Q: When and for how long are the lights turned off?
A: We ask that the lights be kept off during the daylight hours or for the entire school day where possible.
Q: Is it just the lights that are turned off?
A: Yes. Although we love hearing about schools that go above and beyond and extend their participation in Lights Out to computers, TVs, and other items that use electricity, we think it is important to clarify that the lights are simply the medium for our message: that global warming is a serious issue that requires definitive action now, and that individuals have enormous power to affect positive change. Having the lights off brings people’s attention to the event and generates discussion about the issue of global warming.
Q: What about hallways and rooms without windows?
A: We do not want lights outs to interfere with student learning processes or pose any safety hazards in darker areas. In these areas we ask for half the lights to be turned off, if possible, but understand if it is necessary that they be kept on.
Q: How does turning off the lights relate to global warming?
A: To produce electricity to power the lights, we use a variety of sources in Canada, including oil, nuclear power, wind power hydropower and coal. In Canada, as of yet, no province uses completely renewable sources; even hydropower necessitates the construction of dams which requires fossil fuels. When incinerated and released into the atmosphere, fossil fuels are the cause of global warming. Thus the production of energy, either directly or indirectly results in greenhouse gas emissions being released. This is why we encourage schools to turn off their lights, not only on the Lights Out day, but also whenever there is enough natural light in classrooms to do so. Some schools even hold weekly Lights Out events as a part of reaching an internal emissions reduction goal!
Q: Is Lights Out available in French?
A: Because Lights Out Canada is youth run and led, we have not has access to the resources necessary to have the entire project professionally translated. It is a pressing goal of ours to make the project completely bilingual and accessible to all Canadian students. With the launch of our new website we will have our entire project available in French soon!
That being said, our Lesson Plan and Event Guide, the keystone of the Lights Out materials, is available in French and can be downloaded from our “Downloads” page.