Showcases: please switch off when leaving!

FIGARO DEMAIN – Despite the law, light pollution does not stop at night. And the alternatives have their limits.

It is a common sense reflex. Turn off the light when leaving a room. However, this practice adopted by thrifty minds does not always apply to the lighting of shops, signs or outdoor advertising. Keeping a shop on is one way to attract window shopper.

Also, several texts of laws taken from the environmental code are keeping an eye on the grain. In cities with fewer than 800,000 inhabitants, outdoor signs must be turned off between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. Showcases are subject to roughly similar rules.

Adaptations are planned for shops open at night, authorized to light a maximum of one hour after closing and one hour before opening. “All this does not apply to advertising panels or bus shelters of large distributors of », deplores Thomas Bourgenot, spokesperson for RAP (Resistance to advertising aggression), who calls for a return to paper advertising. “Real estate agencies, who often leave their advertisements informed, are also bad students.” The latter distinguishes large agglomerations, with incessant activity, from small towns where it calms down early. In the latter, to keep windows lit until 1 a.m. seemed absurd to him. Ditto for the city’s light infrastructure.

“Modify the existing law”

An opinion shared by Anne-Marie Ducroux, president of the National Association for the Protection of the Sky and the Night Environment (ANPCEN). The latter does not see the use of, whose white light is harmful to biodiversity and human health, or presence sensors as a miracle solution. “These are short term solutions. Under the pretext that LEDs consume little, we use more. All this material also raises the question of its origin, the ecological impact of its manufacture and our dependence on third countries. We have to think about light ecology in a more global way! ” she says. “Common sense is above all to turn off your lights at the end of the activity. Twelve thousand municipalities have understood this and enforce this rule, since elected officials have the right to adopt their own local advertising regulations (RLP). We have to wonder about the real usefulness of each light point. ”

On the side of the traders, we do not rise up too much in such remarks. But we are concerned about a bill that aims to regulate the use of signs placed behind windows. “We are able to hear, even share the ecological arguments on these subjects, says Julie Novac, president of e-visions, the national union of sign and signage companies, but we denounce this project which attempts to regulate the interior of businesses. An exterior sign is subject to taxes. Bringing an interior brand under a similar law would, in the long term, give rise to a new tax. If you want the windows to be extinguished sooner, it suffices to modify the existing law. No need to add more. “ As for the fine of 750 euros incurred by offenders who leave the light on, it does not seem very applied.


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