Log in
LEED v2009
Neighborhood Development
Green infrastructure & buildings
Light pollution reduction

LEED CREDIT

ND-v2009 GIBc17: Light Pollution Reduction 1 point

See all forum discussions about this credit »

LEEDuser expert

Bill Swanson

PE, LEED AP BD+C

Feyen Zylstra
Sr. Electrical Engineer

LEEDuser’s viewpoint

Explore this LEED credit

Post your questions on this credit in the forum, and click on the credit language tab to review to the LEED requirements.

Credit language

USGBC logo

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

Requirements

“Shared areas” of a project are spaces and facilities dedicated to common use (publicly or privately owned). In residential areas, at least 50% of the external luminaires must have fixture-integrated lighting controls that use motion sensors to reduce light levels by at least 50% when no activity has been detected for 15 minutes.

AND

In all shared areas, install automatic controls that turn off exterior lighting when sufficient daylight is available and when the lighting is not required during nighttime hours; these lights must meet the total exterior lighting power allowance requirements in Table 3.

AND

Document which lighting zone or zones (Table 1) describe the project, and for all shared areas, follow the requirements in Table 2. If two or more different zones border the project, use the most stringent uplight requirements, and use light trespass requirements for the adjacent zone. Roadway lighting that is part of the project must meet the requirements for the appropriate zone. For illuminance generated from a single luminaire placed at the intersection of a private vehicular driveway and public roadway accessing the site, project teams may use the centerline of the public roadway as the site boundary for a length of two times the driveway width centered at the centerline of the driveway when complying with the trespass requirements. Compliance with the light trespass requirements may alternatively be met by using only luminaires that comply with Table 4 ratings for backlight and glare.

AND

Stipulate covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&R) or other binding documents to require continued adherence to the requirements.
Table 1. Lighting zones

Zone

Definition

LZ0

Undeveloped areas within national parks, state parks, forest land and rural areas and sites immediately adjacent to areas officially recognized as ecologically sensitive by the local zoning authority.

LZ1

Developed areas within national parks, state parks, forest land and rural areas.

LZ2

Areas predominantly consisting of residential zoning, neighborhood business districts, light industrial with limited nighttime use, and residential mixed-use areas.

LZ3

All other areas not included in LZ0, LZ1, LZ2, or LZ4 (including commercial-industrial and high-density residential).

LZ4

High-activity commercial districts in major metropolitan areas (as designated by local jurisdiction, such as local zoning authority).

Table 2. Allowable light trespass and uplight, by lighting zone

Lighting zone

Maximum horizontal and vertical illuminance (fc)
at site boundary

Maximum horizontal and vertical illuminance (fc)
at specified distance beyond site boundary

Maximum horizontal and vertical illuminance (lux)
at specified distance beyond site boundary

Maximum percentage of fixture lumens emitted above 90º or higher from nadir (straight down)

LZ0

0

0 at 0 ft.

0 at 0 mm

0%

LZ1

0.01

.01 at 0 ft.

.01 at 3 mm

0%

LZ2*

0.10

.02 at 10 ft.

.2 at 3 m

1%

LZ3*

0.20

.05 at 15 ft.

.5 at 4.5 m

2%

LZ4*

0.60

.05 at 15 ft.

.5 at 4.5 m

5%

fc = footcandle.

* In LZ2, LZ3, and LZ4, for project boundaries that abut public rights-of-way, light trespass requirements may be met relative to the curb line instead of the project boundary.

Table 3. Allowable lighting power densities, by lighting zone

Lighting zone

LZ0

LZ1

LZ2

LZ3

LZ4

All exterior improved areas (except those listed below)

0.04 W/sf (0.43 w/sq. m)

0.04 W/sf (0.43 w/sq. m)

0.06 W/sf (0.64 w/sq. m)

0.10 W/sf (1.07 w/sq.m)

0.13 W/sf (1.39 w/sq. m)

Walkways

0.7 W/lf (2.3 W/m)

0.7 W/lf (2.3 W/m)

0.7 W/lf (2.3 W/m)

0.8 W/lf (2.6 W/m)

1.0 W/lf (3.2 W/m)

Landscaping

No allowance

0.04 W/sf (0.43 W/sq.m)

0.05 W/sf (0.53 W/sq.m)

0.05 W/sf (0.53 W/sq.m)

0.05 W/sf (0.53 W/sq.m)

Entrance door (per linear foot of doorway)

