Beachfront Lighting: Turtle Friendly Lighting Examples


Many beachfront properties use pole lights to illuminate high-traffic areas for safety, but often produce too much light in the process.

What does sea turtle friendly lighting look like?

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) developed a model lighting ordinance as a guideline to help coastal counties and municipalities in Florida develop their own local ordinances to protect sea turtles from the adverse effects of artificial lighting. However, not all coastal governments have adopted a lighting ordinance, and a number of those that lack the funding or political will to properly enforce the regulations.

As a result, there are still many important nesting beaches in Florida with high disorientation rates due to bright beach front lighting. By knowing what types of fixtures and bulbs to avoid, you can help to protect sea turtle hatchlings and other nocturnal beach-dwelling animals such as beach mice, frogs and shorebirds. When buying fixtures and bulbs for your beachfront property, remember the three golden rules: Keep it low, Keep it shielded, and Keep it long. See below for examples of good and poor beachfront lighting.

Examples of non-sea turtle friendly lighting:


This unshielded wall light, pathway globe light, pole light and marine wall pack are examples of poor lighting because they emit light in all directions and contain white bulbs. These lights produce much more illumination than is needed for safety and can cause hatchling disorientations.

Examples of sea turtle friendly fixtures:


All of these fixtures are sea-turtle friendly because they are directed downward, are low to the ground, and are shielded.

For more specific examples and brands of sea-turtle friendly lighting, visit FWC’s guide that provides examples of sea turtle-friendly lighting.

Examples of sea turtle friendly bulbs:


These bulbs are sea turtle-friendly because they utilize long-wavelength light (570 nanometers or longer), such as lights that are yellow, amber, or red in color.

Where can you buy sea turtle friendly lighting?

There are a number of sea-turtle certified lighting distributors available. Below is a list of distributors STC has worked with in the past. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

Sea Turtle Lighting Distributors
Lighting By Lavonne – Panama City, Florida
Sequel – Fort Walton, Florida, Pensacola, Florida and Mobile, Alabama
Synergy – Bradenton, Florida

Before and after retrofit photos

Below are before and after pictures of properties that STC has retrofitted in the past.


Bonnie by the Sea, Franklin County


Beach House, Walton County


Lighthouse by the Sea, Franklin County


The Crescent, Walton County

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