STEM Lightning Assessment
What is a Lightning Assessment?
- This decides if you can build houses, a school or anything else provided that the artificial light (ambience) levels are alright there.
- Can also be used to assess effect on bats and pollination.
- Artificial light can come from:
- Street lighting.
- Flood lighting for sports pitches/car parks.
- Vehicle headlights along the roads.
- Domestic and security flood lighting
- The natural world and all its wildlife must not be disturbed!
What do you need to know?
- Site survey to look at insects and wildlife that currently reside there.
- Existing lighting levels (measured in Lux) in the hours of darkness.
- Even the weather, specifically cloud cover affects lighting levels!
- You need to plot the Lux readings on a diagram that shows patterns in the distribution and if development will exacerbate this.
- Look at what standards you need to meet.
Standards have to be met.
- Artificial light should not be emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or nuisance.
- The impact of light pollution from artificial light should be limited on local amenity, dark landscapes and nature conservation!
- The Institute of Lighting (ILE) has published its own Ambience Scale of 0 (Dark) to 4 (Bright), getting progressively brighter with each step.
- The ILE has identified pre- and post-curfew luminance levels for external lighting installations, based on daylight hours.
Ways of protecting light?
- Limit the lamp post’s height to 8m and spacing them out can reduce spill of light into unwanted areas such as natural habitats.
- Other ways to reduce light spill include the use of lanterns with louvres / shields that reduce glare. Flat lanterns without glass bowls are best.
- Security lighting should use a lamp that is PIR sensor activated, to ensure the lights are only on when required and turned off when not in use.
- If applicable the presence of bats on the site should be considered and lighting levels should be kept to a minimum in these areas.
- Try looking for these on your way home if you are walking!
Lightning Assessment Summary
- Can the site be developed without generating excessive lighting levels.
- What needs to be done to reduce glare?
- Will insects and wildlife still be able to live at the site?
- Can you sleep at night come to think of it!
- Any artificial lighting introduced must comply with all standards.
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