We have the power to deal with issues relating to artificial lighting nuisance when it affects personal comfort and the use of your property. This does not include the general lighting of the night sky, or light simply spilling outside of the perimeter of the land in which it is installed.
Current guidance advises drawing your curtains/blinds when it is dark to prevent issues with artificial lighting.
What do I do if my neighbour's light is causing me a problem?
Try talking to them about it initially. They may be completely unaware of the problem it is causing you. Ask the neighbour politely to redirect the light to reduce glare onto your property.
What can I do to reduce the problems of light nuisance?
- Switch off lights when not in use, or fit a correctly set infrared sensor
- Use lighting designed to reduce spread of light
- Do not over-light your property. Keep lighting to a minimum which will also assist security by minimising shadow zones
- Restrict glare by ensuring the main beam angle is not directed towards the observer and is kept below 70°
- The higher a light is mounted, the lower the main angle beam will need to be to prevent nuisance and a direct line of sight into the lighting fixture
- Use low brightness bulbs/LEDs for all night use to illuminate porches
- Avoid using a single powerful floodlight to light a large area. Multiple lower power units will provide better coverage and are less likely to cause nuisance
The Institution of Lighting Professionals has also produced a useful light pollution advice leaflet. Visit the ILP website for further guidance.
What if my neighbour won't move or adjust their light?
The two options available to you are mediation or a formal complaint.
You can contact Ashford Mediation Service (AMS) who can contact your neighbour on your behalf requesting mediation. Mediation has successfully brought many neighbour disputes to a satisfactory conclusion through compromise on both sides.
Contact the AMS on 01233 663488 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If mediation doesn't work you can submit a formal complaint. However, please be aware that we cannot take action on lighting from:
- Harbour premises
- Railway premises
- Tramway premises
- Bus station
- Public service vehicle operating centre
- Goods vehicle operating centre
- A lighthouse
- Street lighting
Formal action shouldn't be taken lightly. The process can be lengthy and being in a protracted dispute with a neighbour can be very stressful. You may be asked to appear as a witness in the case so should be prepared to do so.
If you do need to speak to us please call 01233 331111.