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The New Jersey Light Pollution Study Commission Report.

This is a copy of the State Commission's report submitted to the Governor and Legislature in 1996.

New Jersey Light Pollution Study Commission's Report

Submitted April 1996 to the Governor and the Legislature

State of New Jersey
Christine Todd Whitman, Governor


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Appendixes:

  1. Public Law 1993, Chapter 82
  2. LPSC Membership Listing
  3. Summary of Outdoor Lighting Mandates

SUMMARY

As provided by law, the New Jersey Light Pollution Study Commission (LPSC) has met over the past several months, and this report is the result of these meetings. The report defines Light Pollution and makes twelve specific recommendations to ameliorate the Light Pollution problem; each recommendation is supported by one or more statements of needed action. A survey of known governmental mandates for outdoor lighting is included, as are references and a brief treatment of the basis for the recommendations.

The causes of Light Pollution are many and the effects can be glare, energy waste, light trespass (nuisance light) and sky glow.

The recommendations in this report are intended to reduce Light Pollution and its adverse effects. These recommendations will result in improved lighting conditions for safety and for reduced energy consumption, and will also serve as a means to help preserve the environment.

The twelve recommendations treat these subjects:

  1. Role of IESNA guidelines
  2. Luminaries for use in roadway and area lighting
  3. Misdirected (misaimed) architectural and sign lighting
  4. Turning off (or reducing) exterior lighting
  5. Billboard lighting: aiming and approach
  6. Site improvement provisions
  7. Designated "dark areas"
  8. Light-conserving materials and construction
  9. Public awareness
  10. Training of professionals
  11. Ordinance guidelines for use by local municipalities
  12. State exemplary lighting installations

[Most recommendations are tied to New Jersey State "action" directives.]

 

INTRODUCTION

Public Law 1993, Chapter 82, approved March 17, 1993, established a Light Pollution Study Commission (LPSC) to study the problem of Light Pollution, the potential for monetary savings if more appropriate and efficient types of outdoor lighting are selected, as well as other benefits that would occur if Light Pollution is lessened, and steps taken in other jurisdictions to address this issue and their potential applicability in this State, and to recommend any legislative, administrative, or other actions that may be taken to ameliorate the problem. (See Appendix A for copy of PL 1993, Chapter 82).

The LPSC consisted of thirteen members: representatives from the Departments of Commerce, Energy and Economic Development, Community Affairs, Transportation, and Environmental Protection; five members of the public - one representing the lighting industry, one an astronomer with experience in the study of Light Pollution, one representing the business community, one representing environmental organizations, and one a municipal law enforcement official; one member representing the New Jersey Section of the Illuminating Engineering Society; and three members representing the public electric utility industry - specifically Public Service Electric and Gas, Atlantic Electric, and Jersey Central Power and Light. (See Appendix B for membership listing).

The first LPSC organizational meeting was held on June 16, 1995. The LPSC defined "Light Pollution" to include misdirected light, stray light, excess reflected light, light during hours when it is not needed, and light levels in excess of what is necessary for the task. A report, pursuant to the Act, was to be submitted within nine months of the organizational meeting date.

As noted in the summary, the causes of Light Pollution are many and the effects can be glare, energy waste, light trespass (nuisance light), and sky glow.

  • Most glare can and should be prevented. Glare affects the ability of drivers to perceive objects or obstructions clearly. Particularly sensitive to this problem are elderly drivers.
  • Energy is wasted when excessive levels of illuminances are used. Inefficient luminaires can spill unwanted light well outside of the intended target area.
  • Light trespass may be viewed as an invasion of privacy. Most obtrusive lighting conditions can be avoided.
  • Inappropriate use of outdoor lighting can deteriorate the natural nighttime environment, particularly in areas preserved for fauna and flora. In addition, sky glow reduces the ability to observe the starry night sky.

[For a further understanding of the terminology utilized in this report refer to the IESNA Lighting Handbook.]

The LPSC does, as the Legislature did, recognize Light Pollution as a problem and provides the recommendations and actions of this report to the Governor and the Legislature for their information and further consideration.

[The following recommendations and action(s) are in no priority order and are not weighted in any manner or fashion.]

RECOMMENDATIONS and ACTIONS

  1. Nationally recognized lighting recommendations for illuminance levels and uniformity ratios should be followed, such as contained in the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) Lighting Handbook.

