Lighting: Outdoor Lighting

Proper outdoor lighting is vital to facilitate timely and accurate visibility, whether it's for driving at night or for looking over the vehicles at the local car dealer. But when lighting is excessive, or when it is not needed, creates a nuisance, projects disabling glare or is disruptive to the environment, it needs to be controlled. Informed citizens and businesses is one way to effect positive change in the community about outdoor lighting, but a municipality's most effective tool to that end is through the enactment and enforcement of a comprehensive outdoor lighting ordinance.


Enactment and enforcement of a comprehensive outdoor lighting can provide the following advantages:


Residents of metropolitan areas tend to have an innate (and sometimes justifiable) fear of darkness and requiring that they extinguish their outdoor lighting at a reasonable hour each night may be an unadvisable move. However, when those people move out into the Chester County countryside and bring their fear of darkness with them, requiring responsible lighting practices may suggest the need for some education.

Issues to Consider

Ordinance Elementsoutdoor lighting


The Pennsylvania Outdoor Lighting Council has available model lighting ordinance versions for zoning ordinances, subdivision and land development ordinances and stand-alone ordinances. These model ordinances, which can be tailored to the needs of the individual municipalities, have been enacted in 40+ Pennsylvania municipalities and are available at

Examples of Chester County Municipalities with Effective Lighting Ordinances: West Whiteland Township, Uwchlan Township, Upper Uwchlan Township, London Grove Township, West Vincent Township, South Coventry Township, East Nantmeal Township, West Brandywine Township, East Bradford Township, North Coventry Township, Warwick Township, East Vincent Township, Wallace Township

Related References

Related Tools