Collection: Lighting Design Guidance

The right light should be achieved with any installation, domestic or otherwise.  The following best practice design principles should be followed to ensure good lighting that reduces light pollution and its impact on dark skies.  They represent all the relevant lighting policies found within the signposted guidance documents.



  • For larger non-domestic installations, professional designers should be consulted to ensure the illuminance, spill light and glare - using the minimum amount of lights - is appropriate for the task.  Please Contact us or see our Dark-Sky Lighting Designers page



  • Any light should be justified with a clear purpose and benefit
  • Overall Lighting Impact should be appropriate for its setting regardless of the design



  • Light should be directed to where it is needed and does not spill into neighbouring spaces.
  • Upward Light Ratio - Any light above the horizontal or facing skyward, should be avoided.  Upward light ratio = 0 so all light goes downwards – this is essential



  • Lux – Lights should provide the right illuminance referenced against design standards – do not over light with needlessly bright lights
  • Glare – Lights should avoid unnecessary glare and be referenced against design standards



  • Switched off when not needed either by manual switches, timers or proximity sensors
  • Ensure lights are dimmed down when activity is low, reducing light and energy use



  • Lamps should be 3000K or less.  Lamps above 3000K should be avoided



Watts and Lumens to achieve the right illumination (lux)

The table below recommends LED wattages (w) and Lumen levels (L) to achieve approximate levels of illuminance for certain standardised tasks within an area.  While they are more relevant to non-domestic installations, any householder should aim to purchase LED’s at the recommended level to achieve ‘minor’ lighting footprints.  There are also special cases under Permitted Development, that non-domestic users are not subject to controls or design.  In these cases, the table should provide some guidance on correct purchasing.  Note that when the area or the level of illuminations increases and the potential impact is sufficiently high, a proper qualified and competent lighting specialist should be consulted for the design.  Please Contact us or see our Dark Sky Lighting designers page.

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