4 PRINCIPLES

for good outdoor lighting inside the Dark Sky Reserve

You have the privilege of living inside the Mont-Mégantic International Dark Sky Reserve?

 

You therefore have a very important role in protecting the region's starry sky and exceptional nighttime environment.

Combine these 4 principles for outdoor lighting that keep our sky and night naturally dark. 

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ORIENTATION

Choose a luminaire whose light is directed entirely towards the ground.

 

Remember that the light emitted towards the sky does not help you see better, and the light emitted towards the horizon contributes to glare.

 

Fully shielded fixtures use their light more efficiently and provide better energy savings while limiting skyglow.

No light should be sent above the horizon and outside of the property.

 
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WARMER COLOUR

Light sources should be amber and warm-coloured.

 

White light causes more glare, more skyglow, and has more negative impacts on human health and the environment due to the high proportion of blue light it contains.

 

Amber light is more gentle on the eye, produces a warm ambiance, and attracts fewer insects, which is an ecological benefit and one less inconvenience.

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REDUCED INTENSITY

Choose fixtures that provide the right amount and intensity of light for sober and uniform lighting.

 

The eye adapts better when the luminosity of artificial light sources is in harmony with the ambient luminosity. With lower contrast, nighttime places are more visible and the general visibility is better.

 

Reducing the intensity and amount of light also reduces the electricity bill as well as light pollution that is caused by the reflection of light on the ground.

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TIMING AND CONTROL

Controlling when and how long lights are used is an easy way to reduce light pollution.

 

Install a timer, a motion detector, or simply remember to turn the lights off at the end of the evening.

 

The main goal is to use artificial light only when needed.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT LIGHTING

Light fixture

  • Fully shielded light source

  • Downward light beam

  • Motion detector, timer and dimmer controls

  • Visors and shields limiting light trespass

  • Full cutoff amber LED fixture

Light bulb

< 2200K

Anti-insects

Yellow

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  • For a brightness of more than 1000 lumens :

    • 1800K to 2200K, Amber LED or "Anti-insect"

  • For a brightness below 1000 lumens :

    • Colour temperature of 3000K or lower

4000K

5000K

Here is a list of outdoor light fixtures available in hardware stores and retailers of the region that respect these eco-lighting principles.

* This list is not exhaustive. Actual offer may vary.

For fixtures with higher luminous output, see our Recommended luminaires page and ask your electrician or specialist retailer for outdoor fixtures that meets the Mont-Megantic IDSR regulations of your municipality.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

“Do LEDs reduce light pollution?”

No, LEDs can reduce power consumption, but not necessarily light pollution. It is possible to choose amber or yellow coloured LEDs which will reduce the impact of light at night.

 

On the other hand, the majority of available LEDs are often too white and can increase light pollution.

 

One of the LEDs' advantages is that it is possible to effectively aim their light downwards and limit emissions above the horizon.

...

"Will reducing outdoor lighting risk reducing safety?"

No. Several studies have shown that reducing lighting does not have a negative impact on safety and that increasing lighting does not directly result in a positive effect on safety either.

In addition, the improper use or installation of light fixtures may make the situation worse. Bad lighting can create glare and strong contrast that will affect the good visibility of the nocturnal environment.

...

“My neighbour has very bright and disturbing lighting that shines towards my house. What should I do?

Your neighbour probably doesn't realize that his light is a nuisance to others and the environment.

Many people believe that abundant lighting increases safety, but this belief is not supported by studies. It is a false sense of security.

Do not hesitate to discuss with your neighbour and ask his opinion to find a solution such as redirecting the light, changing to a less powerful and amber-coloured bulb, or installing a motion detector.

 

Showing goodwill will help in finding a solution for all. Stay positive and be understanding of his personal reasons to use lighting. Everyone wants to be able to relax at home.

 

You can share advice with him for good lighting, educate him about the negative effects of light pollution, and exchange about the chance that you both have to live under a protected starry sky.

...

“Is a 'Dark Sky' light fixture automatically suitable for the Mont-Mégantic IDSR?”

Several light fixtures are identified as "dark sky", but not all of them are suitable for use in the Mont-Mégantic International Dark Sky Reserve.

 

The Mont-Mégantic IDSR enjoys very high standards of protection of the night environment which are often ahead of usual practices and guidelines. Several "dark sky" fixtures emit light that is too white and rich in blue. It is therefore important to make sure to choose lighting that meets the regulations of the region.

 

In addition, several of these labels are not official certifications but simply identifications but the manufacturer.

REGULATIONS

Regulations controlling outdoor lighting have been in effect for several years throughout the territory of the Mont-Mégantic International Dark Sky Reserve. These regulations are divided according to the 3 regional county municipalities: Sherbrooke, Haut-Saint-François, and Granit.

Whether you live at the foot of the mountain or at the edge of the Reserve, everyone has an important role to play against light pollution.

For more information and details, use the links to the regulations documents available below (available in french only). A summary is also available in the Reserve Municipalities section.

Area: 366 km2

Population: 169,140

RÈGLEMENT N° 1200

Chapitre 14 - Section 4 :

   CONTRÔLE DE LA POLLUTION LUMINEUSE

Chapitre 13

   DISPOSITIONS RELATIVES À L'AFFICHAGE

Municipalities:

  • Ville de Sherbrooke

Municipalities:

  • Zone 1:

    • Bury

    • Chartierville

    • Hampden

    • La Patrie

    • Lingwick

    • Newport

    • Scotstown
       

  • Zone 2:

    • Ascot Corner

    • Cookshire-Eaton

    • Dudswell

    • East Angus

    • Saint-Isidore-de-Clifton

    • Weedon

    • Westbury

Municipalities:

  • Zone 1:

    • Frontenac

    • Lac-Mégantic

    • Marston

    • Milan

    • Notre-Dame-des-Bois

    • Nantes

    • Piopolis

    • Saint-Augustin-de-Woburn

    • Stornoway

    • Val-Racine

  • Zone 2:

    • Audet

    • Courcelles

    • Lac-Drolet

    • Lampton

    • Saint-Ludger

    • Saint-Romain

    • Sainte-Cécile-de-Whitton

    • Saint-Sébastien

    • Stratford