Drafted by the Ad Hoc Maui Committee for Outdoor Lighting Standards
Lee Altenberg, Mike Maberry, Steve Sutrov
Version 1.04, June 11, 2002

Text in color amends existing code


WHEREAS, unnecessary and improperly designed light fixtures cause glare, light pollution and wasted resources; and,

WHEREAS, glare and light pollution can result in: hazardous circulation conditions for all modes of transportation; the diminishing ability to view the night sky; light trespass; and, unattractive townscape; and,

WHEREAS, the people who live in Maui County value the natural environment, including the beauty and high quality of the night sky; and,

WHEREAS, the County of Maui is a destination resort community, economically dependent upon tourists and part-time residents, and is dependent upon its natural resources and environment to attract tourists and part-time residents; and,

WHEREAS, Maui is uniquely suited for casual, amateur and professional astronomical observation and space surveillance; the Haleakala High Altitude Observatory site, which was set-aside for scientific research, is one of the five (5) best astronomical sites in the world; light pollution has a detrimental effect on astronomical research; low-pressures sodium lamps pollute the smallest spectrum bandwidth of all available lights; and,

WHEREAS, light pollution contributes to the population decline of endangered species of sea turtles and Hawaiian birds by interfering with their night time behavior; and,

WHEREAS, Native Hawaiians have been denied many parts of their culture by the destruction of the Hawaiian environment, and light pollution contributes to this denial by harming wildlife that are part of Hawaiian culture, and obscuring the stars which are central to Hawaiian's history as navigators and settlers of Polynesia and the Hawaiian archipelago; and,

WHEREAS, the County of Maui desires to protect the health, safety and welfare of the residents, visitors, motorists, and native wildlife, and to protect the night sky that adds to the quality of life and economic well being of the County; and,

WHEREAS, these regulations for exterior lighting will not sacrifice the safety of our citizens or visitors, or the security of property, but instead will result in safer, efficient and more cost-effective lighting.



Subchapter 1 General Provisions

    1. Title

    2. Authority

    3. Purpose

    4. Construction

    5. Definitions

    6. Outdoor Lighting Standards Committee

    7. General Exemptions

    8. Lamp standards

    9. Luminaire standards

    10. Luminaire mount standards

    11. Street light installation, illumination, removal and alteration guidelines

    12. Specific Uses

    13. Development Permits

    14. Existing Light Fixtures

    15. Notification

    16. The County's Role

    17. Penalties

    18. Severability

    19. Repealer Clause



    1. § Title. The rules in this chapter shall be known as the "Outdoor Lighting Standards" [Eff. __/__/__] (Auth: HRS §§46.15(13), (16)) (Imp: MCC §18.20.060)

    2. § Authority. The rules herein are established pursuant to sections 46-15 (13) and 46.15 (16) of the Hawaii Revised Statutes. [Eff. __/__/__] (Auth: HRS §§46.15(13), (16)) (Imp: MCC §18.20.060)

    3. § Purpose.

      1. The purpose of this ordinance is to curtail and reverse the degradation of the night time visual environment by minimizing light pollution, glare, and light trespass through regulation of the form and use of outdoor lighting; and to conserve energy and resources while maintaining night-time safety, utility, security and productivity.

      2. The rules herein are designed to ameliorate these following non-exhaustive list of adverse effects while maintaining the benefits of outdoor lighting:

        1. Light pollution obscures the pristine view of the night sky, which is a resource important to residents, visitors, and deeply significant to the Hawaiian culture.

        2. Light pollution causes disorientation and subsequent morbidity and mortality among native turtles, night flying birds, and other nocturnal wildlife.

        3. Light pollution significantly degrades the performance of the astronomical observatories on Haleakala, which is one of the five (5) best astronomical sites in the world.

        4. Street lights that produce glare interfere with, rather than improve, visual acuity during night time driving.

        5. Up-lighting from unshielded luminaires wastes energy, and thus contributes to global warming, wastes public resources, and contributes to pressures on Maui's energy infrastructure.

        6. Light trespass interferes with a property owner's control over the quality of their property. [Eff. __/__/__] (Auth: HRS §§46.15(13), (16)) (Imp: MCC §18.20.060)

    4. § Construction.

      1. All public and private outdoor lighting installed in the County of Maui shall be in conformance with the requirements established by the Outdoor Lighting Standards.

      2. These rules should be read in conjunction with the provisions of Hawaii Revised Statutes, the charter of the county, and the Maui county code. The provisions of this article, including provisions for the imposition upon any person of the penalties by fine for any violation of this article, shall not be construed to exclude the operation of applicable State statutes or other County ordinances.

      3. In any conflict between the general provisions herein and any other provision, the more restrictive provision shall govern. [Eff. __/__/__] (Auth: HRS §§46.15(13), (16)) (Imp: MCC §18.20.060)

    5. § Definitions. For the purpose of these rules, unless it is plainly evident from the context that a different meaning is intended, certain words and phrases used herein are defined as follows:

      • "Agricultural" means areas designated agricultural by the State land use commission and/or zoned agricultural via county ordinance.

      • "Director" means the director of the department of public works and waste management of the county of Maui, or a duly authorized designee.

      • "Existing light fixture" means a light fixture installed, or approved by the County to be installed, before the effective date of this ordinance.

      • "Fifteen (15) degree cutoff" means that a light fixture in its installed position does not emit any more than 5% of its total light output in the zone between (a) the horizontal plane through the lowest light-emitting part of the fixture and (b) 15 degrees below the horizontal plane.

      • "Footcandle" means illuminance produced on a surface one foot from a uniform point source of one candela. Measured by a light meter.

      • "Flood light" or "Spot light" means any light fixture or lamp that incorporates a reflector or a refractor to concentrate the light output into a directed beam in a particular direction.

      • "Fully shielded" means that the outdoor light fixture is constructed so that in its installed position all of the light emitted by the fixture is projected below the horizontal plane passing through the lowest light-emitting part of the fixture.

      • "Glare" means the sensation produced by luminance within the visual field that is sufficiently greater that the luminance to which the eyes are adapted to cause annoyance, discomfort, or loss in visual performance and visibility.

      • "High Pressure Sodium" or "HPS" means a bulb that is filled with high pressure sodium vapor.

      • "IESNA" or "Illuminating Engineering Society of North America" means the professional society of lighting engineers, including those from manufacturing companies, and others professionally involved in lighting.

      • "Light pollution" means any artificial light that is emitted into the atmosphere, either directly or indirectly by reflection, that alters the appearance of the night sky, interferes with astronomical observation, or interferes with the natural functioning of nocturnal native wildlife.

      • "Light trespass" is any form of artificial illumination emanating from a fixture that penetrates other property other than its intended use.

      • "Low Pressure Sodium" or "LPS" means a bulb that is filled with low pressure sodium vapor, which has a nearly monochromatic spectrum.

      • "Luminaire" means the complete lighting assembly, less the support assembly.

      • "Lumen" means a unit of light emission. For example, incandescent light bulbs with outputs of 60, 75 and 100 watts emit approximately 840, 1170, and 1690 lumens, respectively.

      • "Outdoor lighting" means any outdoor artificial lighting device, fixture, lamp, or other similar device, permanently installed or portable, which is intended to provide illumination for either visibility or decorative effects. Such device shall include, but not be limited to, area, search, spot, and flood lighting used for:

        1. buildings and structures;

        2. recreational facilities;

        3. parking lots;

        4. landscape lighting;

        5. business and advertising signs;

        6. roadways;

        7. walkways.

      • "Non-Essential" means lighting that is not necessary for an intended purpose after the purpose has been served. For example, lighting for a business sign, architectural accent lighting, and parking lot lighting, is considered essential during business or activity hours, but is considered non-essential once the activity or business day has concluded.