20W/lf (66 W/m)

20W/lf (66 W/m)

20W/lf (66 W/m)

30W/lf (100 W/m)

30W/lf (100 W/m)

Entry canopy

0.25 W/sf (2.7 W/sq.m)

0.25 W/sf (2.7 W/sq.m)

0.25 W/sf (2.7 W/sq.m)

0.40 W/sf (4.3 W/sq.m)

0.40 W/sf (4.3 W/sq.m)

Illuminated building façade

No allowance

No allowance

2.5W/lf (8.2 W/m)

3.75W/lf (12.3 W/m)

5.0W/lf (16.4 W/m)

sf = square feet; lf = linear feet; sq.m = square meters.

Note: The total exterior lighting power density allowance for all shared exterior applications is the sum of the specified allowances for individual illuminated areas. The following lighting is exempted when its controls meet the above requirements and are independent of the controls for nonexempt lighting:

a. Specialized signal, directional, and marker lighting associated with transportation.

b. Advertising and directional signage.

c. Lighting integral to equipment or instrumentation and installed by its manufacturer.

d. Lighting for theatrical purposes, including performance, stage, film, and video.

e. Lighting for athletic playing fields.

f. Temporary lighting (installed for no more than 30 days and then removed for at least 30 days).

g. Lighting for industrial production, material handling, transportation sites, and associated storage areas.

h. Theme elements in theme or amusement parks.

i. Lighting to highlight features of public monuments and registered historic buildings or landmark structures.

Alternative method for meeting light trespass requirements in Table 2
A luminaire may be used if it is rated as follows according to the lighting zone of the site. If the luminaire is installed in other than the intended manner, the rating must account for the actual photometric geometry. An exception applies if at least 98% of a luminaire’s emitted lumens are intercepted by man-made structures within the project. In either case, luminaires equipped with adjustable mounting devices permitting alteration of luminaire aiming in the field are not permitted.
Table 4. Allowable backlight and glare, by lighting zone

Lighting zone

Backlight luminaire rating

LZ0

LZ1

LZ2

LZ3

LZ4

> 2 mounting heights from property line

B0

B1

B2

B3

B4

1 to 2 mounting heights from property line and properly oriented*

B0

B1

B2

B3

B3

0.5 to 1 mounting height to property line and properly oriented*

B0

B0

B1

B2

B2

< 0.5 mounting height to property line adjacent to street and
properly oriented*

B0

B0

B1

B2

B2

< 0.5 mounting height to property line and properly oriented*

B0

B0

B0

B1

B2

Glare luminaire rating

G0

G1

G2

G3

G4

* The luminaire must be mounted with backlight toward the property line.

Note: Backlight and glare ratings are defined based on specific lumen limits for IESNA TM-15-07 solid angles, Addendum A.

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.
See all forum discussions about this credit »

What does it cost?

Cost estimates for this credit

On each BD+C v4 credit, LEEDuser offers the wisdom of a team of architects, engineers, cost estimators, and LEED experts with hundreds of LEED projects between then. They analyzed the sustainable design strategies associated with each LEED credit, but also to assign actual costs to those strategies.

Our tab contains overall cost guidance, notes on what “soft costs” to expect, and a strategy-by-strategy breakdown of what to consider and what it might cost, in percentage premiums, actual costs, or both.

This information is also available in a full PDF download in The Cost of LEED v4 report.

Learn more about The Cost of LEED v4 »

Addenda

7/1/2014Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Table 2.
Add a forth column, "Maximum horizontal and vertical illuminance (lux) at specified distance beyond site boundary," with the following values:
0 at 0 mm
.1 at 3 mm
.2 at 3 m
.5 at 4.5 m
.5 at 4.5 m
fc = footcandle.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/1/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Can projects use the actual Property Boundary/ Property Line rather than the LEED Project Boundary (if the LEED Project Boundary is smaller than the Property Line) for the light trespass aspects of this credit? If so, are other aspects of exterior lighting (covered by this credit) to be evaluated relative to the LEED Project Boundary or Property Line if a project elects to use the Property line rather than the LEED Project Boundary for trespass criteria?

