Dark Sky Lighting - Light Trespass

The Virginia Outdoor Lighting Taskforce (VOLT) defines Light Trespass as the poor control of outdoor lighting that crosses property lines and detracts from property values and our quality of life.


Light trespass is easy to identify.  It occurs when unwanted light shines on our property or in our windows.  When a bright, uncontrolled lighting installation occurs near residential areas, the tranquility of the nighttime environment is disturbed and the quality of life diminished.  Light Trespass is the most common source of citizen complaints.


Fortunately, light trespass is easily controlled by using full cut-off fixtures and reasonable illumination levels.  Full cut-off fixtures keep the light down on the ground, where it is needed, instead of being cast to the side or in the sky, where it is wasted.

It is amazing to many that builders use decorative acorn lights for general area lightning.  These fixtures may look good in the daytime, but they have no control over the direction of the light.  Most of the light never makes it to the ground where it can help people see the road or sidewalk.  In this case, the light trespass is not caused by a commercial enterprise or poor street lighting, it is caused by the builder of the residential neighborhood!


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