Light pollution is best described as excessive artificial light.
If a neighbour or business has installed artificial lighting that is causing excessive brightness in your home, we may be able to help.
We use the guidance in the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 to decide what kind of light is a nuisance and the action we can take.
The kind of problems that people usually report to us are about security lights from domestic or commercial premises and floodlighting. We can't deal with reports of light from:
- train stations
- bus stations
- public service vehicles
- public service vehicle centres, such as police stations or fire stations
You can report excessive light to us on our online form.
We don't accept anonymous reports. You'll need to tell us your name, address and an email address; in case we want to contact you.
You should also read the information below, before you fill the form in.
What action you can take
If you're having a problem with lights from your neighbour's property you should politely approach them and ask if they can re-angle the light, or use a lower power bulb. It might help if you show your neighbour the effect of the light on your home. They may not be aware of the problem and often this informal approach will resolve the issue.
If the problem continues you can report it to us.
What you'll need to tell us
You can't make an anonymous report to us. We won't share your name or contact details with the person or business you're reporting.
You'll need to provide:
- your name, address and contact details
- where the light is coming from
- what it is
- when it happens and how long it lasts for
- how it affects you
- anything you've done to deal with it
It would be helpful if you could upload any evidence such as a record of the times the light is a problem, photos or videos with your online form.
If we decide to take legal action we may ask you to provide a statement and attend court as a witness.
What happens next
When we receive your form we'll use the information you've told us to decide if we can look into the matter.
If we decide to investigate, we'll usually write to the person or business to ask them to resolve the problem to avoid any further action. We won't give them your name or contact details.
Depending on what you've told us, we may visit the area at the time you've told us the light occurs.
If we're satisfied that the light is a 'statutory nuisance', we can serve an abatement notice on the person causing the problem. The notice will state what the person must do to reduce the light pollution, and by when.
If they don't comply with the notice we can take legal action. If we decide to prosecute we may ask you to provide a witness statement and attend court. We'll tell you what's involved in this and support you through the process.
Advice if you're installing security lighting
Before going to the expense and effort of installing lights you should consider:
- is lighting necessary or could you use other security measures, such as locking a gate or screening an area with a fence?
- installing the right amount of light for the task
- adjusting lights so they don't shine into neighbouring properties
- not installing lights that illuminate horizontally