Ruling:

If the LEED Project Boundary is smaller than the property line, projects can use the property line (property boundary) of their property to meet the requirements of this credit. If the light trespass requirements are met at the property line, the other aspects of the exterior lighting requirements must also be met at the property line.For properties that contain sensitive areas (such as sleeping units or species habitats), the project must meet the exterior lighting requirements at the boundary of the sensitive area. An area is considered sensitive if it has a lower lighting zone designation than adjacent areas. If there are any parcels within the property that have a lower lighting zone designation, the exterior lighting requirements must be met at the lighting boundary of those areas.Definition of "Lighting boundary": the lighting boundary is located at the property line or boundary of the LEED project. This boundary may be expanded to include any additional properties owned by the same entity that are (1) contiguous to the project property and (2) have the same or higher Model Lighting Ordinance Lighting Zone designation as the LEED project.Exceptions: When the property line abuts a public area that is a walkway, bikeway, plaza, or parking lot, the lighting boundary extends to 5 feet beyond the property line; When the property line abuts a public roadway or public transit corridor, the lighting boundary extends to the centerline of that roadway or corridor. Applicable Internationally***Update 1/1/13: LI 10114 has been superseded by LI 10236. 10114 is no longer valid.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Can light trespass extend beyond the LEED Project Boundary if the adjacent land is owned by the project owner? Can projects use the actual property boundary/property line rather than the LEED Project Boundary (if the LEED Project Boundary is smaller than the property line) for the light trespass aspects of this credit? Can the lighting boundary be used in place of the LEED Project Boundary or site boundary for the purposes of this credit? When can the lighting boundary be modified? Can campus projects use the campus boundary for this credit? Do all SSc8 credit exterior requirements need to met at the lighting boundary? Does street lighting need to be included? How is the lighting zone determined when the project contains, or is adjacent to, a sensitive area?

Ruling:

All instances in the credit language of "LEED project boundary" or "site boundary" shall be considered to refer to the "lighting boundary", for the purposes of this credit only. The lighting boundary is located at the property lines of the property, or properties, that the LEED project occupies. The lighting boundary can be modified under the following conditions:-When the property line is adjacent to a public area that is a walkway, bikeway, plaza, or parking lot, the lighting boundary may be moved to 5 feet (1.5 meters) beyond the property line. -When the property line is adjacent to a public street, alley or transit corridor, the lighting boundary may be moved to the center line of that street, alley or corridor. -When there are additional properties owned by the same entity that are contiguous to the property, or properties, that the LEED project is within and have the same or higher lighting zone designation as the LEED project, the lighting boundary may be expanded to include those properties. If the LEED project boundary is smaller than the property line, projects can use the lighting boundary to meet the light trespass requirements of this credit. Buildings that are part of campuses or shared properties can use the "campus boundary", i.e. the campus property line, to comply with the light trespass requirements of this credit. All LEED projects attempting SSc8 should continue to meet all exterior requirements (LPD, uplight, trespass) based all of the exterior luminaries within the LEED project boundary. The lighting boundary is only for the purposes of the trespass calculation, based on the light emitted by the luminaires within the LEED project boundary. Project teams should take note that the LEED project boundary must be appropriately defined and comply with Minimum Program Requirement (MPR) #3- "Must be a reasonable site boundary". Street lighting that is required by governmental authorities to be installed within the LEED project, specifically for the purposes of lighting a public street, does not need to be included in any of the calculations. Project teams should provide documentation of the government requirement and a narrative describing the application of this exemption to the project. Determination of the appropriate lighting zone is critical for this credit. For properties that contain sensitive areas (such as sleeping units or species habitats), the project must meet the light trespass requirements at the boundary of the sensitive area. An area is considered sensitive if it has a lower lighting zone designation than adjacent areas. If there are any parcels within the property that have a lower lighting zone designation, the exterior lighting requirements must be met at the lighting boundary of those areas. Applicable Internationally.

