Artificial light at night is associated with safety and security, and the expression well-lit is usually taken to mean brightly lit. Without it human leisure and commercial activities would cease at dusk. However, emerging research indicates that there are problems associated with its use, and these problems are becoming more pronounced with modern lighting practices. It is these problems, which are usually called light pollution, which warrant regulation.
This paper will first outline the reasons why artificial light at night should be regulated; it will then explore the different types of possible regulation, and discuss which forms may offer the best opportunities for good, sustainable lighting. It will finally critically evaluate the “bolt-on” subjective approach of the United Kingdom by way of nuisance and planning regulation, with the merits of the objective metrics system used by the South Korean Light Pollution Prevention Act 2013.
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