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Light pollution

If light pollution is causing you problems such as lack of sleep, we can investigate and take action if required. We also provide advice on preventing light pollution.

What is light pollution?

Light pollution is classed as any artificial light emitted from premises which is a nuisance or harmful to health.

Some premises require high levels of light and the legislation does not apply to them. They include:

  • Public service vehicle operating centres
  • Goods vehicle operating centres
  • Railway premises
  • Prisons
  • Bus stations.

What should I do if a light is affecting me in my property?

If you are upset by neighbours’ lighting, we encourage you to speak to your neighbour first. You could politely ask them to:

  •   move or partially shade the light
  •   fit an infra red sensor
  •   use a lower wattage bulb as they are much cheaper and more efficient.

What if I still have a problem?

If an informal approach doesn't work, we may be able to take action. For the light to be a nuisance it must be excessive and affecting you in your property - for example, if it illuminates your bedroom window.

Preventing light pollution

Many cases of artificial light nuisance can be solved through simple engineering techniques such as:

  • Reducing the power of the lamps and/or fitting diffusers to the lights. Low power 9-11W (600 – 900 lumens) compact fluorescent lamps are cheaper to run and provide adequate security lighting with reduced glare.
  • Installing movement detectors to ensure the lights only come on when needed. If installed, the detectors should be aimed to detect and light people on the property only. If they detect everything that moves, the light will switch on and off repeatedly and could also be a source of nuisance. We recommend that you purchase separate light and detector units. The detector can then be installed in the best position and correctly aimed to minimise unnecessary switching.
  • Ensuring the lights are correctly adjusted so they only illuminate the property where they are installed and not beyond the boundary. The aim of the light should be checked at night when the actual area being lit can be seen.
  • If after adjusting the angle and aim of a security light it is still affecting your neighbour, consider fitting a hood or shield to control and restrict light to the area to be lit.