On October 18, 2023, a new lighting standard was issued in Chile that will reduce light pollution by placing stricter regulations on light-emitting sources. Chile has previously had regional dark sky ordinances in the areas of major astronomical telescopes, and this new standard is for the entire country.
Established by the Chilean Ministry of the Environment, the new Norma Luminica, formally titled Supreme Decree No. 1 of 2022, is a revision of Supreme Decree No. 43 of 2012 that expands the scope of regulations on light-emitting sources to the entire country of Chile. And not only does it protect the night skies for astronomical observations, but it also incorporates the protection of biodiversity and human health as environmental objectives.
The new Norma Luminica includes regulations on the brightness of industrial lighting, placing limits on the average light levels (luminance or illuminance) that emitting sources can produce. Similar limits are imposed on vehicular, pedestrian, and sports lighting. The new standard also promotes the transition towards the use of warm light by imposing stricter restrictions on the emission of blue light, including from LED sources. These restrictions will be implemented across the entirety of Chile with stricter regulations in Special Protected Areas, which include Astronomical and Biodiversity Areas. This requirement applies to vehicular, pedestrian, and industrial lighting, and it pertains to both new and existing light fixtures within Protected Areas, which encompasses all the major astronomical observatories in Chile.
More information is available here.
Top image: The band of the Milky Way galaxy stretches across the night sky above the SOAR telescope, located on Cerro Pachón in the foothills of the Chilean Andes. CTIO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/T. Slovinský