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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

Shield Request Process

There is a street light shining into my home. Can this be fixed?

The City of Portland Street Lighting Division assess shield request on a case-by-case basis. Each request is assessed at night to determine if there is an unreasonable amount of measurable light trespass, and whether a shield is warranted.

What is light trespass?

Light trespass occurs when spill light is cast where it is not wanted. An example of light trespass is when spill light from a street light or floodlight enters a window and illuminates an indoor area. Glare from LED street lights is not necessarily related to light trespass.

How do you determine whether there is an unreasonable amount of measurable light trespass?

Light levels are measured by an engineer at night. The engineer will visit the residence that submits the request and uses a light meter to measure the illuminance that crosses the public right-of-way shining onto a home and its windows.

When is a shield warranted?

Shield installation may be warranted if there is an unreasonable amount of measurable light trespass into a home.

In some cases, other solutions may be used to better alleviate light trespass:

  • Lowering the light arm
  • Tilting the light on the arm

In some cases, shields are not helpful:

  • Light glare
  • A shield will not alleviate seeing the light diodes from below

When is a shield not warranted?

It is a reasonable expectation to see light from a home or to see the light diodes when looking up at an LED street light. The objective of the City of Portland’s street lighting is to provide night-time visibility for navigating our travel ways safely. Shield installations are not warranted in cases that potentially compromise this goal.

Who can I contact for additional information about light trespass and shields?

Please contact City of Portland Street Lighting at streetlighting@portlandoregon.gov or 503-865-LAMP (5267) for additional information or to leave a comment. An online request can be submitted here: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/40884?action=UpdateItem&category_id=596

Please note:

Due to limited resources, the wait time for a shield assessment may be several months. The City of Portland’s Street Lighting Division appreciates your patience as we work diligently to process your request.