      • "Partially shielded" means that the outdoor lighting fixture is constructed so that at least ninety per cent of the light emitted by the fixture is projected below the horizontal place of the lowest point of the fixture.

      • "Rural" means areas designated rural by the State land use commission and/or zoned rural by county ordinance.

      • "Up-lighting" means lighting that is directed in such a manner as to shine light rays above the horizontal plane.

      • "Urban" means areas designated urban by the State land use commission. [Eff. __/__/__] (Auth: HRS §§46.1S(13), (16)) (Imp: MCC §18.20.060)

    6. § General Exemptions.

      1. Emergency lighting. Emergency lighting required for public safety is exempt from the requirements of this Ordinance. *

      2. Fossil fuel light. All outdoor light fixtures producing light directly by the combustion of fossil fuels, such as kerosene and gasoline, shall be exempt from the requirements of this Ordinance.*

      3. Holiday decorative lighting. Low wattage fixtures (comprised by incandescent bulbs of less than 8 watts each or other lamps of output less than 100 lumens each) used for holiday decorations shall be exempt from the requirements of this article.*

    7. § Outdoor Lighting Standards Committee.

      The County shall establish an Outdoor Lighting Standards Committee to fulfill the duties described herein.

    8. § Lamp standards.

      1. Low pressure sodium vapor lamps (LPS) shall be the only allowed lamp with 1800 or greater lumens of output, with the following exceptions:

        1. In areas where color rendition is needed to preserve the effectiveness of the activity, LPS lamps are not required:

          • outdoor sales or eating areas during business hours,

          • assembly or repair areas,

          • recreational facilities and other similar applications,

          • advertising and other signs.

        2. Additional exemptions to the required use of Low Pressure Sodium lamps may be granted on a case by case basis where the lighting requirements critically depends on color rendition. High pressure sodium or metal halide lamps may be used with the approval of the director and the Outdoor Lighting Standards Committee.

      2. Specifically, mercury vapor lamps are expressly prohibited. The installation, sale, offering for sale, lease or purchase of any mercury vapor light fixture or lamp for use as outdoor lighting is prohibited.

      3. For roadways within the rural or agricultural areas, the maximum allowable wattage shall be 50W LPS for internal road intersections and 75W LPS for intersections from a project with a major and/or minor collector road, or 70W and 110W, respectively, for existing fully shielded HPS fixtures.

      4. For roadways within the urban areas, the maximum allowable wattage shall be 75W LPS for internal road intersections and 125W LPS at intersections with a major or minor collector road, or 110W and 175W, respectively, for existing fully shielded HPS fixtures. [Eff. __/__/__] (Auth: HRS §§46.15(13), (16)) (Imp: MCC §18.20.060)

    9. § Luminaire standards.

      1. Fully shielded luminaires with a fifteen (15) degree cutoff shall be the only allowed fixture for outdoor lighting, with the following exceptions:

        1. Luminaires that have a maximum output of 260 lumens per fixture (the approximate output of one 20 watt incandescent bulb), regardless of number of bulbs, may be left unshielded provided the fixture has an opaque top to keep light from shining directly up. *

        2. Luminaires that have a maximum output of 1,000 lumens per fixture (the approximate output of one 60 watt incandescent bulb), regardless of number of bulbs, may be partially shielded, provided the bulb is not visible, and the fixture has an opaque top to keep light from shining directly up.*

        3. Sensor activated lighting may be unshielded provided it is located in such a manner as to prevent direct glare and lighting into properties of others or into a public right-of-way, and provided the light is set to only go on when activated and to go off within five minutes after activation has ceased, and the light shall not be triggered by activity off the property.*

        4. All flood or spot luminaires with a lamp or lamps rated at 900 lumens or less, may be used without restriction to light distribution or mounting height, except that if any spot of flood luminaire rated 900 lumens or less is aimed, directed, or focused such as to cause direct light from the luminaire to be directed toward residential buildings on adjacent or nearby land, or to create glare perceptible to persons operating motor vehicles on public ways, or directed towards and onto the ocean or shoreline areas, the luminaire shall be redirected or its light output controlled as necessary to eliminate such conditions.*