***Update 1/1/13:This interpretation is written in an attempt to clarify the number of questions and ambiguities that exist around the \'lighting boundary\'. This interpretation supersedes LI 1622, LI 2342, LI 5272 and LI 10114

**Update 4/2/2014 strictly for Neighborhood Development projects:
Only the following portion of this ruling was made applicable to Neighborhood Development projects: "Street lighting that is required by governmental authorities to be installed within the LEED project, specifically for the purposes of lighting a public street, does not need to be included in any of the calculations. Project teams should provide documentation of the government requirement and a narrative describing the application of this exemption to the project."

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
4/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Can multifamily projects be exempt from the interior lighting requirements?

Ruling:

Yes, multifamily LEED projects are exempt from the Interior Lighting requirements of this credit. Residential spaces (dwelling units only) within the scope of other LEED projects are also exempt from the Interior Lighting requirements. Item #3 in LEED Interpretation #5149 ("[3] Residential spaces may not be exempted from the interior lighting requirements.") is now void.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
See all forum discussions about this credit »

Documentation toolkit

The motherlode of cheat sheets

LEEDuser’s Documentation Toolkit is loaded with calculators to help assess credit compliance, tracking spreadsheets for materials, sample templates to help guide your narratives and LEED Online submissions, and examples of actual submissions from certified LEED projects for you to check your work against. To get your plaque, start with the right toolkit.

LEEDuser expert

Bill Swanson

PE, LEED AP BD+C

Feyen Zylstra
Sr. Electrical Engineer

USGBC logo

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

Requirements

“Shared areas” of a project are spaces and facilities dedicated to common use (publicly or privately owned). In residential areas, at least 50% of the external luminaires must have fixture-integrated lighting controls that use motion sensors to reduce light levels by at least 50% when no activity has been detected for 15 minutes.

AND

In all shared areas, install automatic controls that turn off exterior lighting when sufficient daylight is available and when the lighting is not required during nighttime hours; these lights must meet the total exterior lighting power allowance requirements in Table 3.

AND

Document which lighting zone or zones (Table 1) describe the project, and for all shared areas, follow the requirements in Table 2. If two or more different zones border the project, use the most stringent uplight requirements, and use light trespass requirements for the adjacent zone. Roadway lighting that is part of the project must meet the requirements for the appropriate zone. For illuminance generated from a single luminaire placed at the intersection of a private vehicular driveway and public roadway accessing the site, project teams may use the centerline of the public roadway as the site boundary for a length of two times the driveway width centered at the centerline of the driveway when complying with the trespass requirements. Compliance with the light trespass requirements may alternatively be met by using only luminaires that comply with Table 4 ratings for backlight and glare.

AND

Stipulate covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&R) or other binding documents to require continued adherence to the requirements.
Table 1. Lighting zones

Zone

Definition

LZ0

Undeveloped areas within national parks, state parks, forest land and rural areas and sites immediately adjacent to areas officially recognized as ecologically sensitive by the local zoning authority.

LZ1

Developed areas within national parks, state parks, forest land and rural areas.

LZ2

Areas predominantly consisting of residential zoning, neighborhood business districts, light industrial with limited nighttime use, and residential mixed-use areas.

LZ3

All other areas not included in LZ0, LZ1, LZ2, or LZ4 (including commercial-industrial and high-density residential).

LZ4

High-activity commercial districts in major metropolitan areas (as designated by local jurisdiction, such as local zoning authority).

Table 2. Allowable light trespass and uplight, by lighting zone

Lighting zone

Maximum horizontal and vertical illuminance (fc)
at site boundary

Maximum horizontal and vertical illuminance (fc)
at specified distance beyond site boundary

Maximum horizontal and vertical illuminance (lux)
at specified distance beyond site boundary

Maximum percentage of fixture lumens emitted above 90º or higher from nadir (straight down)

LZ0

0

0 at 0 ft.

0 at 0 mm

0%

LZ1

0.01

.01 at 0 ft.

.01 at 3 mm

0%

LZ2*

0.10

.02 at 10 ft.

.2 at 3 m

1%

LZ3*

0.20

.05 at 15 ft.

.5 at 4.5 m

2%

LZ4*

0.60

.05 at 15 ft.

