to High Country Outdoor Lighting
Ordinances and Codes
Watauga County Zoning Ordinance Study Committee approved a Lighting Standard
for High-Impact developments at its 11/29/01 meeting. The standard will
require large businesses (like the Staples shown here, although this one
is in the town limits of Boone), to use good lighting instead of the cheap,
glaring and light-polluting floods used at the store shown. The text of
the Standard is given below.
County Lighting Standards for high-impact development, are given below.
Click here for the (pdf version) of the whole development ordinance.
In order to ensure lighting that is safe, secure and not glaring to either
the facility’s employees or customers, or neighbors, High Impact
Land Uses shall use outdoor lighting that does not produce light that
trespasses on adjacent property, roadways or pollutes the natural sky.
These objectives are easily accomplished by choosing good quality, shielded
(1) All parking lot lighting shall use full cutoff lighting fixtures;
(2) Wall-packs and floodlights shall be either full cutoff design or have
shields such that they do not put any light above the horizon and will
be mounted to not shine on roadways and neighboring properties. Use of
floodlights is discouraged;
(3) Typical pole-mounted “dusk-to-dawn” security lights shall
use reflecting “sky caps” instead of clear plastic refractors;
(4) Building façade lighting shall not shine above the facades;
(5) For buildings required by the NC Building Code to have plans prepared
by a design professional, the lighting levels shall be determined as defined
by the Recommended Practices of the Illuminating Engineering Society of
North America, or other recognized lighting publication. All other buildings
comply with the requirement by virtue of compliance with (1) through (4)
of this section.