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Tips on Creating an Attractive HOA Lighting Rule

An attractive lighting rule can add flare without pollution. Associations may consider instituting rules for lighting where the provision is warranted by the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions to avoid light pollution and to address safety concerns. The primary purpose of exterior illumination is to provide attractive, safe, and inviting lighting upon a property. Here are a few tips to consider when making a light policy or rule.

1. Shielding Upward Lateral Light. Exterior lighting should have a shielded design to eliminate upward and lateral light. This helps keep excessive lighting to a minimum without reducing brightness for safety and security purposes. When aiming the lights toward the ground, they will have a particular area in which the light is disbursed. Consider the specific area that will be illuminated in order to avoid casting shadows in areas needed for security caused by improper angles. For example, using a 45 degree angle, you may aim lights vertically downward and slanted outward to reduce shadow gaps. This will assist not only in avoiding distorted vision but will also prevent shadows for hiding places where people and animals may hide.

2. Spotlights and Floodlights. Spotlights or floodlights may be located and directed in such a way as to prevent the light from scattering to neighboring lots, common areas, and streets. The last thing you want is to create a nuisance to others. Never should spotlights or floodlights shine directly into a neighboring home’s windows, which does create a nuisance.

3. Decorative Lighting. Decorative lighting is a great way to add value to your home. It should be appropriate for the style of home and community and approved in the architectural review process. The architectural requirements may include restrictions on the kind of decorative lighting that may be used so always check before you buy.

4. Light Poles. The installation, placement, and use of light poles is a great way to improve safety lighting. Light poles typically utilize a downward aimed lighting to avoid light pollution. Make sure the placement of light poles does not extend lighting into a neighbors windows.

5. Landscape Lumination. Landscape and pathway lighting add elegance to a lot and should consist of low voltage lamps. Consider keeping path and landscape lights to a maximum height of three feet tall from the surface. The lumination should be shielded and reflected to the ground only.

6. Colored Lights. Consider displaying holiday lighting and decorations during specified timeframes such as Thanksgiving to the New Year that can add an attractive flare to your neighborhood. However, some common sense may be necessary in the amount of lights and types of structures that may be temporarily used.

Providing attractive lighting that is safe and inviting can enhance property values. The goal is to always be reasonable when considering restrictions. Before updating your rules and regulations always have the association's attorney review the ability of the association to make these changes prior to draqfting them. This will avoid any embarrassment and assure the Board of its ability and parameters to enforce its lighting rules.

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