Draft by-law submitted to the city of Prince George March 2002

Draft Lighting Bylaw for the City of Prince George

Section 1 Purpose and Intent

It is the intent of this bylaw is to preserve, protect, and enhance the lawful nighttime use and enjoyment of any and all property through the use of appropriate lighting practices and systems in the City of Prince George. The purpose of this bylaw is standardize lighting systems to be designed, constructed, and installed to: control glare and light trespass, minimize obtrusive light, conserve energy and resources while maintaining safety, security and productivity, and curtail the degradation of the nighttime visual environment.

Section 2. Definitions:

  1. Shielded. Means a fixture that is shielded in such a manner that light rays emitted by the fixture, either directly from the lamp or indirectly from the fixture, are projected within the property on which the light is mounted.
  2. Outdoor lighting fixture. Means an outdoor artificial illuminating device, whether permanent or portable, used for illumination or advertisement, including searchlights, spotlights or floodlights, whether for architectural lighting, parking lot lighting, landscape lighting, security lighting, billboards or street lighting.
  3. Cone of Vision. The central area that the eye can see clearly without moving and is surrounded by the peripheral vision.
  4. Installed Lighting. Attached, or fixed in place, whether or not connected to a power source.
  5. Fully-shielded lights: (also know as full cut-off lights) Outdoor light fixtures shielded or constructed so that no light rays are emitted by the installed fixture at angles above the horizontal plane as certified by a photometric test report.
  6. Luminaire. Means the complete lighting system, including the lamp and the fixture
  7. Lumen. The unit used to measure the actual amount of light, which is produced by a lamp. Examples of lamp types of 4050 lumens and below are (the acceptability of a particular light is decided by its lumen output, not wattage; check manufacturer’s specifications):
    1. 200 Watt Standard Incandescent
    2. 150 Watt Tungsten-Halogen (quartz)
    3. 50 Watt High Pressure Sodium
    4. 50 Watt Cool White Fluorescent
    5. 30 Watt Low Pressure Sodium
  8. Watt. The unit used to measure the electrical power consumption of a lamp.
  9. Footcandle. A unit of illuminance amounting to one lumen per square foot.
  10. Lux (lx) – The SI unit of illuminance. One lux is one lumen per square meter.
  11. Sky Glow. Is when light emitting from a luminaire shining into the sky and reflected by humidity and dust
  12. Glare. Is caused by a harsh uncomfortably bright light emitting from a luminaire shining into the cone of vision causing reduced vision or momentary blindness when shining into one’s cone of vision.
  13. Light Trespass: The shining of light, produced by a luminaire, not exceeding 0.5 footcandle 1 meter beyond the property line on which it is located.
  14. Direct Light. Light emitted directly from the lamp, off of the reflector or reflector diffuser, or through the refractor or diffuser lens, of a luminaire.
  15. Up-light. Any light form a Luminaire that shines above the horizontal at angles above the horizontal plane, causing illumination of the sky.


All outdoor lighting fixtures shall be shielded, to minimize up-light. Building mounted incandescent type fixtures shall be shielded or activated by motion sensor.

Outdoor floodlighting shall be shielded in such a manner that the lighting system will not produce light trespass.


All light fixtures, shall be located, aimed and or shielded so as no direct light trespasses beyond the property line on which the light is mounted. City lighting is limited to a higher trespass of 0.5 footcandle at 3 meters beyond the property line, but the direct light must be aimed at the designated design area.


  1. In addition to other exemptions provided in the Bylaw, an outdoor lighting fixture not meeting these provisions shall be allowed if the fixture is extinguished by an automatic shutoff device between sundown and sunrise.
  2. No outdoor recreational facility, whether public or private, shall be illuminated after sundown except when the facility is in use.
  3. The use of searchlights or laser source light or any similar high intensity light for outdoor advertising or entertainment, except in emergencies by police and fire personnel or at their direction; or for meteorological data gathering purposes is prohibited. Temporary exemption to this may be granted if approved by City Council.


The average maintained vertical illuminance of vertical surfaces illuminated for architectural decorative purposes shall not exceed 2 foot candles (22 lux), from up-light source.


