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PhotoDiversity™ Consultation

ZLI Non-profit Lighting Consultation develops research-based practices to advance animal welfare and wildlife conservation. This consultation publicizes the importance of light and light cycles in the managed care of animals, as well as to animals living in the wider environment.

Consultation Steps

ZLI Non-profit Lighting Consultation entails Registration, Assessment, Commissioning and Advocacy. Each phase advances mission directly, and can be tailored to a specific project, exhibit or development. Our Consultation is a process designed to enhance knowledge.


In practice, registration begins the process of data collection and coordination for the animal and/or environment/habitat in question. Registered facilities are invited to share their registration publicly, to build support for their projects. Both are important to the effectiveness and success of the Consultation Process. Registrants immediately become renewable members of The Zoological Lighting Institute. Applicants receive a spectro-radiometer and guidance on proper use.


An overall strategy is created for an exhibit, project or property in question during the assessment phase. Specific guidelines emerge based in the photobiology and photo-ecology of the animal, species or environment in question. Design strategies created in partnership with the applicant, architect, ecologists and animal care specialists will be 'assessed' according to research during this phase, stressing the optical properties of existing or proposed materials, natural and ambient lighting conditions and finally the role of artificial lighting supplementation to enhance the ecological viability of a registered project.

Designing the Light, not the Lighting...

During this phase of the Consultation, ZLI staff create unique, culturally sensitive and wildlife appropriate lighting design schemes. We focus on natural light (from starlight to daylight), and the addition of artificial light where necessary to supplement local conditions. This work is dedicated to improving animal welfare either in managed situations or out in the environment, and relies on physical optics rather than misleading dogma. All work takes into consideration not simply the luminous environment, but exceeds the highest professional standards insofar as these relate to climate change and/or impact living beings. Work can be delivered either to the RIBA Plan of Work or AIA Best Practices.


During this phase, intent is matched to the constructed project, and final adjustments are made. Commissioning also entails the initiation of on-going data collection to be marketed during the advocacy phase.


Certified projects will be promoted across the ZLI network, and will become an important resource for our charitable research scholarship and grant activities. ZLI Consultation Projects will be associated with a grant, scholarship or post doctorate distribution, with naming rights available. Advocacy also includes perpetual membership in ZLI, renewable on a bi-annual basis, and has as its goal the maintenance of the wildlife sensitive lighting achieved in the Consultation, and upon its improvement as understanding and research grow.

ZLI Non-profit Lighting Consultation Programs

  • Luminous Enrichment Consultation
    for animals in managed care
  • Luminous Environment Consultation
    for environmental development
  • Save a Billion Birds!™ Consultation
    for bird-friendly architecture

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Conservation Partners

zaa sponsor aza sponsor jaza sponsor international dark sky sponsor