Effective control of light pollution requires not only technically accurate and enforceable lighting codes, but education and “buy-in” by the community. Further, following adoption of a lighting code, obtaining the desired results requires an ongoing commitment by the community and the jurisdiction to allocate the resources necessary for implementation and enforcement.
Therefore, DSP highly recommends that communities lay the groundwork necessary to ultimately achieve the goals of light pollution control. This groundwork should include education (of both citizens and businesses) about the problems and solutions of light pollution, the additional benefits that arise from light pollution reduction such as improved visibility and security and energy savings. Though this background work requires time and expense, it is vital to the ultimate success of the effort.
As the process moves to the development of the lighting code itself, DSP highly recommends ongoing consultation with and participation of community members and the local jurisdiction at all levels, most particularly those responsible for adopting, interpreting, implementing and enforcing the code, including local elected or appointed officials, civil planners, codes enforcement staff, and legal staff.
After adoption long-term monitoring of existing and new lighting installations is necessary to assure the continued effectiveness of and compliance with the standards, as well as to identify problem areas that may require review or amendment of the lighting code or how it is implemented.
In most communities the process should include the following:
- Education about the problems of light pollution and solutions available through lighting codes;
- Community meetings to gather input from citizens and businesses about their concerns about light pollution and the proposed lighting code;
- Development and adoption of a technically accurate, practical and enforceable lighting code specifically tailored to address the concerns of the community;
- Technical training of those responsible for implementation and enforcement of the code;
- On-going monitoring of existing and new outdoor lighting in the community to assure effective application of the lighting code and continued compliance;
- Amendment of the lighting code as necessary to address unforeseen consequences or difficulties of the original code and to address changes in community concerns or lighting technology.