Download Lighting Ordinance Guide - City of Raleigh PDF

TitleLighting Ordinance Guide - City of Raleigh
File Size439.1 KB
Total Pages15
Document Text Contents
Page 1

A Guide to the


Page 2


To most of us, adequate outdoor lighting is a modern birthright, a fact of urban life we’ve come to depend upon.
However, poor lighting—either ill directed or excessively
bright—can be more a nuisance than a boon. Unshielded glare,
beaming into traffic, can actually pose a hazard.

In 1999, citizen concern led the City of Raleigh to take a more
comprehensive approach to addressing local lighting issues.
Through the combined efforts of the Raleigh Appearance
Commission, lighting professionals, corporate and institutional
stakeholders, and other citizen volunteers, a new lighting ordi-
nance was drafted. In November 2001, by unanimous vote of
City Council, the ordinance became part of the City Code. The
text and drawings below are provided as an interpretive guide
to ordinance provisions and standards.

Intent and purpose

Page 7


(1) Recessed fixture incorporating a lens cover that is either recessed
or flush with the bottom surface (ceiling) of the canopy.

(2) Light fixture incorporating shields, or shielded by the edge of the
vehicular canopy itself, so that light is restrained to five degrees
or more below horizontal.

(3) Surface mounted fixture incorporating a flat glass that provides
cutoff design or shielded light distribution.

(4) Surface mounted fixture, typically measuring two feet by two
feet, with a lens cover that contains at least two (2) percent white
fill diffusion material.

(5) Indirect lighting where light is beamed upward and then reflected
by the underside of the vehicular canopy. Such fixtures must
be shielded, with direct illumination focused exclusively on the
underside of the canopy.

(6) Other method approved by the Planning Commission.

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Sports Fields & Performance Areas

MAXIMUM HEIGHT: The mounting height of
outdoor sports field and outdoor performance
area lighting fixtures must not exceed eighty
(80) feet from finished grade (unless approved
by the Planning Commission as having no
adverse effect or approved by the City Council
as part of a Special Use Permit).

sports field and outdoor performance area
lighting fixtures must be equipped with a glare
control package (louvers, shields, or similar
devices). The fixtures also must be aimed so
that their beams are directed and fall within the
primary playing or performance area.

HOURS LIMITED: The hours of operation for
the lighting system for any game or event must
not exceed one hour after the end of the event.


CAREFUL AIMING REQUIRED: Lighting fixtures illuminat-
ing signs must be aimed and shielded so that direct illumination is
focused exclusively on the sign. Signs must also meet the other pro-
visions of the city sign ordinance.

Page 14

Semi-Cutoff Fixture – An outdoor light fix-
ture shielded or constructed in such a man-
ner that it emits no more than five (5) percent
of its light above the horizontal plane of the
fixture, and no more than twenty (20) percent
of its light ten (10) degrees below the hori-
zontal plane of the fixture.

Vehicular Canopy – A roofed, open, drive-through structure designed
to provide temporary shelter for vehicles and their occupants while
making use of a business’ services.

Wall Pack – A type of light fixture typically flush-mounted on a verti-
cal wall surface.

Wide-body Refractive Globe – A translucent lamp enclosure used
with some outdoor fixtures to provide a decorative look (including
but not limited to acorn- and carriage light-style fixtures). “Wide-
body” refers to a wider than average size globe (greater than 15.75
inches in diameter). “Refractive” refers to the redirection (bending) of
the light as it goes through the lens, rendering the light fixture more
effective. Wide-body refractive globes are intended to soften and
spread the light being distributed from the light source thereby reduc-
ing direct glare.

Page 15

Further questions?

Contact the
City of Raleigh



The complete text of the
Raleigh Lighting Ordinance

(City Code § 10-2089)

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