In the limelight
There are shining examples in the form of countries that have legislation and guidelines in place to reduce light pollution. To see the list, go to
In addition, some local authorities and corporations have made changes to their outdoor lighting systems or operating modes, with consequent savings in terms of energy and costs, and benefits to the natural environment.
The light of Christmas instead of Christmas lights
Mäder, an e5 municipality in the Austrian province of Vorarlberg, decided to do without Christmas lighting for its public buildings.
Instead, the local council launched a campaign under the heading "The light of Christmas instead of Christmas lights", in which residents and businesses were called upon to avoid unnecessary lighting and to donate the resulting savings to charity.
"The campaign brought in a total of 3,615 euros. That made it possible for us to refurbish three houses in Kirghizia and equip them with energy-efficient heating," says Rainer Siegele, Mayor of Mäder (Schnetzer in Amt der Vorarlberger Landesregierung, 2008).
Changes to the lighting in Ljubljana
Slovenia has very comprehensive legislation to protect the natural environment from negative impacts, people’s homes from obtrusive light, passers-by from glare, astronomers from the loss of dark skies, and the economy from the costs of excessive power consumption.
The photographs show a road in Ljubljana before and after refurbishment of the street lighting, with the old standard luminaires on the left and the new full cut-off luminaires on the right. The result is less light scatter and glare, and better illumination of the road.
Changes to the lighting in Igls
In the course of improvements made to Lanserstrasse in Igls in 2007, a new street lighting system was installed.
The road is now illuminated with high-pressure sodium lamps in full cut-off luminaires with flat diffusers, high-grade reflectors and enclosed housings.
The system operates with automatic night-time dimming using a digital power relay to match the level of lighting to actual need. In the long term, the system guarantees low costs of operation, service and maintenance.
Changes to the lighting on the Austrian Federal Railways
In the next few years, the ÖBB will be using high-pressure sodium lamps to replace all its inefficient mercury vapour lamps, which are harmful to nocturnal animals.
In the longer term, all its standard light fittings are to be replaced by full cut-off luminaires. The work has already begun, e.g. in the railway stations in Baden, Graz, Bischofshofen and Innsbruck.
Please note that the list of "shining examples" is not complete. Please let me know if you come across any further examples of good lighting practice. email@example.com