Albany County Planning Department

525 Grand Ave. #403 (307)721-2568

Laramie, WY 82070 (307)721-2570 Fax


Section 1: Definitions

"Glare" means the sensation produced by light that is sufficiently greater than the light to which the eyes are adapted to cause annoyance, discomfort, or loss in visual performance or visibility.

"Light bulb" means the component of the light fixture that produces the actual light. A bulb includes, without limitation, a lamp or tube.

"Light fixture" means the complete lighting unit.

"Light pollution" means light that is emitted into the atmosphere that alters the appearance of the night sky or interferes with astronomical observation.

"Light trespass" means light projected onto a property or roadway from a light source located on a different property.

Section 2: Purpose

The purposes of the outdoor lighting standards are to:

    1. Provide adequate lighting for safety and security;
    2. Promote efficient and cost effective lighting and to conserve energy;
    3. Reduce light pollution, light trespass and glare;
    4. Provide a sensitive nighttime environment that includes the ability to view the stars against a dark sky; and
    5. Protect public health, safety and welfare.

Section 3: Scope

Compliance with these requirements shall be required for all new development and replacement of light fixtures for existing development.

The Planning Office shall encourage the public to utilize light fixtures and shielding consistent with the purposes of these standards, provide educational materials, and engage in other public education efforts.

Section 4: Prohibitions

    1. Laser source lights or similar high intensity light used for outdoor advertising or entertainment.

    2. Searchlights used for advertising or entertainment.

Section 5: Outdoor Light Sources

Light sources shall be concealed or shielded to the maximum extent feasible to minimize glare, light pollution, and light trespass on adjacent property and away from the vision of passing motorists. All lights shall be shielded to direct light downward.

Light levels measured 20 feet beyond the property line of the parcel where the light fixture is located shall not exceed one-tenth foot-candle as a direct result of the adjacent property’s lighting. This restriction shall only apply if the property upon which the measurement is taken is used for residential purposes or a public right-of-way.

Section 6: University Observatory Areas

Within three miles radiuses of the University of Wyoming observatories at Red Buttes and Jelm Mountain, outdoor light fixtures shall utilize low pressure sodium lights. Existing non-conforming light fixtures may be continued until the light fixture is replaced or until seven years from the effective date of this regulation whichever comes first.

Section 7: Exceptions

These outdoor lighting standards shall not apply to the following types of exterior lighting:

    1. Ornamental Lighting: ornamental landscape lighting fixtures;
    2. Government Required Lighting: lighting for aviation, towers, street lights, or other purposes which are required by state or federal law;
    3. Seasonal Lighting Displays;
    4. Illumination of United States flags as long as the light source is shielded and not visible from any adjacent property;
    5. Customary agricultural practices, such as calving operations;

Section 8: Variances & Temporary Exemptions:

    1. Variance: The planning director may grant a variance from these provisions if the planning director finds:
      1. There are special circumstances or conditions applying to the land, buildings, or outdoor light fixtures for which the variance is sought, which circumstances or conditions are peculiar to such land, buildings or outdoor light fixtures and do not apply generally to the land, buildings or outdoor light fixtures in the neighborhood; or
      2. Upon a finding by the planning director that outdoor lighting in specific areas of the community is not adequate and additional lighting is necessary to improve safety or security for the property; and
      3. The granting of the variance will generally be consistent with the purpose of this section and will not be injurious to the neighborhood or otherwise detrimental to the public welfare; and
      4. The variance is the minimum variance that provides the relief required.
    2. Temporary Lighting Exemption: The planning director may grant an exemption from the requirements for temporary outdoor activities that include without limitation fairs, carnivals, sporting events, concerts, and promotional activities, if the planning director finds the following:
      1. The length of time that the temporary lighting is to be used is not longer than thirty days;
      2. The proposed lighting is designed in such a manner as to minimize light pollution, light trespass, and glare as much as feasible.

Section 9: Effective Date:

These regulations shall be effective as of __________________________________, 2003.