Action(s):

  1. There should be established New Jersey site improvement standards or local ordinances which require this provision.
  1. Roadway and area lighting should be designed to minimize misdirected and upward light from luminaires. The use of cutoff luminaires should be considered the first choice in design. Where the use of internal cutoff luminaires is not possible, the use of externally mounted shields to the luminaires may be substituted if feasible.

Action(s):

  1. All State of New Jersey and State of New Jersey funded projects should be required to conform to this practice.
  2. Utility companies, lighting installers, and others involved with lighting design should follow this recommendation.
  1. Architectural and sign lighting should be designed to minimize light that does not illuminate the target area.

Action(s):

  1. All State of New Jersey and State of New Jersey funded projects should be required to conform to this recommendation.
  2. Planning boards should be encouraged to consider this recommendation in their site plan approval process.
  1. Lighting of building exteriors should be minimized or eliminated during those hours when it is not needed. Lighting controls (such as timers, dimmers, motion sensing devices, and photosensors) should be encouraged.

Action(s):

  1. The State of New Jersey should evaluate the exterior lighting needs of its facilities and, where feasible, implement this recommendation as soon as possible.
  2. Establish these requirements by local ordinance or through site improvement standards.
  1. Commercial billboard lighting should be aimed at the target area and installed in such a fashion that spill light is kept to a minimum.

Action(s):

  1. Require by local ordinances.
  1. Municipal engineers and planners and all those involved with lighting aspects should be made aware of the concerns regarding Light Pollution and how it can be addressed through lighting design.

Action(s):

  1. Upon adoption of site improvement standards containing street and site lighting provisions, state training on site improvement provisions should include training material that recognizes Light Pollution concerns and how proper lighting design assists in its reduction.
  1. Areas of New Jersey determined to be especially suitable for astronomical observations or which provide nocturnal benefits to flora and fauna should be considered for designation as "dark areas." [A "dark area" is an area in which lighting is prohibited or limited in order to 1) address concerns regarding Light Pollution which impact the environment and 2) restore a more natural view of the starry sky.]

Action(s):

  1. Within twelve months of issuance of this report the State of New Jersey should "map" the State to identify these "dark areas."
  2. The State of New Jersey should consider formulating a plan to retain or, where possible, reduce lighting levels in those parts of the "dark areas" which are under control of the State. County and municipal government should be encouraged to retain or reduce existing lighting levels in "dark areas" they own.
  3. The State's plan should include surveying and evaluating the lighting in all the state parks forests, fish and wildlife management areas, and other State-owned rural lands.
  4. The State's plan should also contain recommendations for encouraging businesses and homeowners in the privately-owned parts of the "dark areas" to comply with the recommendations of this report.
  1. The use of materials and devices, such as reflectors, should be evaluated and considered in lieu of additional lighting. [Even so, the IESNA Lighting Handbook recommendations should be followed; see Recommendation 1.]

Action(s):

  1. The NJ Department of Transportation should continue to study and evaluate the use of such materials and devices on road surfaces, signs, etc., in lieu of additional lighting.
  1. The general public should be provided information about Light Pollution and how to minimize it. This can be accomplished through general instruction in schools, manufacturers' literature, company flyers, State programs, or other mechanisms.

Action(s):

  1. State agency or agencies or other governmental authorities are to develop and disseminate information regarding Light Pollution in accordance with recommendations of this report. As an example: The New Jersey State Museum should further emphasize sky glow concerns and ways to reduce Light Pollution during presentations at the planetarium and provide an educational display.
  1. Training and educational opportunities should be made available to lighting professionals, contractors, installers, inspectors and others, with respect to Light Pollution.

Action(s):

  1. Educational institutions should offer course material on Light Pollution.
  1. Local municipalities should be provided with a set of guidelines to use as a starting point in developing standards and ordinances to reduce Light Pollution.

Action(s):

  1. The State of New Jersey should fund the development (by a professional organization knowledgeable in Light Pollution concerns, such as the IESNA) of a set of such guidelines. This funding should be provided within the next twelve months.
  1. The State of New Jersey should provide exemplary lighting installations ("demonstration projects") to serve as working models of good lighting practice with respect to Light Pollution concerns.

