Commissioners shine spotlight on minimizing adverse effects of artificial lights

Jun 21, 2021

The City of Rehoboth Beach Board of Commissioners approved a resolution at its June 18 meeting calling for all city-owned and leased light fixtures, primarily those in parks and on the boardwalk and streets, to be selected moving forward, as much as is feasible, to minimize adverse effects of artificial light, including skyglow, glare, and spill light or distribution of light in areas where it is not wanted or needed.

In addition to considering how light fixtures and supporting equipment meet character and aesthetics standards, the city will now, in replacing lights or installing new ones, strive to minimize skyglow and glare by using a color temperature of 3,000 or less Kelvin and reduce skyglow and light spill through use of shielding.

This action has been supported by the city’s Boardwalk and Beach and Environment committees as well as several citizens.

“While lights are an important tool in creating a safe, accessible, and attractive community, the negative effects of unintended lighting impact turtle and migratory birds as well as human sleep cycles,” says Mayor Stan Mills. “Not to mention unintended light effects increase energy costs and reduce the peaceful beauty of the night sky. I’m glad that we’re taking this small but significant step to help reduce negative impacts of artificial light.”

In other action, commissioners voted to maintain the city’s real estate tax rate at 0.06 cents per $100 assessed value. The adopted tax rate is for the tax year beginning July 1 and ending June 30, 2022.

Commissioners also certified the candidacy of four individuals running for two Board of Commissioner positions in the August 14 city election. Certified candidates are:

  • Timothy Bennett
  • Richard Byrne
  • Rachel Macha
  • Mary Sharp