Lighting Design Guidelines

What is it?

These Citywide Lighting Guidelines were created to be used with the Sensitive Design Principles and address functional site lighting and accent lighting.

Where does it apply?

Citywide, applied to new development, redevelopment, and major renovation projects. (The Downtown Area has its own specific guidelines)

Who needs to use it?

Residents and neighborhoods, Development Review Board (DRB), City staff, developers and property owners, all those involved in the development review process.

Why was it developed?

In response to increasing concerns about the quality and character of design in the community, the City Council, Planning Commission, and Development Review Board (DRB) directed staff to establish the Scottsdale Sensitive Design Principles and to prepare design guidelines for a range of development types.

Download: Lighting Design Guidelines (PDF)

Key Points:

  1. The city places a high value on lighting designs and technologies that are energy efficient and sensitive to their surrounding context.
  2. Lighting should provide a sense of personal safety in active areas of the site; allow for an even distribution of illumination in commonly used vehicular and pedestrian areas; and highlight architectural features of significance and meaning during nighttime hours.
  3. High-pressure-sodium (HPS) is the preferred light source for most large-scale projects. The preferred light source for smaller scale applications include linear fluorescent (RE170 series, triple-tube 4-pin) compact fluorescent, induction, and LED lamps.
  4. Incandescent and halogen sources are discouraged in all but the most unique applications.
  5. The design of lighting systems should anticipate lighting levels that will vary depending on building use, hours of operation, occupancy, and seasonal changes, and operate for only the minimum number of hours required.
  6. Recommended light level guidelines and uniformity ratios established in the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) Lighting Requirements should be used, along with predominant lighting characteristics of the surrounding area when determining appropriate lighting design solutions.
  7. Light glare or excess brightness should be minimized. Light trespass should be controlled by shielding or aiming fixtures away from adjacent uses.
  8. Architectural and landscape lighting should only be used to highlight special features and to embellish the lighting levels of ground level pedestrian areas.
  9. Limited low voltage lighting of landscape features and plant material are acceptable when associated with pedestrian spaces and site entrance.

References and related documents:

Contact Information

City of Scottsdale – Long Range Planning
7447 E. Indian School Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251  

Adam Yaron
Planning & Development Area Manager 
P: 480-312-2761
Email: [email protected]

Taylor Reynolds
Principal Planner
P: 480-312-7924
Email: [email protected]

Ben Moriarity
Senior Planner
P: 480-312-2836
Email: [email protected]

Nick Carroll
P: 480-312-4205
Email: [email protected]