External Lighting for Historic Buildings

Our historic buildings and monuments are often amazing feats of architecture and engineering. Many have been enhanced and brought to life at night-time with striking and subtle external lighting schemes. Some, however, have produced far more negative results by highlighting flaws and views of the structure never meant to be seen.

This guide outlines considerations to be made when deciding whether an historic building should be externally lit.


  • Introduction
  • General considerations
  • Types of lighting
  • Types of light sources and levels to use
  • Types of control systems
  • Environment, security and dark skies
  • Installation and maintenance issues
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • Useful addresses
  • Acknowledgements


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