing only downward allows for the same level of brightness and security, but does not illuminate the sky above.

“The important thing for people to know is that dark sky doesn’t mean dark ground,” said Thomas Ellis, Bluebonnet’s manager of engineering. “The LED lights we install at our members’ request are an improvement over the previous security lights. They are better for the environment because they use less energy and significantly reduce light pollution.”

Although Bluebonnet has installed thousands of dark-sky compliant LED security lights in the last eight years, there are still many older lights on the cooperative’s power system. If one of these older lights stops working, and it cannot be repaired, Bluebonnet will replace it with a dark-sky compliant light at no additional cost beyond a standard $10 to $20 monthly fee per light. That fee varies depending on the size of the light.

Bluebonnet members who do not currently have a security light can request a dark-sky compliant light. Members who want to replace older security lights with a dark-sky compliant LED light will pay a one-time fee of $125, in addition to the monthly charge of $10 to $20. 

Get information or request a security light online at or by calling a Bluebonnet member service representative at 800-842-7708, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday,