L.P.A.G. – Landscape and Building façade lighting (Chapter 1)

With the exception of structures having exceptional symbolic or historic significance, entire building façades should not be illuminated.

  • Lighting should be High Pressure Sodium (HPS), Metal Halide (MH), Fluorescent, or Incandescent.
  • Landscape and building lighting should be carefully shielded to avoid view of the source and aimed to avoid spill light onto adjacent properties or into the night sky. Lighting fixtures shall be carefully located, aimed, and shielded so that light is directed only onto the building façade. Lighting fixtures shall not be directed toward adjacent streets or roads.
  • Floodlighting on building should be very subtle and smooth, just enough to relevate the massing of the building. HPS or MH sources should not exceed 175 watts, and incandescent sources should not exceed 300 watts.
  • To the extent practicable, lighting fixtures shall be directed below the horizontal rather than above the horizontal. If there is no alternative to up-lighting, then the use of shields and baffles will help reduce spill light to a minimum. Strong uplighting renders a building unnatural and grotesque by night, since naturally all objects are lit from above by the Sun.
  • In ecologically-sensitive areas, light fixtures for landscape, recreation, or building lighting, should not emit undesirable light rays, either direct or reflected, into the night sky. Such lighting could create skyglow, which is inconsistent especially with rural areas. Vegetation screens shall not be employed to serve as the primary means for controlling glare. Rather, such control shall be achieved primarily through the use of sharp cut off fixtures, the appropriate application of mounting height, wattage, aiming angle, fixture placement and fixture design, etc. and the additions of shields and baffles as necessary.

In all residential areas, illumination levels should be compatible with residential uses. Lighting for commercial installations in areas near to residential use should be deigned to be compatible with residential illumination levels and conform with the policies entitled “Billboards & Signs” and “Shopfronts” of the Policy and Design Guidance published by the Planning Authority in May 1994.

  1. Tower and high-rise building lighting

High rise buildings and towers are becoming ever more common in Malta. As such, steps should be taken in order that no light pollution is created from these structures.

High illuminated structures disorient and kill or injure many migratory birds. Use of full cutoff lamps can help to minimise many of these adverse effects.

1.1.1 Sky beams

High intensity beams of light pointing uselessly into the sky are used in some parts of the world as a means of publicity. These are sufficiently intense to be seen at night as beams or to light up clouds, and only serve to send the message that we have no genuine commitment to greenhouse gas reduction. They can also be an aviation hazard. Not surprisingly, sky beams waste tremendous amounts of energy and create a lot of sky glow. Thus, a complete ban on commercial sky beams is environmental common sense.

1.1.2 Communication towers

All radio, communication, navigation towers and tall chimneys that require lights should have dual lighting capabilities. For daytime, the white strobe light may be used, and for night time, red lights should be utilised.