Artificial light is essential in our modern society, to
illuminate streets, footpaths, sports grounds and buildings. It is
used more and more 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
(a) Is lighting necessary?
(b) Can safety or security be achieved another
(c) Do the lights have to be on all night?
(d) Has the lighting system been designed for the task?
Control measures can be built in:
(a) For advice contact the Institution of Lighting
(b) Adjust the position and location so that the light only
illuminates the surface intended (do this at night so that you
can test it).
(c) Main beam angles should be less than 70o to the
(d) Direct light downwards wherever possible.
If you are affected by light pollution, you should approach the
person responsible to try to come to an agreement. If the lighting
is associated with a commercial premises, this person probably does
not know there is a problem. The Pollution Control Officer may be
able to mediate if your approach is not successful. If you contact
us, make sure you have information about the source of the light
pollution and what you have done so far. There are no specific
legal controls, although in the worst cases you could consider
common law nuisance powers. You will need to contact a Solicitor
for advice on this.
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. If you have concerns
about a particular proposal, contact the Planning Officer.