The Astronomy Club of Augusta
courtesy of ACA Dark Skies Committee, 200704


Sample City/County Responsible Lighting Ordinance

010 General Provisions.

A. Title. The ordinance codified in this Chapter together with the amendments codified in this Chapter, shall be known and may be cited as the ______ City/County Dark Sky Ordinance.

B. Purposes. 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.

C. Scope. All 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 the City/County shall be addressed as follows:

1. All existing lighting located on a subject property that is part of an application for a ________ City/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 Subsections 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 by January 1, 2015, whichever comes first.

020 Definitions.

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.

"Full cut-off fixtures" means fixtures, as installed, that are designed or shielded in such a manner that all light rays emitted by the fixture, either directly from the lamps or indirectly from the fixture, are projected below a horizontal plane running through the lowest point on the fixture where light is emitted.

"Glare" means intense light that results in discomfort and/or a reduction of visual performance and visibility.

"Light pollution" means any adverse effect of manmade light including, but not limited to, light trespass, uplighting, 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 or needed, generally caused by a light on a property that shines onto the property of others.

"Lumen" 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 footcandle 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.

"Shielded" means when the light emitted from the fixture is projected below a horizontal plane running through the lowest point of the fixture where light is emitted. The bulb is not visible with a shielded light fixture, and no light is emitted from the sides of the fixture. Also considered a full cut-off fixture.

"Uplighting" means lighting that is directed in such a manner as to shine light rays above the horizontal plane.

030 Criteria.

The Commission shall have the authority to require new lighting, and existing lighting pursuant to Section 010.C.1, to meet the recommendations and guidelines, in addition to the requirements, of this Chapter.

A. All exterior lighting shall be full cut-off fixtures with the light source fully shielded, with the following exceptions:

1. Luminaires that have a maximum output of two hundred sixty (260) lumens per fixture, regardless of number of bulbs (equal to one twenty [20] watt incandescent light), may be left unshielded provided the fixture has an opaque top to keep light from shining directly up.

2. Luminaires that have a maximum output of one thousand (1,000) lumens per fixture, regardless of number of bulbs (equal to one sixty [60] watt incandescent light) may be partially shielded provided the bulb is not visible, and the fixture has an opaque top to keep light from shining directly up.

3. Flood lights with external shielding may be angled provided that no light escapes above a twenty-five (25) degree angle measured from the vertical line from the center of the light extended to the ground, and only if the light does not cause glare or light to shine on adjacent property or public rights-of-way. Flood lights with directional shielding are encouraged. Photocells with timers that allow a flood light to go on at dusk and off by eleven p.m. are encouraged.

4. Holiday lights 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. Holiday lights are to be turned off after bedtime and after close of businesses.

5. Sensor activated lighting may be unshielded provided 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, and provided the light is set to only go on when activated and to go off within five minutes after activation has ceased, and the light shall not be triggered by activity off the property.

6. 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. 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.

C. Non-Essential Lights. All non-essential exterior commercial and residential lighting is encouraged to be turned off after business hours and/or when not in use. Lights on a timer are encouraged. Sensor activated lights are encouraged to replace existing lighting that is desired for security purposes.

D. 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.

E. Uplighting. Uplighting is prohibited in all zoning districts, except in cases where the fixture is shielded by a roof overhang or similar structural shield from the sky and an 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 footcandle lighting level for new and existing service stations is required to be no greater than five (5) footcandles.

G. Towers. All radio, 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 following lighting systems are 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;
5. Neon Lights

040 The ________ City/County's Role.

A. The ________ City/County will commit to changing all lighting within the ________ City/County rights-of-way and on ________ City/County-owned property to meet the requirements of this Chapter through the franchise agreement with the power company and/or through the light conformance schedule adopted by resolution by the Commission.

