||A survey of the luminance distribution of the nocturnal environment in Shanghai urban areas, which included 11 locations and 16 buildings, was made. The 11 locations could be categorized as commercial, administration, leisure or residential. The average environmental luminance of these was recorded. The authors identified the effects of excessive exterior lighting. The luminance was measured and subjective appraisals made of 16 buildings. The writers have developed an empirical formula for arriving at the brightness level rating for floodlit buildings and recommended corresponding working ranges of luminance.