Project DarkSkySim aims to design a physical simulator that will demonstrate the effects of light pollution on the starry sky and the difference that well-designed lighting can make. The simulator will consist of a LED-based board simulating the starry sky and several light fixtures varying from full-cutoff dark-sky friendly lights to completely unshielded lights. The board will simulate the night sky using LED’s of variable brightness, simulating stars of various magnitudes and constellation patterns. The board will be illuminated by the light fixtures and users can use buttons to switch between light fixtures as well as increase or decrease light intensity. This will create a first-hand experience for demonstrating the effect of light pollution as different light fixtures will have different effect on the number of stars visible.
The simulator can be used in exhibition halls, conferences, science museums or any other venue where light pollution effects need to be demonstrated. This physical simulator can provide superior experience for visitors in relation to videos/posters or other usual methods of exhibiting light pollution effects. The purpose is not only to create a single simulator but to provide to the public the full instructions and material list so anyone interested can build such a simulator in their local community.