Nuisance provisions of the Public Health etc (Scotland) Act 2008: guidance

Procedural guidance on the statutory nuisance provisions outlined in the Public Health etc. (Scotland) Act 2008.




CIBSE, the Sports Council and other specific sporting bodies have agreed comprehensive lighting standards for the floodlighting of sporting activities. The guidance recommends a hierarchical approach, with up to three levels of lighting, for recreational, county and national play. The emphasis is changing and high powered multi-angle `asymmetric' luminaires, which can illuminate a playing field while minimising light spill, are widely available

Design Characteristics

The majority of exterior sports lighting installations have requirements for horizontal illuminance at ground level only (generally between 100-500 lux). However, all need some degree of vertical illuminance in order to see the ball. Generally, the lighting scheme will consist of lights mounted on columns at a height that exceeds that expected of the ball during play. Sports floodlights tend to be tall and may often seem intrusive in visual terms. However, there are advantages in mounting the lamp as high as possible so that its light can be directed downwards, minimising glare and sky glow. It may be possible to use hinged columns that can be lowered to the ground and de-mounted during the summer months.

An exception is golf driving ranges, which require levels of illumination on a vertical plane of around 50 lux. However the light is required over a fairly limited horizontal plane so, with careful screening, these lighting installations can also be controlled to minimise the environmental impacts. Ground-mounted luminaires are sometimes used. They have the advantage of being virtually invisible during daylight hours and may also reduce the risk of night-time glare but they will always cause some additional skyglow. The long term solution lies in careful site design, involving some form of substantial screening at the far end of the range.

A wide range of lamps and luminaires has been developed for lighting sports facilities. They vary from fixed angle 15,000 lumen units to multi-angle projectors utilising 180,000 lumens or more. For sports such as football and hockey, 16m masts are usually used, whereas for tennis lower heights of between 8-12m will normally suffice. Luminaires should ideally be designed, installed and maintained to ensure that there is full horizontal cut-off, with glare, light spill and energy use kept to a minimum.


1. Floodlights should be switched off after a locally agreed curfew of say 21.00-22.00 hrs, which would equate with that of natural twilight in midsummer.

2. Consider potential for temporary floodlighting and for lowering lighting columns in summer, when they are not in use;

3. Design lighting to be as directional as possible, using the minimum number of lights required, and to minimise light pollution;

4. The colour of lighting poles may have significant influence - light colours should be used if lights are generally seen against the sky, or dark if there is a backdrop of vegetation; and

5. Floodlights should only be on when the facility is in use.

6. Zero upward light can be achieved by using double asymmetric full horizontal cut-off luminaires.

7. Additional shielding, suitably painted black, can provide further mitigation if required.


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