Outdoor Lighting

PAS Essential Info Packet 28

By American Planning Association

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When you look into the sky at night, can you see the stars? Light pollution is on the rise across the country, resulting in wasted energy, disruption of nocturnal ecosystems, harm to human health, and poor nighttime ambiance. In response, a growing number of communities are adopting outdoor lighting ordinances with "dark sky" principles intended to balance safety issues with the prevention of excessive lighting, light trespass, and glare.

This PAS Essential Info Packet provides a look at how communities concerned about light pollution can address outdoor lighting in their policies and regulations. It includes excerpts from comprehensive plans, several model outdoor lighting ordinances with commentaries, and sample outdoor lighting ordinances from municipalities large and small.

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Date Published
Oct. 1, 2010
APA Planning Advisory Service