Property Manager FAQ

What is Lights Out @ Office?

Lights Out is a national program with more than 32 participating cities. Hampton Roads is launching the voluntary Lights Out @ Office in fall of 2022.   We are asking property manager, business, tenant, government agency, and residents to turn off lights during the spring bird migration from March 15 to May 31 and the fall migration from  August 15 to November 15 to help save birds, save energy, and save money. Simply turn off your lights between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Are other cities participating?

Nationally, cities including Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston have Lights Out programs.   Regionally, participating cities include Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Charlotte.   

Will this cost me money?

No, this is a free program, and you will save money! By turning off lights, you will be lowering your energy usage and saving money on your electric bill.

What kind of energy and cost savings will I receive?

Turning lights off will save energy and money but the exact amount will vary based on the number and intensity of lights you have and the specifics of your lighting. One participating municipal building in the Toronto Lights Out program reported cost savings of more than $200,000 per year.(1)

Do I need to turn off all my exterior lights?

No.  Ambient lighting for safety and security should be used as always.  However please turn off unnecessary flood lights, decorative, event and spotlights during migration seasons at least from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.  Also consider down-shielded light whenever possible to direct lighting toward the ground.  

Do I need to turn off all my interior lights?

No, however please turn off unnecessary and unused lighting, especially those that are closest to windows, from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. or use task lighting. If you are unable to turn off interior lights, draw window blinds, shades, drapes, or window coverings. 

What if I have lighting for flags? 

It is custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs. However, the flag may be displayed twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated during at night.  If doing so, please use flagpole lighting products with a down-shielded light design.

What are the building height guidelines?

We encourage that all buildings, regardless of height, participate in this effort. Bird collisions have been documented at all heights, from lobbies to upper floors and are influenced by several factors including reflectivity, lighting, surrounding habitat and design. 

Can I do more?

Turning off the lights is the easiest way to make a difference.  Additional steps you can take to protect birds includes placing bird safety decals on exterior windows to minimize the risk of daytime bird crashes and switching to warmer lights, e.g. "warm white", when selecting LED lighting fixtures.

What do I tell my tenants? 

Tell tenants that you are doing your part to help protect birds migrating through our area.  Also remind tenants to turn off lights on unoccupied floors and in unused space from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. When working late, tenants can be encouraged to use task lighting at their workstation and turn off the ceiling lights closest to windows.

How do I participate?

Sign up at

1 - "Mayor asks Toronto to put lights out at night: To save migrating birds", National Post, 12 April 2006,