Lights Out Northbrook

The Village has launched a voluntary Lights Out Northbrook campaign where community members commit to leaving their lights off after 11pm each night from now until November 15. Participants will receive a free native seed packet by registering with the Village Sustainability Coordinator. 
This movement is part of a larger effort to protect the rare migratory birds that pass through Northbrook during fall, such as the ones pictured. Be sure to close your blinds at night and turn off lights you aren't using. Some birds use constellations to guide them on their annual migrations, and bright lights from windows and skylights can disrupt their steering senses. Researchers believe that exterior lights on buildings confuse the navigation systems of birds leading them to circle buildings repeatedly and die of exhaustion or collision. 
Stop by the Department of Development and Planning Services (second floor of Village Hall, 1225 Cedar Lane) to collect your free native seed packet. Call 847-664-4134 with any questions.

Blackpoll warbler
Red Tailed Hawk
Scarlet Tanager

Lights Out Guidelines

Try to achieve a building with the least amount of light emission possible.  

  • Extinguish or dim exterior or decorative lighting on any multi-story building. This includes spotlights, logos, lighted clock faces, greenhouses, antennae lighting, etc.
  • Extinguish or dim the maximum amount of lobby lighting possible.
  • Minimize the lights in perimeter rooms at all levels of the building.
  • Use timers effectively to ensure light is only used when needed, if at all. During Lights Out Northbrook, we recommend using your exterior lighting from sunset to 11pm if needed.

Learn More

Consider further actions you can take to protect birds where you live:

  1. Reduce or eliminate pesticide and herbicide use. By using fewer chemicals in and around your home, you will help keep birds, pets, and your family healthy. 
  2. Create or protect water sources in your yard. Birds need water to drink and bathe in, just like we do. Be sure to keep birdbaths clean and change the water three times per week when mosquitoes are breeding. 
  3. Identify the non-native invasive plants in your region, and work to remove them from your yard. And don't bring any new invasives into your backyard habitat! Invasives don't provide as much good food or habitat as natives do, and can threaten healthy ecosystems. To learn more about invasive plants in Northbrook, visit this webpage.
  4. Make your windows visible to birds to prevent collisions. Put up screens, close drapes and blinds when you leave the house, or stick multiple decals on the glass (decals need to be no more than 2 to 4 inches apart to be effective).
  5. Let your yard get a little messy! Leave snags for nesting places and stack downed tree limbs to create a brush pile, which is a great source c cover for birds during bad weather.
  6. Plant native plants. Native flora provides birds with food in the form of fruit and seeds, and is home to tasty invertebrates such as bugs and spiders. See this webpage for Village-recommended native plants.
  7. Attract hummingbirds with sugar water, made by combining four parts hot water to one part white sugar, boiled for one to two minutes. Never use honey, artificial sweeteners, or food coloring. Clean feeders weekly with a solution of one part white vinegar to four parts water.

To review research used to make these recommendations, visit