The Astronomy Club of
courtesy of ACA Responsible Lighting Committee, 2007.05
The ordinance codified
in this Chapter together with the amendments codified in this Chapter, shall be
known and may be cited as the Aiken
County Outdoor Lighting
B. Intent and Purposes
It is the intent of this
Chapter to encourage lighting practices and systems which will: minimize light
pollution, glare, light trespass; conserve energy and resources while
maintaining night-time safety, utility, security and productivity; and curtail
the degradation of the night time visual environment. The general purpose of
this Chapter is to protect and promote the public health, safety and welfare,
the quality of life, and the ability to view the
night sky, by establishing regulations and a process of review for exterior
lighting installed after the effective date of the ordinance shall be in
conformance with the requirements established by this Title and any other
applicable ordinances. All existing lighting installed prior to the effective
date of this Chapter in any and all zoning districts in Aiken County shall be addressed as follows:
1. All existing lighting located on a subject property that is part of an application for an Aiken County Commission design review, conditional use, or subdivision permit, or building permit is required to be brought into conformance with this Chapter. Conformity shall occur prior to issuance of certificate of occupancy, final inspection or final plat recordation, when applicable. For other permits, the applicant shall have a maximum of thirty (30) days from date of permit issuance to bring the lighting into conformance.
2. All other existing exterior lighting, not affected by Subsection C.1 above, that does not comply with this Chapter is required to be brought into conformance with this Chapter when repaired or replaced, or with a change of use, or intensity of use, for example subsequent to abandonment, by January 1, 2015, whichever comes first.
1. The Commission shall have the authority to require new lighting, and existing lighting pursuant to Section 010.C.1, 2 to meet the recommendations and guidelines, in addition to the requirements, of this Chapter.
2. The provisions of this Chapter are not intended to prevent the use of any design, material or method of installation or operation not specifically prescribed herein, provided any such alternate has been approved by the Planning Director. The Planning Director may approve any such proposed alternate provided he/she finds that it: Provides at least approximate equivalence to the applicable specific requirements of this Division; and is otherwise satisfactory and complies with the intent of this Chapter.
3. On projects where an engineer or architect is required, the developer shall verify in writing to the County Planning Department that all outdoor lighting was installed in accordance with the approved plans.
Unless specifically defined below, words or phrases used in this Chapter shall be interpreted so as to give them the meaning they have in common usage and to give this Section its most reasonable application.
Abandonment is the relinquishment of a property, or the cessation of a use or activity by the owner or tenant for a period of six months, excluding temporary or short term interruptions for the purpose of remodeling, maintaining, or otherwise improving or rearranging a facility. A use shall be deemed abandoned when such use is suspended as evidenced by the cessation of activities or conditions which constitute the principle use of the property.
Acreage, Net is the remaining ground area after deleting all portions for proposed and existing streets
within a development or subdivision.
Class 1 Lighting: All outdoor lighting used for, but not limited to, outdoor sales or eating areas, assembly or repair areas, advertising and other signs, recreational facilities and other similar applications where COLOR RENDITION IS IMPORTANT to preserve the effectiveness of the activity.
Class 2 Lighting: All outdoor lighting used for, but not limited to, illumination for walkways, roadways, equipment yards, parking lots and outdoor security where GENERAL ILLUMINATION for safety or security of the grounds is the primary concern.
Class 3 Lighting: Any outdoor lighting used for DECORATIVE effects including, but not limited to, architectural illumination, flag and monument lighting, and illumination of trees, bushes, etc.
Development Project: Any residential, commercial, industrial or mixed use subdivision plan or development plan which is submitted to the County for approval.
Direct Illumination: Illumination resulting from light emitted directly from a lamp or luminaire, not light diffused through translucent signs or reflected from other surfaces such as the ground or building faces.
Filtered Light is light from a light source that is covered by a glass, acrylic or other cover that restricts the amount of non-visible radiation (infrared, ultraviolet) emitted by the luminaire. (Quartz glass does not meet this definition.)
Full cut-off fixtures are fixtures, as installed, that are designed or
shielded in such a manner that all light rays emitted by the fixture are
projected below a horizontal plane running through the lowest point on the
fixture where light is emitted.
Glare is intense light that results in discomfort and/or a reduction of visual performance and visibility.
Installed Lighting is attached, or fixed in place, whether or not connected to a power source.
