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Outdoor Landscape Lighting

Scottsdale ESLO regulations.

Single-Family in ESL


Exterior and Site Lighting Design Guidelines
Exterior lighting includes any lighting that is mounted outside of livable building areas such as in landscaping, parking areas, along walkways and paths, on the outside of building walls, under eaves and patio covers, under open shed covers and within 3 feet of the openings in buildings where the opening is not regularly closed (such as breezeways and entry courts.

Zoning Interpretation Regarding Exterior Lighting in ESL (pdf/282kb/2pp)

To achieve low scale requirements exterior lighting can either be:

  1. Low in physical height, i.e. mounted or placed generally below eye level (6 feet), or
  2. Low in lighting intensity, i.e. the maximum capacity of the lighting fixture is 50 watts for incandescent and florescent lighting sources, 25 watts for halogen, 10 watts for metal halide, and 1 watt for LED lighting sources.

To insure minimum light pollution, reduce glare and minimize light trespass onto neighboring properties – Exterior lighting is to be directed downward, recessed or shielded so that:

  1. The opening for the light is directed down, not sideways;
  2. The lighting source is hidden from view from off the property by the fixture design or by building structures such as fascia on an eave, walls, pillars, etc.; and
  3. The lighting fixture includes a device or feature such as vanes, louvers, fins, etc. that direct the light downward.

To eliminate light trespass:

  • Exterior lighting must shield the light bulb so it cannot be seen from residential development (properties zoned R or used as residential) or from public viewpoints.
  • Translucent and colored glass are not viable options unless the opacity fully blurs or hides the shape and nature of the light source.
  • Public viewpoints include public or private streets, public schools or parks, and any open space accessible to the public.


Generally Acceptable: Generally NOT Acceptable:

  • Soffit-mounted lighting;
  • Bollard lighting with opaque caps;
  • Fixtures with lenses of shield that focus lighting in one specific direction (with less than a 45 degree spread);
  • Light sconces that direct downward only or are placed under an eave; and
  • In-ground landscape lighting
  • Open bulb fixtures;
  • Fixtures with clear or nearly clear glass or plastic faces;
  • Fixtures with lenses that scatter lights; and
  • Flood lights


The following exceptions apply:

  1. Any exterior lighting that is visible only from properties zoned and used for commercial, office, industrial or utility purposes;
  2. Low voltage (12v  15 watt maximum) landscape lighting systems;
  3. Lighting located within a fully enclosed courtyard and placed below the height of the surrounding building or walls;
  4. Recreational facility lighting; and
  5. Security lighting that is activated by motion sensors, is on for no more than 15 minutes, and is located where it does not come on frequently due to regular outdoor traffic or activity.

The North Star Approach: Locally owned and operated in Scottsdale, Arizona, Todd Meyer and his team at North Star Outdoor Lighting have become a reputable leader in landscape lighting design and installation for residential and commercial properties. Our technicians are experienced and certified, with outstanding references.

Looking for fast, reliable, honest service? We provide our clients with truly professional outdoor lighting services and only use the highest quality lighting components in our systems from premium manufacturers and believe that lighting installation must be done in a timely fashion. No projects gets put on the back burner!

We understand the importance of a good reputation in this industry, and truly love what we do. We are proud to stand behind all of our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Our designers are FX Luminaire Designer Certified. FX Luminaire products come with a 10 year warranty. Their commitment to designing and fabricating the very finest components will bring you years of trouble free enjoyment in any FX lighting system, and we are proud to install only the highest quality for our clients.