Light Pollution

Red Sky - Light Pollution

Light pollution can be deemed to be a statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990

The best method of dealing with light pollution is at the planning stage. Contact planning@aberdeenshire.gov.uk if you have concerns about lighting in a new development.

If you have a problem with light pollution contact us and officer will deal with your complaint. The Officer will try to resolve the problem through mediation between parties,providing advice on possible solutions or take action under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

What is Light Pollution?

Light pollution is any artificial light that interferes unreasonably with a person's enjoyment of their property. The most common examples of light pollution come from domestic and small scale security lighting that are incorrectly aligned and cause too much glare.

How can it be reduced?

Careful planning, installation and use of lighting will solve most problems. By considering areas such as lamp intensity, beam angle and mounting height, light pollution can be kept to a minimum.

Lamp Intensity

For most small scale security and domestic lighting, a 150W (2000 lumen) tungsten halogen lamp operated by a passive infra-red detector should be more than adequate. Lamps of higher intensity create too much light, more glare and darker shadows. For all-night lighting at low brightness, use a compact fluorescent porch light of 9W (600 lumen).

Beam Angle and Lamp Light

To keep glare at a minimum, ensure that the main beam angle of lights is kept below 70°. The higher you fix the light from the ground, the lower the angle you will need to cover the area you wish to light.

Correct and incorrect angle of light beam

Passive Infra-red Lighting

These detect the presence of body heat to act as trigger to switch the light on. Provided they are correctly aligned and installed they can be used to good effect.

Correct and incorrect infra-red light angles

What you can do.....

  • Always think about those people who may not want the lighting that you are planning to install.
  • Ensure your lighting equipment is correctly installed and aligned.
  • Switch off lights when not needed for safety or security.
  • Direct light downwards wherever possible to illuminate its target, not upwards.
  • Do not 'over-light'. It can cause light pollution and wastes your money.
  • When using passive infrared detectors, ensure sensitivity and automatic cut-out settings are correctly adjusted.

For further information on light pollution contact the NSCA at 44 Grand Parade, Brighton, BN2 9QA Tel: 01273 878770.

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