Example Lighting Ordinances

North Carolina Lighting Ordinances
If you have online examples of NC Lighting Ordinances, send us a link. We can develop a database of ordinances by city/county.

City/County Comments
Apex Moderately comprehensive
Black Mountain Proposed - Moderately comprehensive
Boone Strict, full cutoof and lighting levels code but for commercial lighting only, built on Apex ordinance, effective 1/1/2006
Cary Moderately comprehensive
Chapel Hill None at their municode.org site. No specific mention of lighting requirements. They do prohibit storage of nuclear weapons however (Sec 11-111).
Charlotte None
Durham None
Greensboro Brief mention of shielding in one place. No organized approach.
Raleigh Moderately comprehensive
Salisbury (part of sign ordinance)
Wake County Minimal. Not an organized approach, spread throughout various land use types. Generally, shield to avoid glare, trespass < 1 footcandle at the property line. Turn off the outside lights and signs when business is closed.
Watauga County Targetted toward "high impact" development.
Winston-Salem None
Your Town Search Codes for "Lighting", "Lumens", "Footcandles", "Exterior Lighting"
  If not found at municode.org, try typing the following URL: http://www.ci.(YOURTOWN).nc.us or http://www.co.(YOURCOUNTY).nc.us (substituting your actual town or county name for YOURTOWN or YOURCOUNTY of course.) Look for the Planning Department.

Lighting Ordinance Activity Outside NC
Texas Outdoor Lighting, Amendment of the Health and Safety Code, enacted in 1999
Please also visit this excellent testimony page, which shows the arguments presented in support of this law. There are some very persuasive arguments for controlling light pollution here.

New Mexico's Night Sky Protection Act, enacted in April 1999

Proposed Massachusetts Lighting Legislation
This has been in the works for some time now, but looks like it may finally be passed soon.


Last Updated:
06/06/2003:Fix broken links from top down to Charlotte.

11/13/2000: Fixed Cary ordinance link.
11/06/2000: Fixed broken testimony link again.
10/20/2000: Fixed broken testimony link.
09/18/2000: Added links for Apex, Cary, and Raleigh and several other ordinances
03/30/2000: Updated for Salisbury ordinance
01/18/2000: Updated with examples from outside NC