What is light nuisance?

Artificial light is essential in our modern society; however poorly designed, directed and maintained lighting can cause problems. Artificial light nuisance is a source of light which interferes with a person's use of their property or is prejudicial to their health.

Is light pollution the same as light nuisance?

Light pollution is any form of artificial light which shines outside the area it needs to illuminate including light which is directed into the night sky creating a sky glow. Although light pollution may affect the beauty of the night sky and our view of the stars, it is not a light nuisance unless it interferes with a person's use of their property or is prejudicial to their health.

How to avoid causing a light nuisance

  • do not fix unecessary lights
  • do not use excessively bright lights. A 150 watt tungsten halogen lamp is adequate. High power (300-500 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 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
  • speak to your neighbours to check your lights are not causing a problem

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

  • re-angle or partially shade the light
  • fit a passive infra red sensor
  • 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 that they are causing a problem and most will be glad to do what they can. If the friendly approach doesn't work, contact us to see how we can help.

If you are being disturbed by street lighting you will need to contact Gloucestershire County Council highways department on 08000 514514.