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Model Lighting Ordinance User's Guide

Format Web link
Type Websites
Authored by International Dark-Sky Association and Illuminating Engineering Society
Published on 13 Jan 2014

The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) have developed the Model Lighting Ordinance (MLO) to address the need for strong, consistent outdoor lighting regulation.

The MLO offers several innovations to outdoor lighting regulation, including the use of five lighting zones to classify land use with appropriate lighting levels for each. Zones range from LZ0, designed for pristine natural environments and limited outdoor lighting, to LZ4, for limited application in areas of extensive development in the largest cities. The second innovation limits the amount of light used for each property. Third, the MLO uses the IES’s new TM-15 -11 "BUG" (Backlight, Uplight and Glare) classification of outdoor lighting fixtures to ensure that only well-shielded fixtures are used.


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