Planning queries

The information below is the latest best practice guidance developed by and provided for industry. Unfortunately BCT does not have the resources to get involved in individual planning cases that may involve lighting and bats, therefore we cannot respond to these type of enquiries either by email or over the phone. However, because of this we have compiled comprehensive guidance to support concerned members of the public in taking the appropriate action to protect bats. Please visit our general lighting webpages for more information and to download the planning and development advice pack.

NEW 'Bats and Artificial Lighting in the UK' Guidance Note GN 08 / 23

The Institution of Lighting Professionals (ILP) has launched the latest practical guidance on considering the impact upon bats when designing lighting schemes, produced by the 'Bats & Artificial Lighting at Night' steering group (see below).

This updated document can be downloaded free from the ILP website:

The document was also previewed at a technical symposium event on Tuesday 28th February 2023. The event covered the major changes, presented by steering group members, and online content to three sessions from the day (detailed in the symposium link above) can be purchased as CPD here:

The ILP and BCT would like to thank everyone involved in the steering group and the technical symposium event for all their hard work and considerable expertise that has made this work possible.

'Bats and Artificial Lighting at Night' steering group

Formed in July 2020 to begin updating the Institute for Lighting Professionals (ILP) 2018 guidance note GN 08 /18, the steering group (chaired by BCT) comprised members of the expert panel involved in the previous guidance as well as a range of practitioners from a cross sector of the lighting industry:

  • Jo Ferguson, Built Environment Manager, BCT
  • Peter Harrison, ex-Technical Manager, ILP
  • Guy Harding, Technical Manager, ILP
  • Cody Levine, Ecology Team Leader, Worcestershire County Council
  • Stuart Morton, Professional Head of Highways Electrical Design at Jacobs
  • James Miles, Technical Manager, Kingfisher Lighting
  • Bonnie Brookes, Lighting Consultant and Director, The Lighting Bee Ltd
  • Harry Fox, Principal Ecologist, Clarkson & Woods Ltd
  • Marcus Vongpraseuth, End User Marketeer UKI, Signify
  • Emily Bolt, Technical Services Manager (Systems Architect), UKI, Signify
  • Nick Smith, Lighting Consultant and Managing Director at Nick Smith Associates Ltd
  • Allan Howard, Director (Lighting), WSP
  • Specialist consultants:
    • Dr Emma Stone, Assistant Professor, Bat Conservation Research Lab, University of Bath
    • Paul Batchelor, Environmental Capability Lead – Lighting & Energy Solutions, WSP

Bats and Artificial Lighting Symposium 2019

In 2019 five years had passed since the first BCT symposium looking at the impacts of artificial lighting on bats and other wildlife. Therefore on 21st May 2019, BCT and their partners brought together experts from academia, the lighting industry and conservation to share their updated learning and experiences of best practice in terms of lighting and its impact on bats.

We were delighted to have Prof. Kevin Gaston ( Professor of Biodiversity & Conservation at University of Exeter as our keynote. Prof. Gaston is a natural scientist with in depth experience in leading, managing, and conducting basic, strategic and applied research on a range of environmental issues presently facing humanity, including the impacts of artificial lighting on a range of taxa and habitats.

The symposium then featured sharing of knowledge and best practice via a series of presentations. As with previous built environment symposia, we were looking for attendance from a diverse audience representing a cross section of the industries involved in lighting and wildlife within the built environment and encouraged networking throughout our breaks and lunchtime. PROCEEDINGS from this event can be downloaded free here.

Eurobats guidance on bats and artificial light (2018)

In October 2018 new Eurobats guidance on bats and artificial lighting was published. This was drafted by a panel of experts including BCT and uses the currently available research and knowledge to look at solutions to avoid, mitigate and compensate the negative impacts of artificial light. It is broad international guidance that complements the nationally drafted BCT / ILP guidance (above).

Download the Eurobats guidelines for consideration of bats in lighting projects

Superseded: bats and artificial lighting guidance note (2018)

The Bat Conservation Trust in partnership with the Institution for Lighting Professionals (ILP) and Clarkson & Woods ecological consultants produced practical guidance on considering the impact upon bats when designing lighting schemes in Sept. 2018. The guidance note superseded the previous 2009 guidance and went in-depth about lighting levels and colour temperature impacts on different bat species. It was intended to raise awareness of the impacts of artificial lighting on bats but also the potential solutions to avoid and reduce this harm.

Additional reference documents and websites:

Artificial Light and Wildlife Symposium 2014:

An interim guidance note was been produced following the outputs from the 2014 European Symposium.

Download the BCT Interim Guidance: artificial lighting and wildlife

Bats and Lighting: overview of current evidence and mitigation (2013)

BCT worked with researchers at the University of Bristol to develop a comprehensive overview of current evidence and mitigation for bats.

Download the Bats and Lighting: overview of current evidence and mitigation