Contact: Cindy Harger, Public Information Specialist
Phone: (307) 732-5786
This past summer, the Jackson Town Council
and the Teton County Board of Commissioners moved to take measures to better
protect the area’s dark and starry night skies by adopting an amendment to the
Land Development Regulations and thus updating exterior lighting standards.
The amendment was put forward by a local
non-profit group, Wyoming Stargazing, and serves to better align local
regulations with the 2012 Comprehensive Plan’s vision to reduce light pollution
and protect nighttime skies. These new regulations have now been incorporated
into Town and County building permit applications. Applicants submitting
building permits can expect to include information on exterior lighting with
the permit submittal.
“The new building permits do an excellent
job of clarifying exterior lighting standards which make it much easier to
understand and much easier to comply,” said Dr. Samuel Singer, Executive
Director of Wyoming Stargazing. “These standards will help people save money on
electricity bills while protecting the night sky. It’s a huge win-win for the
The Town Council and Board of County
Commissions adopted several key changes with approval of the Exterior Lighting
Amendment. First, the new regulations measure maximum illumination using
“lumens,” a metric commonly found on lighting packaging. The old regulations
measured maximum illumination on a site using footcandles, a metric that
required the use of a light meter and was difficult for the general public to
Secondly, the updated regulations
established limits to how much illumination on a property is permitted. There
are now maximum illumination limits per square foot of site development including areas covered by buildings,
paved or gravel surfaces, decks, and walkways on a property.
The new regulations will also require that
all exterior lights have a correlated color temperature below 3000 Kelvin.
Correlated color temperature, also known as light color, has impacts on public
health, especially sleep patterns, a fact supported by the American Medical
Association who released a report in June of last year urging local communities
to cease installing street lights with a correlated color temperature over 3000
the new regulations now require commercial properties to incorporate the use of
timers or automatic dimmers to reduce lighting by midnight.
are excited to see better lighting design throughout the community that will
not only serve to protect views of nighttime skies, but also improve public
safety and enhance the natural environment,” said Tyler Sinclair, Planning and
Concerned that all of this talk of changes to
exterior lighting requirements will affect your holiday season decoration
plans? Not to worry, the Exterior Lighting Amendment left holiday lighting
regulations alone. You can still bedeck your home and yard with strands of
lights throughout the holiday season.
more information about the new Exterior Lighting regulations please contact
Regan Kohlhardt, Jackson / Teton County Associate Long-Range Planner, at
733-0440 ext. 1306 or firstname.lastname@example.org.