Am I concerned by the decree concerning the fight against light pollution?

A new decree was published on December 27, 2018 in the Official Journal which strengthens the fight against light pollution and should finally enable France to meet the requirements of the Grenelle 2 law of July 12, 2010 in this area. Pressed by the Council of State, France seems determined to catch up in the protection of biodiversity with this new order which should make it possible to regulate night lighting.

The decree lays down the technical rules to be observed for the design and operation of outdoor lighting installations intended to highlight:

  • roads ;
  • the patrimony ;
  • parks and gardens;
  • sports equipment;
  • non-residential buildings (concerns the interior lighting emitted towards the exterior of these buildings as well as the lighting of the facades of buildings, with the exception of public street lighting lamps for communities affixed to the facades intended to illuminate the road);
  • parking lots;
  • construction sites ;
  • external events.

The requirements are not identical depending on the location of these facilities, whether they are in built-up areas or outside built-up areas, as well as on the astronomical observation sites listed by the following decree, also dated December 27: www.legifrance

The regulations govern in particular the time slots where the light installations are authorized to operate. It also defines the proportions of luminous flux to be respected, as well as their orientation, the color temperature not to be exceeded, or even “the surface density of luminous flux installed” .
The decree defines the latter as the “total luminous flux of the sources relative to the surface intended to be illuminated, in lumens per square meter” .

For this point, the decree imposes to follow the following values:

The text now mentions a color temperature of 3000K maximum in built-up areas (against 3500K previously) and outside built-up areas. Vision is largely sufficient at this level and we even recommend using 2700°K LEDs.
At the same time, always with the aim of protecting biodiversity but also the vision of the starry sky, eleven astronomical observation sites have been listed to be protected from night light within a radius of 10km, such as the Pic du midi observatory for example.

At night, artificial light disrupts our biological clock and affects nocturnal flora and fauna. Some nocturnal animals, for example, become more vulnerable because they are visible to their predators. Unfortunately, the light intensity only increases every year.

These provisions are in force from January 1 , 2020…

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