        5. Outdoor advertising signs of the type constructed of translucent materials and wholly illuminated from within do not require shielding. Dark Backgrounds with light lettering or symbols are preferred, to minimize detrimental effects. Such signs may not be operating after the closing of the business or 11:00 p.m., whichever is later. *

      2. Luminaires within 100 meters of the ocean that have an output of at least 900 lumens per fixture shall have additional shielding so that no light shines directly on the ocean or sandy beach within 20 meters from highest high tide mark. [Eff. __/__/__] (Auth: HRS §§46.15(13), (16)) (Imp: MCC §18.20.060)

    10. § Luminaire mount standards.

      1. For free-standing luminaires, the maximum height of the light pole, measured from ground level directly below the luminaire to the bottom of the lamp itself, shall be twenty feet, except that luminaires used for playing fields shall be exempt from the height restriction provided all other provisions of this Ordinance are met.

      2. Building-mounted luminaires shall be attached only to walls, and the top of the fixture shall not exceed the height of the parapet or roof, whichever is greater.

      3. Free standing aluminum light poles and aluminum arms shall continue to be stocked and used for existing lighting within major collector roadways.

      4. Any new subdivision or project that requires street lighting within public roadways, shall use light poles that are non-reflective, such as anodized bronze or any other light pole accepted by the director and the Outdoor Lighting Standards Committee.

      5. Any unusual or project specific requests for non-complying lighting poles shall be reviewed and approval by the director and the Outdoor Lighting Standards Committee, and such approval shall be forthcoming only if the request is found to be consistent with the intent and purposes of the Outdoor Light Standards. [Eff. __/__/__] (Auth: HRS §§46.15(13), (16)) (Imp: MCC §18.20.060)

    11. § Street light installation, illumination, removal and alteration guidelines.

      1. The department may install, illuminate, remove or alter street lights for:

        1. Locations where the nighttime accident rate exceeds those of the daylight hours;

        2. Intersections, urban or rural, taking into consideration the layout of the intersection, traffic volumes, location of the intersection, concentration of pedestrians, roadside interferences and that channelized intersections and the roadway width may require more lighting;

        3. Any significant change of the roadway alignment, long bridges, tunnels, or any structures that may be hazardous, such as curbs, piers, abutments, or culverts;

        4. Locations along the highway where police reports show crimes are committed, such as theft, rape, and bodily harm cases;

        5. Locations of a highway where traffic turning movements to and from roadside developments threaten public safety;

        6. Subdivision streets, provided that the street has been dedicated to the county and at least fifty per cent of the lots on the street are occupied.

      2. Street lights are only required at intersecting streets.

      3. Street lights not needed shall be removed.

      4. Street lights for roadways and subdivisions within the rural or agricultural districts are not to be required, and standards for these districts should be those that reflect the desire of local Community Plans (Makawao/Pukalani/Kula Community Plan-1996 /Subdivision/Improvements). [Eff __/__/__] (Auth: MCC § 12.17.030) (Imp: )

    12. § Specific Uses.

      1. Searchlights. The operation of searchlights for advertising purposes is prohibited.

      2. Towers.€€ Lighting on towers is prohibited except as required by regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration.

      3. Canopy Lighting and Lighting of Service Stations

        1. Lighting of such areas shall not be used to attract attention to the business. Signs allowed under the appropriate section of these regulations shall be used for that purpose.

        2. Lighting levels shall be adequate to facilitate the activities taking place in such locations.

        3. In order to minimize the extent of direct glare, light fixtures mounted on canopies shall be recessed so that the lens cover is recessed or flush with the bottom surface (ceiling) of the canopy or shielded by the fixture or the edge of the canopy so that light is restrained to 85 degrees or less from vertical.

