Artificial light

When a light is more than just light pollution or annoying it may amount to a statutory nuisance.

We may be able to assist if you are being substantially affected by artificial light, for example if you are getting direct glare from a neighbour's light into a room in your property, or where a light is waking you up.

A number of other factors also need to be considered in determining whether an artificial light source is causing a statutory nuisance:

  • the time of day/night
  • the location e.g. urban/rural
  • the brightness and duration of the light source
  • the nature or purpose of the light
  • the level of light pollution and the area affected
  • the effect on the person/people affected.

Some types of premises are exempt, such as, railway premises, public service vehicle operating centres and goods vehicle operating centres. Additionally, business premises that can demonstrate it, is using the best practicable means to reduce light nuisance. This may be used as grounds to appeal or as a defence if prosecuted.  

How to avoid causing light nuisance

There is guidance to reduce light nuisance. Factors to consider include:

  • Do not fit unnecessary lights.
  • Do not use excessively bright lights.
  • Do not leave lights on when they are not needed. Consider controlling lights with passive infrared detectors, ensuring that they are correctly aligned and installed.

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 such as:

  • re-angle or partially shade the light
  • fit a passive infrared sensor so that the light is not on all the time
  • 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 they are causing a problem and most will be glad to do what they can, so it might help if you can show the neighbour the effect of the light from 'your side of the fence'.

Report it

If you have spoken to your neighbour about the light nuisance and this did not resolve the issue you can contact us.