Action(s):

  1. The State of New Jersey shall select one or more state or State-sponsored facilities and roadways to serve as examples of responsible area lighting, street lighting, architectural lighting, sign lighting, and billboard lighting, and shall suitably equip and light those facilities.
  2. The state of New Jersey shall advertise the existence of these model installations.

 

BASIS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

The LPSC reviewed recommendations contained in the IESNA Lighting Handbook relating to the use of outdoor lighting and Light Pollution, ordinances and other state, county and municipal regulatory documents relating to outdoor lighting practice, the New Jersey Department of Transportation's Lighting Design Policy (January 1996), speaker presentations, and other documents and articles relating to Light Pollution (See "References" section).

As mentioned above, a review of governmental agencies controls on outdoor lighting practice was made. Of the twenty six governing units cited, two are states (California and Maine), three are counties, and twenty one are local cities/municipalities. Over two-thirds of the locales are in Arizona, California, Maine, and Wisconsin. Over half of the government mandates cite light trespass (nuisance lighting) as a target of the mandate, with a third citing energy conservation and a third citing astronomy concerns. Nearly all of the mandates regulate the shielding of light sources, about half place some restriction on the times at which certain sources can be used, and one-third are tied to IESNA recommended illuminance levels. The survey data are summarized in Appendix C, which also includes the twenty six individual data sheets.

 

REFERENCES

A. IESNA Lighting Handbook (8th Edition), Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, New York, NY, 1993.

B. ANSI/IESNA RP-8, 1983 American National Standard Practice for Roadway Lighting, Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, New York, NY.

C. Value of Public Roadway Lighting, (IESNA Committee on Roadway Lighting) IESNA CP-31-1989.

D. An Information Guide for Roadway Lighting, The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), 1984.

E. New Jersey Department of Transportation's Lighting Design Policy (January 1996).

F. "The If, Why and What of Street Lighting and Street Crime: A Review", P.R Boyce and J.M. Gutkowski, Lighting Research Technology, RPI, Troy, New York, 1994.

G. "Light Pollution, the Neglected Problem", John Batinsey, (Eatontown Environmenta1 Commission), New Jersey Municipalities. May, 1995.

H. International Dark-Sky Association Information Sheets 12, 24, 29, 35, 42, 51, 54, 63 and 76, (Tucson, AZ).

I. "Not in my Window!", Ronald P. Lewis, Lighting Design + Applications, July, 1989.

J. "Light Trespass: Problems and Directions", Ian Lewin, Lighting Design + Applications, June, 1992.

K. Visual Performance Data for 156 Normal Observers of Various Ages, Blackwell, O.M and Blackwell, H.R., J. Illuminating Engineering Society, 1:3-13, 1971.

L. Disability Glare - A State of the Art Report, Vos, J.J., CIE Journal, 3:39-53, (1984).

M. Speaker Presentations

  • John Batinsey - Eatontown Lighting Survey
  • Earl Print - Philips Lighting Company
  • R Zolnowski - NJ DOT's Lighting Design Policy
  • Sgt. Ted J. Kammer, Jr. - NJ Crime Prevention
  • Edward Zamengo - JCP&L
  • J.A. Bryson - Highway Safety
  • Alen Gest - Holophane Lighting

 

APPENDIXES

Appendix A: Public Law 1993, Chapter 82

An Act establishing a Light Pollution Study Commission.

Be it enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

  1. The Legislature finds that excessive and misdirected outdoor lighting, "light pollution," is a consequence of not using outdoor lighting only where necessary, when necessary, and of the type most efficient and cost-effective for the task; that controlling light pollution will result in astronomical cost savings due to the decrease in energy requirements; that light pollution, particularly from improperly shielded street lights, is a serious safety hazard to motorists; that the unchecked growth of light pollution in recent years has unnecessarily deprived most residents of the beauty of the starry night sky, while also potentially having serious effects on nocturnal fauna and flora; that while the lighting of streets, businesses, and residences is desirable and necessary for security, it is not desirable or necessary to have lights shining directly and often dangerously into the eyes of motorists, or uselessly and wastefully into the air and off into space; that in several other states, large cities such as San Diego, San Jose, and Phoenix have adopted certain anti-light pollution measures with wide public support which are saving those jurisdictions millions of dollars per year; and that it is therefore appropriate to form a panel of experts to study the problem of light pollution and to advise the Legislature as to its severity, and to recommend legislative or administrative measures to alleviate the problem and to realize substantial savings of energy and money, while restoring and protecting the beauty of the night sky.

    1. There is created the Light Pollution Study Commission, which shall consist of 13 members appointed as follows: the Commissioners of the Departments of Commerce, Energy and Economic Development, Community Affairs, Transportation, and Environmental Protection, or their designated representatives, who shall serve ex officio; five members of the public to be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate; one member representing the New Jersey Chapter of the Illuminating Engineering Society; and three members representing the public electric utility industry. Of the public members, one shall represent the lighting industry; one shall be an astronomer with experience in the study of light pollution; one shall represent the business community; one shall represent environmental organizations; and one shall be a municipal law enforcement official. Of the electric utility members, one shall represent Public Service Electric and Gas, one shall represent Atlantic Electric, and one shall represent Jersey Central Power and Light.

    2. Vacancies in the appointed membership of the commission shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments were made.

    3. Members of the commission shall serve without compensation, but shall be entitled to reimbursement for actual expenses necessarily incurred in carrying out their duties as members of the commission, within the limits of monies appropriated or otherwise made available to the commission.

    4. Appointments to the commission shall be made and qualified within 60 days after the effective date of this act.

  2. The Light Pollution Study Commission shall hold an organizational meeting within 30 days of the appointment and qualification of the full membership of the commission, and shall elect a chairperson from among its public members and a secretary, who need not be a member of the commission.
  3. It shall be the duty of the Light Pollution Study Commission to study the problem of light pollution, the potential for monetary savings if more appropriate and efficient types of outdoor lighting are selected, as well as other benefits that would accrue if light pollution is lessened, and steps taken in other jurisdictions to address this issue and their potential applicability in this State, and to recommend any legislative, administrative, or other actions that may be taken to ameliorate the problem.
  4. The Light Pollution Study Commission shall be entitled to call upon the assistance of the officers and employees of any State, county or municipal department, board, bureau, commission or agency as it may require and as may be made available to it to conduct its work, and may incur such expenses as it may deem necessary, and as may be within the limit of any funds appropriated or otherwise made available to it, to fulfill its responsibilities pursuant to this act.
  5. The Light Pollution Study Commission, within nine months of its first organizational meeting, shall submit to the Governor and the Legislature a report setting forth the results of its study. Upon submittal of its report, the commission shall expire.
  6. This act shall take effect immediately

Approved March 17, 1993.

 

Appendix B: LPSC Membership List

William Barnshaw
Chief of Police
Borough of Eatontown
47 Broad Street
Eatontown, NJ 07724
Telephone #: 908-542-0100
Fax #: 908-389-0595
*John Batinsey
Eatontown Environmental Commission
47 Broad Street
Eatontown, NJ 07724
Telephone #: 908-542-0607
Fax #: 908-542-0607
Jack Bryson
Telco II
Phone & Computer Systems
Ocean City, NJ 08226
Telephone #: 609-399-4111
Fax #: 609-398-2242
Susan Kujawski
PSE&G - Business Analyst
80 Park Plaza T7
Newark, NJ 07101
Telephone #: 201-430-6071
Fax #: 201-504-3135
Dale Work
Philips Lighting Company
Vice President, Research and Development
200 Franklin Square Drive
Somerset, NJ 08875-6800
Edward Zamengo
JCP&L
Senior Engineer
300 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
Telephone #: 201-455-8767
Stephen Lohm
IESNA - NJ Section
Lighting Professionals, Inc.
Director of Design
70K Chestnut Ridge Road
Montvale, NJ 07645
Telephone #: 201-391-0101
Fax #: 201-391-1586
Richard Stokes
Atlantic Electric
Manager of Governmental Affairs
6801 Black Horse Pike
Egg Harbor Twp., NJ 08221
Telephone #: 609-645-4771
Fax #: 609-645-4354
Fred Schaaf
681 Port Elizabeth-Cumberland Road
Millville, NJ 08332
Astronomer/Writer
*LPSC Chairperson
Commerce
Gualberto Medina, Esq., C.P.A.
Commissioner
20 West State Street
CN820
Trenton, NJ 08625
Telephone #: 609-292-2444
Fax #: 609-777-4097
John Serkies - Representative
Telephone #: 609-633-7308
Environmental = Protection
Robert C. Shinn
Commissioner
401 E. State Street
CN 402
Trenton, NJ 08625
Telephone #: 609-292-2885
Fax #: 609-292-7695
Michael Hogan - Representative
Telephone #: 609-292-2885
Community Affairs
Harriet Derman
Commissioner
101 S. Broad Street
CN 800
Trenton, NJ 08625
Telephone #: 609-292-6420
Fax #: 609-392-4339
Mitch Malec - Representative
Telephone #: 609-292-7899
Transportation
Frank J. Wilson
Commisioner
1035 Parkway Avenue
CN 601
Trenton, NJ 08625
Telephone #: 609-530-3536
Fax #: 609-530-3894
Richard Zolnowski - Representative
Telephone #: 609-530-3038
 

