County Exterior Lighting Ordinance for Pensacola Beach

Except of some interior lighting, this building is pretty dark. The garage lights are quite bright and some are not the yellow wavelength needed.
Photo: Rick O’Connor

As of 2018, the Escambia County Exterior Lighting Ordinance is now active. All residents on Pensacola Beach will need to comply with this ordinance. Below is a short version of the ordinance including a link to the complete ordinance. Let us know if you have any questions.


Escambia County Turtle Lighting Ordinance

Chapter 78 – Article 13.23 of the County Land Development Code


13.23.01. Exemptions – a) lighting required for navigation by Federal Aviation and the US Coast Guard

and has been reviewed for the Federal Endangered Species Act

b) holiday lighting displayed outside of turtle nesting season

13.23.02. New Construction

a) all lighting in sight of beach must be wildlife friendly (must be long wavelength > 580 nm, low

to the ground, and shielded, 2 of the 3 – contact FWC or Sea Grant for clarification)

b) Pole lighting with foot candle requirements must request a waiver from the Florida Building

Code to alter this requirement and receive a denial notice from FBC in order to be exempt. Pole lighting must be shielded, no higher than 12’ from ground, and cannot be used for pathways or public access points.

c) lighting for walkovers is prohibited from dune crest seaward

d) metal halide lighting is prohibited

e) utility and construction light cannot be more than the minimum required by OSHA

f) lighting within stairwells, elevators, etc. that is within line of sight of the water must be wildlife friendly or tinted

g) all windows within line of sight of the Gulf of Mexico will be tinted

h) Roadway, parking, utility, and yard security lighting within sight of shore – wavelength not shorter than 580 nm, height not greater than 25’, and will be full cut off low pressure sodium lighting < 56w or equivalent amber LED

i) Roadway, parking, utility, and yard security lighting NOT within line of sight of shore – same as above but may use full cut off high pressure sodium lighting <151w

j) Before a building permit will be issued exterior lighting plans must be submitted to the Santa Rosa Island Authority and the Florida Building Code Department and include locations of all exterior lights, number of exterior lights, and type of exterior lights

k) If a property submits a request for a waiver of the Florida Building Code requirements for exterior lighting and was denied the property is required to use full cut off LPS, full cut off HPS, LED lighting, or combination of these using the best available technology to minimize their impact.

l) upon completion of the project lighting will be inspected and a night survey with all lighting illuminated is required; a report must be filed; details of the report can be found at (see address below)

13.23.03. Existing Construction

a) All existing properties must comply with the above by May 1, 2018.

b) All up lighting is prohibited after 10:00 PM during turtle nesting season; except up lighting on building facades – which can remain on until 12:00 AM during turtle nesting season

c) Indoor light that can be seen on the beach is in violation of the Endangered Species Act. Properties are asked to voluntarily either tint windows, move lamps to locations where they cannot be seen outside, use shades or window blinds to block, turn lighting off, or some combination

13.23.04. Enforcement

Refer to Part I Code of Ordinances – Ch. 30 of the website below

Complete Ordinance can be found at: – select Code library, Florida, Escambia Co., browse table of contents, Part III Land Development Code, Article 13, 13.23.00 – Exterior Lighting



Posted: January 9, 2018

Category: Coasts & Marine, Natural Resources
Tags: Escambia County Turtle Lighting Ordinance, Sea Turtle Lighting

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