Artificial light is essential in our modern society, to
illuminate streets, footpaths, sports grounds and buildings. It is
also used to provide security lighting and to enhance the
appearance of buildings at night.
Problems can be caused when the lighting is too bright or
inappropriately sited, thereby intruding into neighbouring
properties. This may interfere with a person’s right to enjoy their
own property. The most common example is a security light shining
into a bedroom window.
People considering installing lighting should ask a few
- Is lighting necessary?
- Can safety or security be achieved another
- Do the lights have to be on all night?
- Has the lighting system been designed for the task?
Control measures can be built in:
- For advice contact the Institution of Lighting
- Adjust the position and location so that the light only
illuminates the surface intended (do this at night so that you
can test it).
- Main beam angles should be less than 70o to
- Direct light downwards wherever possible.
Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, artificial light
may be a Statutory Nuisance if it has an unreasonable effect upon
the occupier of another property.
If you are affected by the intrusion of artificial light you may
wish to approach the occupier of the property, or the manager if it
is a business, and explain the issue to them. They may not be aware
that their light is causing an issue. If this is not successful, or
if you do not feel comfortable approaching the person yourself, the
Environmental Health Department can investigate the matter for you.
The investigating officer will need to know the source of the light
and how it is affecting you.