 

Appendix C: Summary of Outdoor Lighting Mandates

STATE CITY/
COUNTY
TYPE OF MANDATE PURPOSE AFFECTED LIGHTING SPECIAL FEATURES
AZ Flagstaff outdoor lighting code light pollution, light trespass, energy conserv., astronomy outdoor LPS promoted, lumen restrictions, time restrictions, shielding restrictions, timers required
AZ Maricopa County ordinance energy conserv., astronomy outdoor LPS promoted, lumen restrictions, time restrictions, shielding restrictions, timers required
AZ Tempe ordinance astronomy outdoor (some incandescent exceptions) LPS promoted, time restrictions, shielding restrictions, timers required
AZ Tucson & Pima Counties ordinance energy conserv., astronomy outdoor (some lower wattage exceptions) LPS promoted, time restrictions, shielding restrictions, timers required, ties to IESNA
CA (Statewide) Act glare control outdoor lighting, impacting driving vision lumen restrictions
CA Concord draft roadway standard roadway, light trespass roadways ties to IESNA
CA Martinez roadway standard roadway, light trespass   ties to IESNA
CA Riverside ordinance light trespass, astronomy outdoor LPS promoted, lumen restrictions, time restrictions, shielding restrictions, timers required
CA San Diego regulations light pollution, light trespass, astronomy outdoor (devices above 4050 lumens) LPS promoted, time restrictions, shielding restrictions, timers required, ties to IESNA
CA San Diego ordinance astronomy outdoor (some lower wattage exceptions) LPS promoted, time restrictions, shielding restrictions, timers required
CA Vista draft ordinance energy conserv, glare control, light trespass outdoor (limitations unclear) LPS promoted, time restrictions, shielding restrictions, timers required
CO Boulder draft ordinance outdoor illuminance outdoor (some lower lumen exceptions) time restrictions, shielding restrictions
CO Aspen building code exterior lighting      
CT Greenwich ordinance light levels, light = trespass outdoor (except roadway) shielding restrictions
ME (statewide) Act glare control, light trespass State-funded outdoor lighting shielding restrictions, ties to DOT and IESNA
ME Kennebunkport ordinance energy conserv., glare control, light trespass, aesthetics outdoor shielding restriction, light source restrictions
ME Portland code-exterior lighting   exterior (some lower wattage exceptions) shielding restrictions
ME Gardner standards light trespass, aesthetics outdoor non-residential  
ME Lincoln draft ordinance glare control, light trespass outdoor  
NJ Eatontown ordinance light pollution, light trespass, energy conserv., glare control outdoor (devices above 1800 lumens) shielding restrictions, ties to IESNA
NY Pittsford building code   Illuminated awnings, signs, sports facilities, churches, agriculture shielding restrictions, time restrictions, ties to IESNA
OR Deschutes County ordinance light trespass, aesthetics outdoor (devices above 1800 lumens) shielding restrictions, time restrictions, ties to IESNA
WI Madison proposed ordinance energy conserv., light trespass outdoor (except roadway) shielding restrictions, time restrictions, ties to IESNA
WI Milwaukee ordinance light trespass outdoor lighting which impinges on residential properties shielding restrictions
WI Williams Bay ordinance astronomy outdoor (except certain residential) lumen restrictions, time restrictions, shielding restrictions
WI Brookfield ordinance   light trespass, off-street parking shielding restrictions

LPS      = Low Pressure Sodium Lamps

IESNA = Illuminating Engineering Society of North America

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