Local News

This idea's for the birds: Raleigh to dim building lights

Posted November 2, 2015 2:36 p.m. EST
Updated November 2, 2015 4:31 p.m. EST

Downtown Raleigh skyline

— Raleigh officials have agreed to turn off or dim non-essential lights in city buildings during the spring and fall to decrease the likelihood of migrating birds flying into the buildings.

The Wake Audubon Society documented bird deaths in downtown Raleigh from fall 2013 to spring 2015, and a few city-owned buildings were found to have a high rate of bird collisions, officials said.

The city plans to implement "bird-friendly lighting strategies" as part of its 2030 Comprehensive Plan, a long-range plan that covers energy conservation and wildlife habitat as well as neighborhood and economic development.

Under the new guidelines, non-essential lights will be turned off or turned down from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Lighting used for security or safety is exempt from the initiative.

Also, the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, which had the highest rate of bird collisions downtown, will dim or turn off non-essential lighting and decorative architectural lighting after 2 a.m., while the Raleigh Convention Center will do it after everyone has left after an event.

"It’s great to see our city staff take extra steps to protect birds," Lena Gallitano of the Wake Audubon Society said in a statement. "Protecting birds and saving money by turning out lights – what a fantastic combination."