Light nuisance is artificial light that intrusively shines into someone's property. Light pollution is artificial light that falls outside of the area it needs to illuminate. We can only directly intervene in cases of light nuisance.
Light pollution is a more far reaching problem associated with modern living and requires policy initiatives from central Government.
Sources of light nuisance
Some of the most common sources of light nuisance are:
- Domestic security lights
- Commercial security lights
- Car park floodlighting
- Advertising/signage lighting
- Aesthetic building/landscape lighting
There are some sources of light nuisance that cannot be dealt with formally (rail and bus stations, prisons, public service depots, armed forces facilities) however we will be able to make an informal approach.
When does light become a nuisance?
Generally, light can be considered a statutory nuisance if it has a negative effect on you or your enjoyment of your home. The light would also have to be persistent and regular. A one off event would not usually be classed as a statutory nuisance.
The Environmental Protection Act (EPA) 1990 gives us legal powers to deal with light where it is defined as a statutory nuisance.
Light nuisance usually occurs as a result of security lighting. Simple actions such as changing the direction of the light, altering the location and sensitivity of motion detectors and thoughtful use of timers can often prevent undue nuisance. See the link below for practical advice on the installation of security lights.
Solving light nuisance problems
Light nuisance is often easily resolved without our intervention. You can either make a friendly approach the person responsible or, if you feel uncomfortable about making a direct approach, you can use an independent and free mediation service such as Mediation Buckinghamshire (based in High Wycombe, see link below for website)
More about neighbour disputes - using a mediation service.
Persistent light nuisance problems
If you are being disturbed by a persistent light pollution problem, or if you require further advice, please contact us.