City News

Back to City News

City urges compliance for outdoor light fixtures to enhance night safety

Outdoor light fixtures must have permit approval and be fully shielded.

YUMA, Ariz. - The City has measures in place to ensure the safety of motorists, pedestrians, pilots and others at nighttime by reducing glare and light spillage. The City is asking business owners and residents to do their part, too.

The City asks Yuma residents and business owners to ensure plans for outdoor lighting fixtures are submitted to the City’s Department of Community Development (DCD) for approval prior to installment. DCD will check that the light fixtures are oriented correctly and are code-compliant and in line with the City’s outdoor lighting regulations to achieve a dark sky at night. This effort aims to enhance nighttime safety; to ease visibility for pedestrians, vehicular drivers, and pilots; and to provide clearer astronomical views.

Recently, the City’s Department of Community Development (DCD) has become aware of commercial businesses in the area with installed lights that are noncompliant. These can potentially create a hazard by limiting the ability of drivers and pilots to see properly. Additionally, noncompliant outdoor lights may decrease the quality of life for neighbors and other residents, and deter visibility of Arizona’s starry nights and astronomical observations.

Please consult with the Department of Community Development on your outdoor lighting prior to installation to ensure compliance with the City’s code. DCD is located on the second floor of City Hall, One City Plaza.

An outdoor lighting fixture that uses high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights, light emitting diodes (LED), fluorescent lights, quartz lights, or metal halide must be fully shielded. This means the fixture constrains the manner and direction that light rays are emitted so both direct and indirect light points downward to minimize sky glow, glare, and light trespass.

Recently, the City of Yuma joined cities around the world in replacing HPS streetlights with LED lights, conserving both money and energy while at the same time increasing visibility range and safety. The City reminds residents and business owners that changing outdoor lighting in this manner also requires a permit application.

Who can I contact for additional information on permits for installing new lights?

Please contact the City of Yuma’s Department of Community Development by calling (928) 373-5175 or visit the DCD offices located on the second floor of Yuma City Hall, One City Plaza, 85364.

More details about the City’s code regarding outdoor lighting regulations can be found here [Chapter 154, Article 18].