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Subdivision 1.Definitions.

For purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given:

(1) "energy conservation" means reducing energy use and includes: (i) using a light with lower wattage; and (ii) using devices such as time controls, motion detectors, or on and off switches that limit unnecessary use of lighting;

(2) "cutoff luminaire" means a luminaire in which 2.5 percent or less of the lamp lumens are emitted above a horizontal plane through the luminaire's lowest part and ten percent or less of the lamp lumens are emitted at a vertical angle 80 degrees above the luminaire's lowest point;

(3) "light pollution" means the shining of light produced by a luminaire above the height of the luminaire and into the sky;

(4) "lumen" means a unit of luminous flux. One footcandle is one lumen per square foot. For purposes of this section, the lumen-output values are the initial lumen-output rating of the lamp;

(5) "luminaire" means a complete lighting unit consisting of a light source and all necessary mechanical, electrical, and decorative parts; and

(6) "outdoor lighting fixture" means any type of fixed or movable lighting equipment that is designed or used for illumination outdoors. The term includes billboard lighting, streetlights, searchlights, and other lighting used for advertising purposes and area lighting. The term does not include lighting equipment that is required by law to be installed on motor vehicles or lighting required for the safe operation of aircraft.

Subd. 2.Model ordinance.

The commissioner of administration, in consultation with the commissioner of commerce, associations for local governments, and any other interested person, shall develop a model ordinance that can be adapted for use by cities, counties, and towns, governing outdoor lighting to reduce light pollution. The model ordinance must address:

(1) standards for lighting on private property; outdoor advertising; lighting on commercial, industrial, or institutional property; canopies covering fueling stations; and public streets, sidewalks, and alleys;

(2) how illumination levels should be measured;

(3) possible exemptions, such as for temporary emergency or hazard lighting;

(4) recommended elements for an exterior lighting plan for a development;

(5) treatment of nonconforming lighting;

(6) lighting standards that might apply in special subdistricts;

(7) light pole maximum heights; and

(8) light trespass.

Subd. 3.Standards for state-funded outdoor lighting fixtures.

(a) An outdoor lighting fixture may be installed or replaced using state funds only if:

(1) the new or replacement outdoor lighting fixture is a cutoff luminaire if the rated output of the outdoor lighting fixture is greater than 1,800 lumens;

(2) the minimum illuminance adequate for the intended purpose is used with consideration given to nationally recognized standards;

(3) for lighting of a designated highway of the state highway system, the Department of Transportation determines that the purpose of the outdoor lighting fixture cannot be achieved by the installation of reflective road markers, lines, warning or informational signs, or other effective passive methods; and

(4) full consideration has been given to energy conservation and savings, reducing glare, minimizing light pollution, and preserving the natural night environment.

(b) Paragraph (a) does not apply if:

(1) a federal law, rule, or regulation preempts state law;

(2) the outdoor lighting fixture is used on a temporary basis because emergency personnel require additional illumination for emergency procedures;

(3) the outdoor lighting fixture is used on a temporary basis for nighttime work;

(4) special events or situations require additional illumination, provided that the illumination installed shields the outdoor lighting fixtures from direct view and minimizes upward lighting and light pollution;

(5) the outdoor lighting fixture is used solely to highlight the aesthetic aspects of a single object or distinctive building; or

(6) a compelling safety interest exists that cannot be addressed by another method.

(c) This subdivision does not apply to the operation and maintenance of lights or lighting systems purchased or installed, or for which design work is completed, before August 1, 2008.

(d) This section does not apply if a state agency or local unit of government determines that compliance with this section would:

(1) require an increased use of electricity;

(2) increase the construction cost of a lighting system more than 15 percent over the construction cost of a lighting system that does not comply with this section;

(3) increase the cost of operation and maintenance of the lighting system more than ten percent over the cost of operating and maintaining the existing lighting system over the life of the lighting system; or

(4) result in a negative safety impact.

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes