Light Nuisance

What is Light Nuisance?

Light pollution is best described as artificial light that is allowed to illuminate, or pollute, areas that should never have been lit. The following will constitute a statutory nuisance under this act:

"Artificial light emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance"

Common sources of complaint about artificial light nuisance include:

  • domestic security lights
  • industrial and commercial security lights
  • sports lighting
  • car parks
  • commercial advertising

What to do if you are suffering from artificial light nuisance from premises

If you are concerned about light nuisance coming from a neighbour's garden, a local business or manufacturer, often the best way to deal with the problem is to go straight to the source.

Consider talking to the person or company responsible for the light nuisance and point out the problem. You may find that they are unaware that they are causing a disturbance. Remember we may all be guilty of creating a nuisance from light nuisance at some time without knowing it. The problem is not always one of inconsiderate behaviour.

When informal action is not possible or fails, you can report the matter to the Council.s Environment Protection team who will investigate the matter.  If an environmental health officer is satisfied that a statutory nuisance exists, a notice could be served on the person responsible for the light nuisance or, in certain circumstances, the owner or occupier of the premises.

How to Avoid Causing Light Pollution

  • do not fit unnecessary lights
  • do not use excessively bright lights, a 150 watt tungsten halogen lamp is quite 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 infra-red detectors, ensuring that they are correctly aligned and installed (for a porch light that is going to be left on all night, a nine watt compact fluorescent lamp is normally adequate)
  • when aiming floodlights make sure you only light the area that needs lighting (the aim of the floodlight can easily be checked at night when you can see the actual area being lit)
  • be careful not to put light onto other people's properties or into windows, as this can be very upsetting and a constant source of complaint.

For further information see the Home Security lighting page and also the Light Pollution leaflet in the downloads section at the bottom of the page.

I want to report a Light Nuisance

You can complete a nuisance report which you will find in the related content section at the foot of this page.  Alternatively you can contact:

The Environmental Protection Team
Tel: 01264 368000