Sea turtle friendly lighting

LED Sea Turtle Lighting

What is Sea Turtle Lighting?

Sea turtle lighting refers to a set of rules the Florida Wildlife Commission has put forward in an effort to ensure lighting is “turtle friendly” in coastal areas where sea turtles are likely to exist and come out of the water. Female sea turtles lay eggs on the beaches. With artificial lights in highly populated areas, adult turtles can be discouraged from nesting. In addition, adult and hatchling turtles may become disoriented and travel inland where they likely die of dehydration or get hit by cars.

This can be alleviated to some extent by following guidelines set forth to create a more natural and less disorienting light source for sea turtles. These guidelines range from light technologies and wattages, color temperature, using indirect light sources, positioning away from the beach, and even timers to turn lights off when unneeded.

What lighting technologies and colors are approved?

  • Amber or red LEDs without filters. Nearly all aspectLED products are available in amber or red color options. If you don’t see the option on the site, please contact us – chances are we can custom build it. The official regulation on turtle friendly wavelengths is 580nm, making our yellow and red options fully compliant. None of our products use color filters.
  • Low pressure sodium with a maximum of 35W.
  • Very specific types of neon
  • Very specific types of custom coated fluorescent lights

Any and all bright white lighting types like metal halide, halogen, mercury vapor, incandescent, and fluorescent (with the above exception) are not permitted because they cannot create the correct light wavelength without a filter, and filters are not approved.

Where is turtle friendly lighting required?

The FWC states that all exterior fixtures on the seaward as well as sides of the building that are perpendicular with the shore, as well as any other (including inland pointed) sides of the building that are visible from the beach must be shielded, full cut-off, and downward directed. Exterior building sides not directly visible from the beach should still be downward directed only.

Are there any regulations on interior lighting?

No, but turtle glass must be used on all exterior windows visible from the beach. Turtle glass has a visible light transmittance value of 45% or less. It essentially works as a tint to minimize the light pollution on the beach.

What types of fixtures are outright prohibited from use?

  • Private balcony lights (defined as above the ground floor)
  • Pond lights
  • Up lights (landscaping, wall washing)
  • Dune walkover lighting
  • Tree strap downlights
  • Fountain lights
  • Any decorative lighting except for safety and security


Wall Sconces

Wall sconces can be mounted on beach side of structure on first habitable floor only, when fitted with amber or red LED. Must be wall mounted and downward directed.


Recessed In-Wall Step Lights

Our downward directed modern series recessed in-wall step lights can be wall mounted at a maximum of 12" above floor. They must be yellow/amber or red in color. Permitted locations include ground floor, second level, and pool deck. If on perimeter of pool deck, they must be pointed away from beach.


In-Ground Pathway lights

Our model AL-IG-PW fixtures may be mounted in-ground in parking areas, driveways, pathways, and pool decks. They must use yellow/amber or red LEDs.


Flexible LED Strip Light

Can be used in pool deck, steps, and bars. Must be recessed mounted to ensure light is directed down. Aluminum channel is permitted, and only yellow/amber or red LEDs are permitted.


Please note: these guidelines are merely paraphrased from the Florida Wildlife Commssion’s own guidelines. They are not guaranteed to be accurate and we recommend customers do their own research to verify the products they are using are compliant. aspectLED is not responsible for any losses incurred by this article.

Related Applications