Model Lighting Ordinance (MLO) with User’s Guide

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This Model Lighting Ordinance (MLO) is the result of extensive efforts by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES). Among its features is the use of lighting zones (LZ0-4) which allow each governing body to vary the stringency of lighting restrictions according to the sensitivity of the area as well as accommodating community intent. In this way, communities can fine-tune the impact of the MLO without having to customize the MLO. The MLO also incorporates the Backlight-Uplight-Glare (BUG) rating system for luminaires, which provides more effective control of unwanted light.

SKU: MLO-11 Category:

Description

The problems of light pollution first became an issue in the 1970s when astronomers identified the degradation of the night sky due to the increase in lighting associated with development and growth. As more impacts to the environment by lighting have been identified, an international “dark sky” movement is advocating for the precautionary approach to outdoor lighting design.

Many communities have passed anti-light-pollution laws and ordinances. However, there is little or no agreement among these laws, and they vary considerably in language, technical quality, and stringency. This is confusing for designers, engineers, and code officials. The lack of a common basis prevents the development of standards, educational programs, and other means of achieving the goal of effective lighting control.

This MLO will allow communities to drastically reduce light pollution and glare and lower excessive light levels. The recommended practices of the IES can be met using readily available, reasonably priced lighting equipment. However, many conventional lighting practices will no longer be permitted, or will require special permits.

This Model Lighting Ordinance (MLO) is the result of extensive efforts by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES). Among its features is the use of lighting zones (LZ0-4) which allow each governing body to vary the stringency of lighting restrictions according to the sensitivity of the area as well as accommodating community intent. In this way, communities can fine-tune the impact of the MLO without having to customize the MLO. The MLO also incorporates the Backlight-Uplight-Glare (BUG) rating system for luminaires, which provides more effective control of unwanted light.

Digital PDF: 44 pages
Publisher: International Dark Sky Association/Illuminating Engineering Society (2011)
SKU: MLO-11

Table of Contents

  • Preamble
  • Lighting Zones
  • General Requirements for All Outdoor Lighting
  • Requirements for Non-Residential Outdoor Lighting
  • Requirements for Residential Outdoor Lighting
  • Lighting by Special Permit Only
  • Existing Lighting
  • Enforcement and Penalties (Reserved)
  • Tables
  • Definitions
  • (Optional) Street Lighting Ordinance