Let’s reduce light pollution!

In keeping with the Town’s commitment to control certain nuisances on its territory and to ensure a healthy environment while promoting good neighbourliness, actions have been taken to reduce light pollution.

Light pollution in focus

Indeed, excessive glare or misdirected light can constitute a form of light pollution and cause several adverse effects, including a significant reduction in the visibility of stars. This is why in 2013, the Town of Sutton adopted a by-law to control outdoor lighting and reduce light pollution by considering that :

  • Outdoor lighting is likely to cause serious degradation of the nighttime environment and generate intrusive light on other properties in the neighbourhood and, given the topography, can be visible from a great distance;
  • The purpose of this by-law is to ensure the quality of life of citizens;
  • It is essential to ensure the preservation of natural landscapes;

Action plan

The Town recently conducted a round of nighttime inspections to establish a portrait of the situation and to identify properties where corrective action is required to comply with the by-law. Several courtesy letters have been sent to the concerned property owners and the City will be working with them to achieve compliance by September 21, 2022.

In case of non-compliance, fines will be given to offenders, ranging from $300 to $1,000 for individuals and from $600 to $2,000 for corporations. In the event of a repeat offence, the amounts will be doubled.  

Reminder of sections of By-law number 233 entitled “By-law concerning exterior lighting”

1) No light emanating from a lighting fixture shall dazzle or be intrusive to neighbouring properties or the street;

2) Lighting fixtures shall be designed and installed to direct all light downward;

3) No light emanating from a lighting fixture shall illuminate the ground outside the boundaries of the property on which it is installed;

4) The bulb of a lighting fixture shall be concealed by a shade to limit the emission of direct light to the sky. The shade shall be designed to completely conceal the light bulb except directly below the bulb. This provision does not apply to light bulbs located in the vicinity of a building access door that are activated by a motion sensor and automatically extinguished after a short delay in the absence of motion, provided that the wattage does not exceed:

  • 60 watts for an incandescent bulb;
  • 45 watts for a halogen bulb;
  • 18 watts for a high-pressure sodium bulb;
  • 15 watts for a compact fluorescent bulb; or
  • 9 watts for an LED bulb.

5) The use of mercury bulbs and fluorescent tubes (other than CFLs) is prohibited;

6) The use of a projector is prohibited unless it is equipped with a visor:

Special occasion tolerance

It should be noted that certain special occasions such as Christmas, Halloween or certain celebrations constitute occasions where decorative lights, without being excessive, are welcome and contribute to a beautiful festive atmosphere.

Thank you for contributing to the collective effort. The starry sky of Sutton is a common good that it is important to preserve.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact us by email at [email protected].