We recently had the pleasure of serving an Atlantic Beach homeowner who was having an outdoor kitchen installed in their backyard – on the beach. They wanted to add outdoor lighting to the kitchen to ensure functionality but were dedicated to making sure it was sea turtle-friendly outdoor lighting. In addition to their outdoor kitchen, we were able to outfit their entire backyard with turtle safe lighting, including their deck and boardwalk.
Turtle Lighting Ordinance
In April of 2017, the city of Atlantic Beach enacted a sea turtle protection ordinance to avoid adverse effects of artificial lighting on sea turtle population growth. Ordinance 95-17-114 outlines turtle lighting requirements, including fixture and lamp regulations, as well as prohibiting campfires and motorized vehicles on the beach during nesting season.
The ordinance prohibits uplighting and floodlighting within the visibility of the beach. It also requires lights that can be seen from the beach to be low-wattage, long wavelength, or shielded with non-reflective interior surfaces. The idea is that the point source of the light is not directly visible. These regulations are important to the sea turtle population as too many lights can discourage a female turtle from nesting. Lights can also cause hatchlings to become disoriented and wander inland instead of out to sea.
Turtle Safe Lighting Solution
We were initially contacted about illuminating the new outdoor kitchen at this Atlantic Beach home. To accomplish functional kitchen lighting within the turtle lighting requirements, we provided amber-colored lamps for their sconce lights, which could be swapped out for white during the winter months.
The solution was well-received, and we were asked to provide additional outdoor lighting recommendations. We were pleased to expand our amber lighting design and install turtle-safe lighting for their deck and boardwalk. Our puck-style deck lights provide subtle lighting for just the right amount of light to not detract from the beach. Now the family can enjoy lounging outdoors after dark, or wandering down their meandering boardwalk to the beach, at night, in complete safety. All of this, without disrupting the turtle nesting season.
Beach House Curb Appeal
The Atlantic Beach turtle safe lighting ordinance does not mean homeowners can’t use curb appeal lighting on the street side of their home. Following the ordinance guidelines, the lights not visible from the beach are not regulated.
We took this opportunity to highlight each of the palm trees lining the brick walkway with uplighting. Additionally, we added path lights in the landscape beds between the trees. With a spotlight highlighting a Ligustrum tree on the opposite side of the driveway, the homeowners and their guests can safely make their way into the home or around to the backyard at night.
If you live on the beach or own a beach property and are concerned about our precious sea turtle nesting grounds, call our team for expert advice on turtle safe outdoor lighting. We’d be happy to point you in the right direction and are always ready to design, install or update existing lighting to meet turtle safety guidelines. Call today to learn more.