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Shading streetlights

If you're affected by light spill from streetlights, find out whether it qualifies for a glare shield.

Glare shields are applied to some street lights to reduce light spill affecting residents.

This page explains which streetlights qualify for a glare shield and the costs involved for the resident.

There is a fee for residents to have streetlight shading installed. Glare shields are installed by Energex and council, with the cost passed onto the resident.

The user-pays fee is passed onto the resident requesting the glare shield, as they get the benefit of having reduced light spill.

You may have noticed that the streetlights in our region are being upgraded to LED technology. This is part of a Sunshine Coast Region rollout, in collaboration with Energex.

The LED streetlighting is a more reliable, better-quality light with improved efficiencies.

LED technology

LED technology requires less maintenance and generates a consistent warm to white light. The white light from LEDs will vary from some pre-existing streetlights. These can appear yellow (high pressure sodium) and amber (low pressure sodium).

The old lighting technology that has been removed to make way for these new LED lights deteriorated over time. It had less output each night, so it appeared ‘duller.’

Lighting efficiencies

The upgraded streetlights may seem brighter, with a whiter colour. They actually spread light more evenly and waste less. They also cause less glare and back spill into properties. This is because of improved optics.

This ensures the lighting is more focussed on the road and footpath area. The new LEDs have a colour temperature. It provides optimal safety for both motorists and pedestrians. The colour temperature complies with current Australian Standards.

Background

Streetlights provide lighting for the safety of vehicles on the road. Streetlights can also provide lighting for footpaths.

Some streetlights have light which spills into private residences. This is obtrusive light and can affect bedrooms and living rooms.

Light spill can be reduced by using a glare shield to control the amount of light spillover in the direction of the dwelling. Glare shields can be applied within a light fitting or on the outside of the fitting.

There are two main type of glare shields to control light spill:

  • black adhesive tape applied to a light bowl
  • a plastic fitting inside a light bowl.

Glare shields can be applied to a range of light fittings. Some lights need specialised glare shields which are usually more expensive.

Most streetlights are owned by Energex, so a request for a glare shield is passed from council onto Energex.

Energex does not install glare shields as a general policy. Energex will do so when a resident advises that the light spill significantly affects their residential amenity.

Council acts as the customer contact point for Energex and passes all fees relating to glare shields directly to Energex. Council does not charge for the time required to process a glare shield application.

Criteria for installing a glare shield

To see if a glare shield can be applied to a light fitting two key factors are assessed:

  • is the light across the road from the dwelling?
  • is a pedestrian crossing or street intersection nearby?

Location of the light

A streetlight across the road from a dwelling is rarely approved for a glare shield. This is because the light would need a forward-facing shield, which can block the light on the road and pathway.

Streetlights on the same side of the road as the affected dwelling are usually approved. It is possible to apply a rearward facing shield without affecting road lighting.

Lights at pedestrian crossings and street intersections are very important for safety. As a result, glare shields are rarely approved in these situations, unless rearwards-facing shields can be applied.

Shield identification and fee schedule

Different lights need different types of glare shields.

Before requesting a glare shield, please:

  • check which type of light is affecting your property and the cost for a glare shield. The cost is paid by the resident and forwarded to Energex.
  • use the questions below to self-assess the light affecting your house.

Note: this does not guarantee that a glare shield can be applied to your street light.

Luminaire type - SCC owned lightsShield typeCost 2023/2024
LED (will vary in appearance)May need a customised shield (luminaire specific)POA - Quote provided before customer proceeds
Luminaire type - Energex owned lightsShield typeCost 2023/2024
Flowerpot and Flowerpot - nostalgia style (may also be dark green heritage colour)Internal baffle shield (durable device inserted to control light spill)$215
Visor glare shield - rear facingPre-shielded semi cut-off visor$272
Drop bowl/dish (semi-cut off)Adhesive shield (black adhesive tape applied internally)$246
Flat surface - AeroscreenCustomised shield required (luminaire/location specific)>$1,500 - Quote provided before customer proceeds
Replacement of existing decorative street light luminaire with LED aero screen low glare luminaireLess glare for affected residence$999
Replacement of existing minor road street light luminaire with LED aero screen low glare luminaireLess glare for affected residence$447
LEDClip-on major road LED luminaire glare shield (Phillips Road Flair BRP391, 392 and 393 models only)$200

If you meet the self assessable criteria and choose to proceed with your request, please email council and include photos.

Note: this self-assessment does not automatically indicate a glare shield will be approved.

If your request is approved, council will send you a form to confirm the suitability of the glare shield on the light, along with a form to arrange payment.

This information is also available as a fact sheet (PDF, 430KB).