.5 at 4.5 m

5%

fc = footcandle.

* In LZ2, LZ3, and LZ4, for project boundaries that abut public rights-of-way, light trespass requirements may be met relative to the curb line instead of the project boundary.

Table 3. Allowable lighting power densities, by lighting zone

Lighting zone

LZ0

LZ1

LZ2

LZ3

LZ4

All exterior improved areas (except those listed below)

0.04 W/sf (0.43 w/sq. m)

0.04 W/sf (0.43 w/sq. m)

0.06 W/sf (0.64 w/sq. m)

0.10 W/sf (1.07 w/sq.m)

0.13 W/sf (1.39 w/sq. m)

Walkways

0.7 W/lf (2.3 W/m)

0.7 W/lf (2.3 W/m)

0.7 W/lf (2.3 W/m)

0.8 W/lf (2.6 W/m)

1.0 W/lf (3.2 W/m)

Landscaping

No allowance

0.04 W/sf (0.43 W/sq.m)

0.05 W/sf (0.53 W/sq.m)

0.05 W/sf (0.53 W/sq.m)

0.05 W/sf (0.53 W/sq.m)

Entrance door (per linear foot of doorway)

20W/lf (66 W/m)

20W/lf (66 W/m)

20W/lf (66 W/m)

30W/lf (100 W/m)

30W/lf (100 W/m)

Entry canopy

0.25 W/sf (2.7 W/sq.m)

0.25 W/sf (2.7 W/sq.m)

0.25 W/sf (2.7 W/sq.m)

0.40 W/sf (4.3 W/sq.m)

0.40 W/sf (4.3 W/sq.m)

Illuminated building façade

No allowance

No allowance

2.5W/lf (8.2 W/m)

3.75W/lf (12.3 W/m)

5.0W/lf (16.4 W/m)

sf = square feet; lf = linear feet; sq.m = square meters.

Note: The total exterior lighting power density allowance for all shared exterior applications is the sum of the specified allowances for individual illuminated areas. The following lighting is exempted when its controls meet the above requirements and are independent of the controls for nonexempt lighting:

a. Specialized signal, directional, and marker lighting associated with transportation.

b. Advertising and directional signage.

c. Lighting integral to equipment or instrumentation and installed by its manufacturer.

d. Lighting for theatrical purposes, including performance, stage, film, and video.

e. Lighting for athletic playing fields.

f. Temporary lighting (installed for no more than 30 days and then removed for at least 30 days).

g. Lighting for industrial production, material handling, transportation sites, and associated storage areas.

h. Theme elements in theme or amusement parks.

i. Lighting to highlight features of public monuments and registered historic buildings or landmark structures.

Alternative method for meeting light trespass requirements in Table 2
A luminaire may be used if it is rated as follows according to the lighting zone of the site. If the luminaire is installed in other than the intended manner, the rating must account for the actual photometric geometry. An exception applies if at least 98% of a luminaire’s emitted lumens are intercepted by man-made structures within the project. In either case, luminaires equipped with adjustable mounting devices permitting alteration of luminaire aiming in the field are not permitted.
Table 4. Allowable backlight and glare, by lighting zone

Lighting zone

Backlight luminaire rating

LZ0

LZ1

LZ2

LZ3

LZ4

> 2 mounting heights from property line

B0

B1

B2

B3

B4

1 to 2 mounting heights from property line and properly oriented*

B0

B1

B2

B3

B3

0.5 to 1 mounting height to property line and properly oriented*

B0

B0

B1

B2

B2

< 0.5 mounting height to property line adjacent to street and
properly oriented*

B0

B0

B1

B2

B2

< 0.5 mounting height to property line and properly oriented*

B0

B0

B0

B1

B2

Glare luminaire rating

G0

G1

G2

G3

G4

* The luminaire must be mounted with backlight toward the property line.

Note: Backlight and glare ratings are defined based on specific lumen limits for IESNA TM-15-07 solid angles, Addendum A.

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.

LEEDuser expert

Bill Swanson

PE, LEED AP BD+C

Feyen Zylstra
Sr. Electrical Engineer

See all LEEDuser forum discussions about this credit » Unsubscribe from discussions about ND-v2009 GIBc17