Lighting and Glare

Exterior lighting provides visibility, improved safety and can enhance the aesthetics of a building’s architecture. However, exterior lighting on buildings, in parking garages and parking lots can produce unintentional results like spillover glare and light trespassing into adjacent residential developments. Glare refers to the light that may enter the eye directly or indirectly from reflective surfaces. Glare from car headlights inside a garage, pole mounted lights or lights affixed to buildings can reduce visibility or cause visual discomfort.


The Livable Places Action Committee is discussing standards for how to reduce the unintended impacts of outdoor lighting without decreasing safety, utility, security or productivity. For example, discussions will include fixtures and screening materials. Lighting fixtures that utilize cut off angles direct lights toward the ground where it is needed and prevents light from being emitted above the horizontal plane. Bob Crelin provides an easy to read graphic of lighting fixtures that use cut off angles (click on the image to the right). Installing screening materials on the side of garages reduce automobile light glare.


Attend the Livable Places Action Committee Meetings to follow the discussions.


For more information on cut off angles, fixture specs, and energy design guides, visit these sites. All sites listed below are independent of the City of Houston.


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