        4. As an alternative (or supplement) to recessed ceiling lights, indirect lighting may be used where light is beamed upward and then reflected down from the underside of the canopy. When this method is used, light fixtures must be shielded so that direct illumination is focused exclusively on the underside of the canopy.

        5. Lights shall not be mounted on the top or sides (fascias) of the canopy. The sides (fascias of the canopy) shall not be illuminated in a manner.

        6. Areas around service station pump islands shall be illuminated so that the minimum horizontal illuminance at grade level is at least 1.0 footcandle and no more than 5.0 footcandles. The uniformity ratio (average illumination to minimum illumination) shall be no greater than 4:1. At the discretion of the director, increased lighting levels may be permitted for enhanced security purposes only.

      4. Outdoor Sports or Recreation Fields or Performance Areas. Lighting of outdoor recreational facilities (public or private), such as, but not limited to, football fields, soccer fields, baseball fields, softball fields, tennis courts, special event or show areas, shall meet the following conditions:

        1. All fixtures used for such lighting shall be fully shielded with fifteen (15) degree cutoff.

        2. Illumination of the playing field, court, track, or event site, after midnight is prohibited except to conclude a scheduled event that was scheduled to be completed before 11:00 p.m. that circumstances prevented concluding before 11:00 p.m.

        3. The hours of operation for the lighting system for any game or event shall not exceed one hour after the end of the event.

        4. Lighting levels for outdoor performance areas, sport and recreation facilities, and playfields shall not exceed by more than five (5) percent the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) published standards for the proposed activity.

      5. Security Lighting

        1. Security Lighting is defined as lighting designed and used to discourage crime and undesirable activity.

        2. Security Lighting should use the lowest possible illumination to effectively allow surveillance.

        3. The use of sensor technologies, timers or other means to activate lighting during times when it will be needed may be required by the Director to conserve energy, provide safety, and promote compatibility between different land uses.

        4. In order to direct light downward and minimize the amount of light spill into the dark night sky, all security lighting fixtures shall be full cut-off fixtures as defined by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA).

        5. Security lighting shall be shielded and aimed so that illumination is directed to the designated areas.

      6. All non-essential exterior commercial lighting is to be turned off after business hours.

      7. Architectural Accent Lighting

        1. Fixtures used to accent architectural features, materials, colors, style of buildings, landscaping, or art shall be located, aimed and shielded so that light is directed only on those features. Such fixtures shall be aimed or shielded to minimize light spill into the dark night sky in conformance with the luminaire standards.

        2. Lighting fixtures shall not generate excessive light levels, cause glare, or direct light beyond the façade onto neighboring property, streets or the dark night sky.

        3. Flags of the United States or Hawai`i may be illuminated from below provided such lighting is focused primarily on the individual flag or flags to limit light trespass and spill into the dark night sky. Flags are to be taken down at sunset to avoid the need for lighting.

    13. § Development Permits.

      1. Submission Contents. The applicant for any permit or site plan approval required by any provision of the ordinances of this city involving outdoor lighting fixtures shall submit (as part of the application for site plan approval or a permit)  evidence that the proposed work or activity will comply with the Outdoor Lighting Standards. Specifically, the application of submission shall include:

        1. plans indicating the location on the premises, and the type of illuminating devices, fixtures, lamps, supports, reflectors, and other devices:

        2. a detailed description of the illuminating devices, fixtures, lamps, supports, reflectors, and other devices. The description shall include manufacturer's catalog cuts and drawings, including sections when requested;

        3. photometric data, such as that furnished by manufactures, showing the angle of cut off or light emissions.

      2. Additional Submission. The above required plans, descriptions and data shall be sufficiently complete to enable the plans examiner to readily determine whether compliance with the requirements of the Outdoor Lighting Standards will be secured. If such plans, descriptions and data cannot enable this ready determination, by reason of the nature of configuration of the devices, fixtures, or lamps proposed, the applicant shall additionally submit as evidence of compliance to enable such determination such certified reports of tests as will do so provided that these tests shall have been performed and certified by a recognized testing laboratory.