No unshielded or non full cut-off lighting fixtures shall be installed after July 1, 2002. When existing lighting fixtures are considered inoperable, all replacements are subject to all the provisions of the bylaw. The light will considered inoperable when any of the following requires replacement: lens, housing, lamp, or ballast.


  1. Submission Contents. The applicant for any permit required by any provision of the laws of this jurisdiction in connection with proposed work involving outdoor lighting fixtures shall submit (as part of the application for permit) evidence that the proposed work will comply with this Code. The submission shall contain but shall not necessarily be limited to the following, all or part of which may be part or in addition to the information required elsewhere in the laws of this jurisdiction upon application for the required permit:
    • Plans indicating the location on the premises, and the type of illuminating devices, fixtures, lamps, supports, reflectors, and other devices;
    • Description of the illuminating devices, fixtures, lamps, supports, reflectors, and other devices and the description may include, but is not limited to, catalog cuts by manufacturers and drawings (including sections where required); photometric data, such as that furnished by manufacturers, or similar showing the angle of cut off or light emissions. A map of the lighting distribution with indesity levels and a summary of calculations.
  2. Additional Submission. The above required plans, descriptions and data shall be sufficiently complete to enable the plans examiner to readily determine whether compliance with the requirements of this By-law will be secured. If such plans, descriptions and data cannot enable this ready determination, by reason of the nature or configuration of the devices, fixtures, or lamps proposed, the applicant shall additionally submit as evidence of compliance to enable such determination such certified reports of tests as will do so provided that these tests shall have been performed and certified by a recognized testing laboratory.
  3. Construction Development Plan Certification. If any development proposes to have installed street or other common or public area outdoor lighting, the final plan shall contain a statement certifying that the applicable provisions of the City of Prince George Outdoor Lighting By-law will be adhered to.
  4. Lamp or Fixture Substitution. Should any outdoor light fixture, or the type of light source therein, be changed after the permit has been issued, a change request must be submitted to the building official for his approval, together with adequate information to assure compliance with this By-law, which must be received prior to substitution.


  1. The following are exempt from the requirements:
    1. Outdoor lighting fixtures existing and legally installed prior to the effective date.
    2. All residential outdoor light fixtures using any incandescent lamp or lamps of 100 total watts or less are exempt from all requirements of this bylaw.
  2. Outdoor advertising signs of the type constructed of translucent materials and wholly illuminated from within does not require shielding. Dark backgrounds with light lettering or symbols are preferred, to minimize detrimental effects.
  3. Navigational and general life safety lighting systems required at airports and other transportation installations.


  1. The City of Prince George building permit shall include a statement asking whether the planned project will include any outdoor lighting.
  2. Within 30 days of the enactment of this By-law, the Code Enforcement Officer shall send a copy of the Outdoor Lighting By-law, with cover letter to all local Architects, Designers, Engineers, Electrical wholesalers, Electrical Contractors, and B.C. Hydro operating and based in the City of Prince George.


  1. Violation. It shall be a civil infraction for any person to violate any of the provisions of this By-law. Each and every day during which the violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
  2. Violations and Legal Actions: If, after investigation, the By-law Enforcement Officer finds that any provision of the By-law is being violated, he shall give notice by hand delivery or by certified mail, return-receipt requested, of such violation to the owner and/or to the occupant of such premises, demanding that violation be abated within thirty (30) days of the date of hand delivery or of the date of mailing of the notice. If the violation is not abated within the thirty-day period, the By-law Enforcement Officer may institute actions and proceedings, either legal or equitable, to enjoin, restrain, or abate any violations of this By-law and to collect the penalties for such violations.
  3. Penalties: A violation of this By-law, or any provision thereof, shall be punishable by a civil penalty of not less than fifty dollars nor more than one thousand dollars for any individual (and not more than ten thousand dollars for any corporation, association, or other legal entity) for each violation. The imposition of a fine under this By-law shall not be suspended. Each day of violation after the expiration of the thirty-day period provided in paragraph B shall constitute a separate offense for the purpose of calculating the civil penalty.