Light pollution means any adverse effect of manmade light including,
but not limited to, light trespass, up lighting, the uncomfortable distraction
to the eye, or any manmade light that diminishes the ability to view the night
sky; often used to denote urban sky glow.
Light trespass means light falling where it is not wanted, generally caused by a light on a property that shines onto the property of others.
Lumen is the unit used to measure the actual amount of light which is produced by a lamp. It means unit of luminous flux; the flux emitted within a unit solid angle by a point source with a uniform luminous intensity of one Candela. One foot candle is one lumen per square foot. One lux is one lumen per square meter.
Luminaire means the complete lighting unit, including the
lamp, the fixture, and other parts,
less the support assembly. For purposes of determining total light output from a luminaire, lighting assemblies which include multiple unshielded or partially shielded lamps on a single pole or standard shall be considered as a single unit.
Multi-class Lighting is any outdoor lighting used for more than one purpose, such as security and decoration, such that its use falls under the definition of two or more classes as defined for Class 1, 2 and 3 lighting.
Opaque means that material must not transmit light from an internal illumination source.
Outdoor Light Fixtures are outdoor electrically powered illuminating devices, outdoor lighting or reflective surfaces, lamps and similar devices, either permanently installed or portable, which are used for illumination or advertisement. Such devices shall include, but are not limited to, search, spot and flood lights for: a. buildings and structures, b. recreational areas, c. parking lot lighting, d. landscape and architectural lighting, e. billboards and other signs (advertising or other) f. street lighting, g. product display area lighting
Outdoor Recreation Facility is an area designed for active recreation, whether publicly or privately owned, including, but not limited to, baseball diamonds, soccer and football fields, golf courses, tennis courts and swimming pools.
Partially Shielded Fixture is an outdoor light fixture shielded in such a manner that more than zero (0) but less than ten (10) percent of the light emitted directly from the lamp or indirectly from the fixture is projected at angles above the horizontal, as determined by photometric test or certified by the manufacturer.
Person: Any individual, lessee, firm, partnership,
association, joint venture, corporation, or agent of the aforementioned groups
or the State of
Planning Director is the Director of the Planning Department for
Shielded means blocking some aspect of the light
emitted, such as upwards or side ways, or in one direction or
another. It is not the
same as full cut-off or fully shielded.
Sign: Any medium, including its structure and component parts, which is used or intended for advertising purposes other than the painting on the surface of a building.
Sign, Indirectly Illuminated: Any sign the facing of which reflects light from a source intentionally directed upon it.
Sign, Internally Illuminated: Any sign which has the source of light entirely enclosed within the sign and not directly visible to the eye.
Temporary Lighting: Lighting which does not conform to the provisions of this ordinance and which will not be used for more than one thirty (30) day period within a calendar year, with one thirty (30) day extension. Temporary lighting is intended for uses which by their nature are of limited duration; e.g. holiday decorations, civic events, or construction projects.
Up-lighting is lighting that is directed in such a manner as to shine light rays above the horizontal plane.
Watt: The unit used to measure the electrical power consumption of a lamp.
030 Criteria / General Requirements
All exterior lighting shall be full cut-off fixtures with the light source fully shielded. It shall be installed in such a manner that the shielding is effective.
B. Preferred Source
1. Low Pressure Sodium (LPS) lamps are the preferred illumination source throughout the County. Their use is to be encouraged, when not required, for outdoor illumination whenever their use would not be detrimental to the use of the property.
2. Non-LPS lights are permitted if outdoor light fixtures are full cut-off and located under and five (5) or more feet from the nearest edge of a canopy, building overhang, or eave.
1. Total outdoor light output (excluding streetlights used for illumination of public rights-of-way) of any development project shall not exceed 100,000 lumens per net acre, averaged over the entire project.
