How to prevent light pollution

Before going to the expense and effort of installing lighting, a few simple questions should be asked:
  • Is lighting necessary?
  • Could safety or security be achieved in another way, eg screening?
  • Do lights have to be on all night?
  • Is the lighting appropriate and properly installed?
If lighting is necessary, householders are advised when fitting security lighting to consider the following:
  • use the minimum level of illumination necessary to light a property
  • fit special optics (double asymmetric luminaires) which are designed to ensure full flow of light over the lit area, and which reduce glare to onlookers when the lamp is aimed downwards
  • on some models a separate switching detector can be used to sense the movement of intruders on the property. Luminaires and detectors should be aimed to detect people (and animals) on the property and not outside the property.
  • Timers should be adjusted to give a minimum light up time
  • Bulkhead or porch lights are cheaper than security lights, use less energy, and have reduced glare. Movement detectors on these lights are generally mounted lower and are less likely to cause nuisance.
  • Vegetation may screen the light but may also trigger the light.

Lighting diagramFor domestic security lights a 150W lamp is usually adequate; higher power lamps create too much glare. For an all-night porch a light, a 9W lamp is suitable for most situations. Security lights should be correctly adjusted so that they only illuminate the area intended and not beyond, eg a neighbouring property. Reduce the effects of glare by making sure the main beam angles of all lights are below 70 degrees.

Lighting diagram
Direct lights downwards, but if uplighting has to be used, install shield or baffles to reduce wasted upward light.

Lighting diagramDo not install equipment which spreads light above the horizontal.

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