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Light nuisance

The insensitive use of lighting can result in problems. Light in the wrong place at the wrong time can be intrusive and there has been an increase in the number of complaints that we receive about light nuisance over recent years.

If you are bothered by a light source first approach the person responsible for the lighting and explain politely that you are being troubled by it, very often they will be unaware that a problem exists and a minor adjustment to the angle of the light, or an agreement reached about when the lights should be turned on or off may be all that is needed.

If an agreement cannot be reached with your neighbour we can deal with light that, in the opinion of an environmental health professional, is causing a statutory nuisance. If you contact us, make sure you have information about the source of the light nuisance and what you have done so far.

To be a nuisance the light has to be very bright, or switch on and off frequently, or move around frequently and be demonstrated to have an unreasonable impact upon your occupation of your home.

See further information about artificial light nuisances, including where the law applies and how light nuisances are assessed. 

What you should consider if you are installing security lights

If you are installing security lights:

  • use minimum wattage lamps. For domestic security lights 150W lamps are adequate

  • angle your lights downwards

  • correctly adjust your sensors so that they only pick up movement in the area intended

  • if using uplighting, install hoods or shields to reduce the amount of wasted upward light

  • do not install equipment which spreads light above the horizontal

  • for advice contact the Institution of Lighting Professionals

Some schemes associated with new developments require planning approval. The Planning Officer and Environmental Health Officer will try to ensure that problems do not occur.

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