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LEED v2009
Existing Building Operations
Sustainable Sites
Light Pollution Reduction

LEED CREDIT

EBOM-2009 SSc8: Light Pollution Reduction 1 point

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LEEDuser expert

Bill Swanson

Integrated Architecture
PE, LEED AP

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Credit language

USGBC logo

© Copyright U.S. Green Building Council, Inc. All rights reserved.

Intent

To minimize light trespass from the building and site, reduce sky-glow to increase night sky access, improve nighttime visibility through glare reduction and reduce development impact from lighting on nocturnal environments.

Requirements

Project teams must comply with the interior lighting requirement AND 1 of the 3 options for exterior lighting.

For interior lighting

All nonemergency built-in luminaires with a direct line of sight to any openings in the envelope (translucent or transparent, wall or ceiling) must be automatically controlled to turn off during all after-hours periods during the performance period. The total duration of all programmed after-hours periods annually must equal or exceed 2,190 hours per year (50% of annual nighttime hours). Manual override capability may be provided for occasional after-hours use.

Implement a program to ensure that the lighting control system is being properly used to adjust lighting levels during all after-hours periods.

For exterior lighting

Option 1

If the project is certified under LEED for Schools or New Construction, show that SS Credit 8: Light Pollution Reduction was earned. If the project is certified under LEED for Core & Shell Development and 75% of the floor area is LEED for Commercial Interiors, show that SS Credit 8: Light Pollution Reduction was earned for both systems.

OR

Option 2

Partially1 or fully shield2 all exterior fixtures 50 watts and over so that they do not directly emit light to the night sky.

Option 3

Measure the night illumination levels at regularly spaced points around the perimeter of the property, taking the measurements with the building’s exterior and site lights both on and off. The building’s interior lights must be in the same state during both measurements. At least 8 measurements are required at a maximum spacing of 100 feet apart (30 meters), so as to be representative of the illumination levels at the perimeter of the property. The illumination level measured with the lights on must not be more than 20% above the level measured with the lights off. This requirement must be met for each measurement point; averaging of all points is prohibited.

1The requirement to use ASHRAE Addenda is unique to this credit and does not obligate Project teams to use ASHRAE approved addenda for other credits.
2 To be LZ4, the area must be so designated by an organizations with local jurisdiction, such as the local zoning authority.

Alternative Compliance Paths (ACPs)

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Frequently asked questions

If we have exterior lighting fixtures over 50 watts with occupancy sensors, can these fixtures be excluded from the shielding requirements of Option 2?

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How do you treat lighting in the covered portion of an exterior parking garage? Do you follow the interior lighting requirements or the exterior lighting requirements?

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Are we required to include city-owned and controlled lighting with our exterior lighting fixtures?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

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We’re pursuing Option 3 for exterior lighting and the difference in illumination is greater than 20% so we don’t comply. In this case, can we pursue the illumination requirements for the applicable lighting zone (similar to LEED-NC)? For example if we’re in LZ4 and the illuminance at the site boundary is less than 0.6 fc can we comply that way?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

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Credit achievement rate

XX%

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LEEDuser expert

Bill Swanson

Integrated Architecture
PE, LEED AP

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USGBC logo

© Copyright U.S. Green Building Council, Inc. All rights reserved.

Intent

To minimize light trespass from the building and site, reduce sky-glow to increase night sky access, improve nighttime visibility through glare reduction and reduce development impact from lighting on nocturnal environments.

Requirements

Project teams must comply with the interior lighting requirement AND 1 of the 3 options for exterior lighting.

For interior lighting

All nonemergency built-in luminaires with a direct line of sight to any openings in the envelope (translucent or transparent, wall or ceiling) must be automatically controlled to turn off during all after-hours periods during the performance period. The total duration of all programmed after-hours periods annually must equal or exceed 2,190 hours per year (50% of annual nighttime hours). Manual override capability may be provided for occasional after-hours use.

Implement a program to ensure that the lighting control system is being properly used to adjust lighting levels during all after-hours periods.

For exterior lighting

Option 1

If the project is certified under LEED for Schools or New Construction, show that SS Credit 8: Light Pollution Reduction was earned. If the project is certified under LEED for Core & Shell Development and 75% of the floor area is LEED for Commercial Interiors, show that SS Credit 8: Light Pollution Reduction was earned for both systems.

OR

Option 2

Partially1 or fully shield2 all exterior fixtures 50 watts and over so that they do not directly emit light to the night sky.

Option 3

Measure the night illumination levels at regularly spaced points around the perimeter of the property, taking the measurements with the building’s exterior and site lights both on and off. The building’s interior lights must be in the same state during both measurements. At least 8 measurements are required at a maximum spacing of 100 feet apart (30 meters), so as to be representative of the illumination levels at the perimeter of the property. The illumination level measured with the lights on must not be more than 20% above the level measured with the lights off. This requirement must be met for each measurement point; averaging of all points is prohibited.

1The requirement to use ASHRAE Addenda is unique to this credit and does not obligate Project teams to use ASHRAE approved addenda for other credits.
2 To be LZ4, the area must be so designated by an organizations with local jurisdiction, such as the local zoning authority.

Alternative Compliance Paths (ACPs)

XX%

Upgrade to LEEDuser Premium to see how many projects achieved this credit. Try it free »

Got the gist of SSc8 but not sure how to actually achieve it? LEEDuser gives step-by-step help. Premium members get:

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  • Guidance documents on arcane LEED issues.
  • Sample templates to help guide your narratives and LEED Online submissions.
  • Examples of actual submissions from certified LEED projects.

If we have exterior lighting fixtures over 50 watts with occupancy sensors, can these fixtures be excluded from the shielding requirements of Option 2?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

How do you treat lighting in the covered portion of an exterior parking garage? Do you follow the interior lighting requirements or the exterior lighting requirements?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

Are we required to include city-owned and controlled lighting with our exterior lighting fixtures?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

We’re pursuing Option 3 for exterior lighting and the difference in illumination is greater than 20% so we don’t comply. In this case, can we pursue the illumination requirements for the applicable lighting zone (similar to LEED-NC)? For example if we’re in LZ4 and the illuminance at the site boundary is less than 0.6 fc can we comply that way?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

LEEDuser expert

Bill Swanson

Integrated Architecture
PE, LEED AP

See all LEEDuser forum discussions about this credit » Subscribe to new discussions about EBOM-2009 SSc8