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Nuisance from artificial lights

A light nuisance is where a source of artificial light significantly and unreasonably interferes with a person's use and enjoyment of their property or causes harm to their health. This means that it must be more than an annoyance or simply being aware of the light source.

A good example of where we may be able to assist is if you are getting direct glare from a neighbour's light into a room in your property, or  where a bedroom is illuminated making it difficult to sleep or waking you up.

A number of other factors also need to be considered in determining whether an artificial light source is causing a statutory nuisance:

  • the time of day/night
  • the location e.g. urban/rural
  • the brightness and duration of the light source
  • the nature or purpose of the light
  • the level of light pollution and the area affected
  • the effect on the person/people affected.

The law exempts action for the following types of premises:

  • airports
  • harbour premises
  • railway premises
  • tramway premises
  • bus stations and any associated facilities
  • public service vehicle operating centres
  • goods vehicle operating centres
  • lighthouses
  • prisons.

How to avoid causing light nuisance

  • Do not fit unnecessary lights
  • Do not use excessively bright lights. A 150 watt tungsten halogen lamp is adequate; 300 or 500 watt bulbs are too powerful for domestic security lighting.
  • Do not leave lights on when they are not needed. Consider controlling lights with passive infrared detectors, ensuring that they are correctly aligned and installed. For a porch light that is going to be left on all night, a 9 watt compact fluorescent lamp is normally adequate.

What can I do about light nuisance?

Try to approach your neighbour for a chat about the problem. Try to keep things light-hearted and friendly and explain how the light is affecting you.

Politely suggest possible solutions to the problem such as:

  • re-angle or partially shade the light
  • fit a passive infrared sensor so that the light is not on all the time
  • use a lower power bulb.

You may find it difficult to speak to your neighbour, but research has shown that a direct approach has the best chance of success. Remember that sometimes neighbours are unaware they are causing a problem and most will be glad to do what they can, so it might help if you can show the neighbour the effect of the light from 'your side of the fence'.

Report it

If you have spoken to your neighbour about the light nuisance and this did not fix the issue you can contact us.

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