NEMA responds to AMA guidelines for outdoor lighting with support, new recommendations

Published on June 29, 2016 by Alyssa Michaud

In a recent statement regarding light pollution control efforts, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) indicated its support for the majority of the items contained in the new community guidance issued by the American Medical Association (AMA) relating to LED outdoor lighting.

NEMA said that the AMA recommendations are closely related to longstanding recommendations by American lighting manufacturers, including the use of motion or dusk-to-dawn sensors for outdoor lighting control, the use of shields intended to reduce sidelight and glare, and consideration of minimum lighting levels necessary for given situations.

The areas in which NEMA and AMA differed, however, include the recommendations by the AMA regarding the spectral content of outdoor lighting installations. According to NEMA, the proposed guidelines would raise substantial concerns for electrical manufacturers, who question the validity of assigning significant weight to a factor that is not equally applicable across a wide range of situations.

NEMA recommends further consideration of the variability of cost, security, visibility and efficiency priorities on a case-by-case basis, rather than the implementation of a single protocol intended to regulate spectral content in all outdoor lighting installations.

Plans are in place for NEMA to issue further technical guidance of its own as a contribution to an ongoing discussion of spectral content.