Efficiency and energy saving are priority objectives for any modern society. The protection of the environment through public policies based on sustainable development is a duty as established in article 46 of the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia.

Artificial lighting is essential at night to achieve adequate living conditions in urban and rural areas. Also, it is essential in the realization of a large number of recreational, commercial or productive activities, being necessary to guarantee industrial safety in certain facilities

An erroneous lighting design in lighting installations produces light pollution, harmfully affecting the natural conditions of the night environment.


DECREE 190/2015, of 25 August, of development of the Law 6/2001, of 31 May, of environmental ordination of the lighting for the protection of the nocturnal environment.

The purpose of this decree is to regulate the characteristics of lighting installations and appliances with regard to the light pollution they can produce. Law 6/2002 establishes the corresponding criteria.

The purpose of this Decree is to regulate lighting systems to protect the environment at night:

  • Maintain the natural clarity of the sky as much as possible
  • Avoid light pollution
  • Prevent negative effects on natural spaces and the urban environment
  • Improve energy efficiency, promoting energy and natural resource savings


Areas of application

The territory of Catalonia is divided into four types of protection zones, depending on the vulnerability of the night environment to light pollution.

Maximum protection

Areas included in the lighting regulations for Zones E1:

  • Areas included in the Natural Interest Area Plan (NIEP)
  • Natura 2000 sites
  • Beaches, coasts and shores of non-continental waters, not integrated into population centers or consolidated industrial centers
  • Areas in which the competent environmental department approves

High protection

Areas included in the lighting regulations for Zones E2:
  • Areas classified as non-developable land, outside the E1 zones.
  • Areas in which the competent environmental department approves

Moderate protection

Áreas incluidas en la normativa de iluminación para Zonas E3:
  • Areas classified as urban or developable land (except areas that are zone E1, E2 or E4)
  • Spaces of intensive use during the night due to high mobility of people or their high commercial or leisure activity, located on non-developable land, which the municipalities propose as such and the competent department in matters of environment approves.

Minor protection

Areas included in the lighting regulations for Zones E4:
  • Urban land of intensive use during the night due to the high mobility of people or its high commercial or leisure activity.
  • Spaces that are less than 2 km from an E1 zone cannot be classified as zone E4.

The design of outdoor lighting must prevent light pollution and promote energy savings and use:

  • The amount of light must be adapted to the needs so that only the right one is used to carry out the activity you want to develop normally.
  • The light should be directed only to the areas to be illuminated.
  • The light must be kept off when no activity is carried out in the place to be illuminated, except for safety reasons.
  • Lamps of high luminous efficacy that emit mainly in the area of the visible spectrum of long wavelength must be used, provided that the functional requirements of the place to be illuminated allow it.


Schedule of uses of lighting

Night or night hoursEvening hours
Time slot between 23 hours UTC (coordinated universal time) until sunrise. In zones E1 and E2, outside the urban area, the night time starts at 22 hours UTC.

Time slot from sunset until the start of the night schedule.



Type of technical documentation

The format of the technical documentation will depend on the size of the light installation and the protection zone in which it is located.

In the case of outdoor lighting installations with a total luminous flux exceeding 100 klm located in zone E1 and those with a total luminous flux exceeding 500 klm located in E2, E3 or E4, it must be presented in the form of a technical project.

The rest of the lighting installations require technical memory.


Allowed features and maximum levels

The lamps to be used, depending on the hours of use and the area of protection against light pollution in which they are located, are the following:

Protection zoneEvening hoursNight schedule
E1Type IType I
E2Type IIIType II
E3 and E4Type IIIType III

Type I. Lamps having less than 2% radiance below 440 nm, within the wavelength range between 280 and 780 nm. In the case of LEDs, they must have less than 1% below 500 nm and predominant wavelength above 585 nm.

Type II. Lamps having less than 5% radiance below 440 nm, within the wavelength range between 280 and 780 nm. In the case of LEDs, they must have less than 15% below 500 nm.

Type III. Lamps having less than 15% radiance below 440 nm, within the wavelength range between 280 and 780 nm.


The lamps must comply with the percentage of electromagnetic radiation established above. In the case of not being able to justify this percentage documentarily, lamps that emit light of color temperature equal to or less than 3,000 K are accepted as type II, and as type III lamps with color temperature greater than 3,000K and equal to or less than 4,200K.

In all cases, a type of lamp established for higher protection zones can be used.

All lamps installed in outdoor lighting must be of energy efficiency class A, A+ or A++ and comply with the mercury restrictions of European Union directives, with the exception of lamps installed in safety lighting, light signs and advertisements and in Christmas lighting.


Aid plan for unique local clean energy projects, including improvements against light pollution in lighting

This program, with the aim of encouraging the energy transition, will subsidize 85% of the investment and 100% in the event that they are considered “integral projects” for their significant impact on the energy transition in the municipality.

The actions of the corresponding program are related in 5 measures. Among them, Measure 4 “Fight against light pollution, efficient and intelligent lighting, Smart Rural and ICT”, which includes actions and projects related to public lighting.

All subsidised street lighting renovations must reduce the light pollution of the surroundings with respect to the replaced lighting. When the action is carried out on the renovation of the exterior lighting, certain requirements must be met, including the color temperature in outdoor lighting will be a maximum of 3000 K for light sources.

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