Circular Lighting Report

Turn off lights, City tells building owners

City of London lighting ban

The City of London is telling building owners and tenants in the Square Mile to reduce their lighting to cut unnecessary energy use and light pollution.

According to newly published planning guidance, the City of London Corporation is to create special ‘brightness zones’ in which mandate for lighting curfews in which only luminaires necessary for active working are illuminated.

City managers are keen to fend off criticism that the central business district is profligate with energy as homeowners struggle with heating costs. The issue is compounded by the number of companies who work 24 hours a day to access financial markets around the world.

‘Over time, as new developments come forward that follow this guidance,’ the document reads, ‘we will transform the approach to lighting in the City.’

Building owners and manager are being asked to turn off or reduce all exterior lighting during official curfews, apart from lights necessary for health and safety and crime prevention.

Shravan Joshi, chairman of the City’s planning and transportation committee, told the press that the nuanced guidance reflected the area distinctive character. ‘The City is a unique place in which 24/7 business districts and busy transport hubs rub up against historic buildings and residential neighbourhoods.

‘This strategy is aimed at ensuring an intelligent, sensitive approach to lighiting, which ensures the City is safe and accessible while protecting its historical character.’

Last year, Germany banned the illumination of public buildings from 10pm to 6am for the next six months.

The prohibition, designed to cut the country’s dependence on the importation of Russian gas, came into effect in September.

In 2013, France enacted a similar law for environmental reasons. Since then, French shops and office buildings have had to turn off their lights at night to save energy and reduce light pollution.

All non-residential buildings have to switch off interior lights one hour after the last worker leaves the premises. All exterior and shop window lighting has to be turned off by 1 am.

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Ray Molony

Recolight Report is an independent guide to the latest developments in sustainable and circular lighting. Learn about the people, products, projects and processes that are shaping our industry’s low carbon future. Plus: explainers on the latest innovations, opinion from thought leaders and video interviews with leading disruptors. Edited by lighting expert, editor and industry figure Ray Molony.