050 Violations, Legal Actions and Penalties.

A. Violations and Legal Actions. If, after investigation, the Commission finds that any provision of this Chapter is being violated, the Commission shall give notice by hand delivery or by certified mail, return receipt requested, of such violation to the owner and/or to the occupant of such premises, demanding that the violation be abated within thirty (30) days of the date of hand delivery or of the date of mailing of the notice. The Commission shall be available to assist in working with the violator to correct said violation. If the violation is not abated within the thirty (30) day period, the Commission may institute actions and proceedings, either legal or equitable, to enjoin, restrain or abate any violations of this Chapter and to collect the penalties for such violations.

B. Penalty. A violation of this Chapter, or any provision thereof, shall be punishable by a civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100.00) and each day of violation after the expiration of the thirty (30) day period provided in Subsection A of this Section above, shall constitute a separate offense for the purpose of calculating the civil penalty.

INITIAL RATED LIGHT OUTPUT OF VARIOUS LAMPS
(Information from Sylvania #PL-150, General Electric #9200 and Phillips #SG-100 large lamp catalogs)
LAMP TYPE LAMP WATTAGE INITIAL LUMEN OUTPUT
INCANCESCENT LAMP (FROSTED) (Syl.) 25 235
INCANCESCENT LAMP (FROSTED) (Syl.) 40 375
INCANCESCENT LAMP (FROSTED) (Syl.) 60 890
INCANCESCENT LAMP (FROSTED) (Syl.) 100 1690
INCANCESCENT LAMP (FROSTED) (Syl.) 150 2850
INCANCESCENT FLOOD OR SPOT (G.E.) 75 765
INCANCESCENT FLOOD OR SPOT (G.E.) 120 1500
INCANCESCENT FLOOD OR SPOT (G.E.) 150 2000

QUARTZ HALOGEN LAMP (FROSTED) (Syl.) 42 665
QUARTZ HALOGEN LAMP (FROSTED) (Syl.) 52 885
QUARTZ HALOGEN LAMP (FROSTED) (Syl.) 72 1300
QUARTZ HALOGEN LAMP (FROSTED) (Syl.) 300 6000
QUARTZ HALOGEN MINI FLOOD OR SPOT (G.E.) (12 volt MR-16 type) 20 260
QUARTZ HALOGEN MINI FLOOD OR SPOT (G.E.) (12 volt MR-16 type) 42 630
QUARTZ HALOGEN MINI FLOOD OR SPOT (G.E.) (12 volt MR-16 type) 50 895
QUARTZ HALOGEN MINI FLOOD OR SPOT (G.E.) (12 volt MR-16 type) 75 1300

FLUORESCENT LAMP (Phillips) 7 400
FLUORESCENT LAMP (Phillips) 9 600
FLUORESCENT LAMP (Phillips) 13 900
FLUORESCENT LAMP (Phillips) 22 1200
FLUORESCENT LAMP (Phillips) 28 1600
FLUORESCENT LAMP (G.E. cool white) 40 3150
LOW PRESSURE SODIUM LAMP (Phillips) 18 1800
LOW PRESSURE SODIUM LAMP (Phillips) 35 4800
LOW PRESSURE SODIUM LAMP (Phillips) 55 8000
LOW PRESSURE SODIUM LAMP (Phillips) 90 13500

HIGH PRESSURE SODIUM LAMP (DIFFUSE) (G.E.) 35 2250
HIGH PRESSURE SODIUM LAMP (DIFFUSE) (G.E.) 50 4000
HIGH PRESSURE SODIUM LAMP (DIFFUSE) (G.E.) 70 6400
HIGH PRESSURE SODIUM LAMP (DIFFUSE) (G.E.) 100 9500
HIGH PRESSURE SODIUM LAMP (DIFFUSE) (G.E.) 150 16000

METAL HALIDE LAMP (Coated) (G.E.) 32 2500
METAL HALIDE LAMP (Coated) (Venture) 50 3400
METAL HALIDE LAMP (Coated) (G.E.) 100 9000
METAL HALIDE LAMP (Coated) (G.E.) 175 15750


Email: Comments