2. Total Outdoor Light Output is the maximum total amount of light, measured in lumens, from all outdoor light fixtures. For lamp types that vary in their output as they age (such as high pressure sodium), the initial output, as defined by the manufacturer, is the value to be considered. For determining compliance with sections of this Chapter, the light emitted from outdoor light fixtures is to be included in the total output as follows:
a. Outdoor light fixtures installed on poles (such as parking lot luminaires) and light fixtures installed on the sides of buildings or other structures, when not shielded from above by the structure itself as defined in paragraphs 2 and 3 below, are to be included in the total outdoor light output by simply adding the lumen outputs of the lamps used;
b. Outdoor light fixtures installed under canopies, building overhangs, or roof eaves where the center of the lamp or luminaire is located at least five (5) feet but less than ten (10) feet from the nearest edge of the canopy or overhang are to be included in the total outdoor light output as though they produced only one-quarter (1/4) of the lamp's rated lumen output;
c. Outdoor light fixtures located under the canopy and ten (10) or more feet from the nearest edge of a canopy, building overhang, or eave are to be included in the total outdoor light output as though they produced only one-tenth (1/10) of the lamp's rated lumen output.
1. Lighting may continue until 9:00 pm or for as long as the area is in active use.
2. Non-Essential Lights. All non-essential exterior commercial and residential lighting is to be turned off after business hours and/or when not in use. Replacement of existing lighting that is desired for security purposes should be with 1. lights on a timer and/or 2. sensor activated lights.
3. Uses that can turn off their outdoor lighting during night hours are to be encouraged; those which require all night illumination are to be discouraged.
E. Light Trespass
It is the intent
of this Chapter to eliminate and prevent light trespass through the proper
installation of lighting fixtures. All existing and/or new exterior lighting
shall not cause light trespass and shall be such as to protect adjacent
properties from glare and excessive lighting.
F. Area Lights
All area lights,
including street lights and parking area lighting, shall be full cut-off
fixtures. All freestanding area lights within a residential zone, except street
lights, shall be mounted at a height equal to or less than the value 3 + (D/3),
where D is the distance in feet to the nearest property boundary.
prohibited, except in cases where the fixture is shielded by a roof overhang or
similar structural shield from the sky and a licensed architect or lighting
engineer has stamped a prepared lighting plan that ensures that the light
fixture(s) will not cause light to extend beyond the structural shield, and
except as specifically permitted in this Chapter.
F. Service Stations
The average foot candle lighting level for new and existing service stations is required to be no greater than five (5) foot candles. All luminaires mounted on the under surface of service station canopies shall be full cut-off and utilize flat glass or flat plastic (acrylic or polycarbonate) covers.
communication and navigation towers that require lights shall have dual
lighting capabilities. For daytime, the white strobe light may be used, and for
nighttime, only red lights shall be used.
H. Prohibited Lighting. The installation, sale, offering for sale, lease, or purchase of any of the following lighting systems is prohibited:
1. Aerial lasers
2. Searchlight style lights
3. Other very intense lighting, defined as having a light source exceeding 100,000 lumens or
intensity in any
direction of 2 million candelas or more
4. Mercury vapor lamps, light fixtures, or replacement bulbs
5. Neon lights
A. Vehicular lights and all temporary emergency lighting needed by the Fire and Police Departments, or other emergency services shall be exempt from the requirements of this Chapter.
B. Outdoor floodlighting by floodlight projection above the horizontal plane is prohibited.
It may not cause glare or light to shine on adjacent property or public rights-of-way.
Floodlights with directional shielding are encouraged.
Photocells with timers that allow a floodlight to go on at dusk and off before or by (eleven) 11:00 pm are encouraged.
C. Outdoor recreational facilities
1. Outdoor recreational facilities shall not be illuminated after 11:00 pm except to conclude a scheduled recreational or sporting event in progress prior to 11:00 pm.
2. Illumination for outdoor recreation facilities must conform to the full cut-off shielding requirements, except when such shielding would interfere with the intended activity. For such facilities, partially-shielded luminaries are permitted. Examples of activities where partially-shielded luminaries are permitted include, but are not limited to, baseball, softball, and football. Specifically, tennis, volleyball, racquetball and handball courts and swimming pools must utilize fully-shielded luminaries. All light fixtures must conform to the requirements regarding light trespass.
as defined in
Section 020 are exempt from the requirements of this Chapter for the three week
period from December 15th to January 6th, except that flashing holiday lights
are prohibited on commercial properties. Flashing holiday lights on residential
properties are discouraged.
E. Sensor activated lighting may be unshielded provided
1. It is located in such a manner as to prevent direct glare and lighting into properties of others or
into a public right-of-way.
2. The light is set to go on only when activated and to go off within five minutes after activation
3. The light shall not be triggered by activity off the property.