      3. Lamp or Fixture Substitution. Should any outdoor light fixture, or the type of light source therein, be changed after the permit has been issued, a change request must be submitted to the building official for approval, together with adequate information to assure compliance with this code,  which must be received prior to substitution.

    14. § Existing Light Fixtures.

      1. Existing light fixtures must be made to comply with the requirements of this Ordinance within five (5) years from the effective date of this ordinance, with the following exceptions:

        1. Existing light fixtures that are fully shielded need not have a fifteen (15) degree cutoff.

        2. Existing light fixtures that are fully shielded need not use Low Pressure Sodium bulbs.

        3. Existing light fixtures whose operation is paid for by the County of Maui shall be made to comply with the requirments herein using the most cost-effective replacement schedule, or within five (5) years, which ever comes first. The cost-effectiveness shall be evaluated taking into account the energy savings realized by bringing light fixtures into compliance with these regulations.

      2. § Notification.

        1. The Maui County Building and Planning Department permits shall include a statement asking whether the subject property of the proposed work includes any exterior lighting.

        2. Within thirty (30) days of the enactment of this Ordinance, the Planning and Zoning Administrator shall send a copy of the Outdoor Lighting Standards with a cover letter to all local electricians and local electric suppliers listed in the local 200__ telephone books, as well as to the Maui County Chamber of Commerce. Within ninety (90) days (coincide with next available mailing) the Planning and Zoning Administrator shall send notice to all property owners on the Maui County Water and Sewer mailing lists.

      3. § The County's Role.

        1. The County of Maui will commit to changing all lighting within the County rights-of-way and on County-owned property to meet the requirements of this Ordinance through the franchise agreement with the power company and/or through the Light Conformance Schedule adopted by resolution by the Council.

        2. The County of Maui will assist property owners and/or occupants to correct any nonconforming lighting through consulting with the owner/occupant and assisting in the provision of shields.

      4. § Penalties.

        1. Violation. It shall be a civil infraction for any person to violate any of the previsions of the Outdoor Lighting Standards. Each and every day during which the violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. Each and every unit of a prohibited lamp or luminaire that is sold, as itemized in section 7(b), shall constitute a separate offense.

        2. Violations and Legal Actions: If, after investigation, the County finds that any provision of the Outdoor Lighting Standards is being violated, the County shall give written notice of such violation to the owner and/or to the occupant of such premises, demanding that the violation be abated within one hundred twenty (120) days of the date of the written notice. In the case of the sale of prohibited lamps and luminaires, abatement shall consist of a recall by the seller and return to the seller of all prohibited units sold. If the violation is not abated within the one hundred twenty day period, the County shall institute actions and proceedings, to enjoin, restrain, or abate any violations of the Outdoor Lighting Standards and to collect the penalties for such violations.

        3. Penalties: A violation of the Outdoor Lighting Standards, or any provision thereof, shall be punishable by a civil penalty of $500 for a person's first violation thereof, and a penalty of $750 for each repeat violation. Each day, after the expiration of the one hundred twenty day period provided in paragraph (b) above, that a violation occurs, or is permitted to exist, constitutes a separate violation for the purpose of the civil penalty. Furthermore payment of such a fine shall not relieve the individual from the responsibility of correcting the condition in violation, nor shall it preclude the County from instituting any action for its removal.

      5. § Severability. If any portion of the foregoing rules or the applicability thereof to any person, property or circumstance is held invalid for any reason, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end these are declared to be severable. [Eff. __/__/__] (Auth: HRS §§46.lS(13), (16)) (Imp: MCC §18.20.060)

      6. § Repealer Clause. All County of Maui ordinances or resolutions or parts thereof which are in conflict herewith are hereby repealed. [Eff. __/__/__] (Auth: HRS §§46.lS(13), (16)) (Imp: MCC §18.20.060)