Lighting Tips and Safety

Night lighting and our safety

It’s easy to assume that bright lights on buildings, in parkades and parking lots, at bus stops, along the streets – everywhere – at night are needed to ensure our personal safety. Not so.  Brighter does not mean safer!

The key to a truly safe nighttime environment is to direct lighting on roadways, parking lots, homes, businesses and landscapes where it will be most useful. This helps achieve a balance between safety and our ability to see the stars. Check out how you can achieve this very useful balance.

Lighting tips for homes & businesses

The City of Leduc and LEAB offer the following guidelines for efficient, safety-conscious and environmentally healthy exterior lighting:

  • Choose LED energy-efficient lights.
  • Use “warm-white” or filtered LEDs (CCT less than 3,000K; S/P ratio less than 1.2) to minimize blue emission, which is particularly harmful to birds and animals.
  • Install lighting only when and where it’s needed – and limit the number of lights to what’s needed. Studies have shown as much as 50% of outdoor lighting is wasted.
  • Avoid the temptation to over-light because of the higher luminous efficiency of LEDs. Only light the exact space and in the amount required for particular tasks.
  • Ensure downcast, shielded lighting with full cut-off as per IDA acceptable heads with no light above the 90-degree angle. 
  • Look for products with energy-saving, adaptive controls such as dimmers, timers and motion sensors.
  • Consider dimming or turning off the lights during overnight hours.
    Encourage good lighting practices at your workplace.
    Educate your friends, family and neighbours about the importance of good lighting for our environment, health and economy.

Interior lights:

  • Keep the blues away. Two to three hours before bed, avoid devices with screens such as tablets, smartphones, computers and televisions that emit blue light.  
  • If you must use devices at night, install a colour temperature app that automatically limits blue light at night.
  • If you need a nightlight, use one with dim red or amber light. Red light is least likely to be disruptive.
  • Keep your bedroom dark by using blackout curtains and cover or remove light sources such as clock radios and charging stations.
  • Use indoor light bulbs that emit warm white light with a colour temperature of 3000K or lower. All packaging for new CFL and LED light bulbs provide this information.