Disturbances from artificial light

Artificial light is a fairly common cause of complaints and is generally the result of newly installed lights on domestic or commercial premises (buildings and/or land).

In order to be a Statutory Nuisance, artificial light would have to be intrusive. This means that the light would need to enter another property (which can include a garden) so that it makes that property brighter and prevents the occupant from doing things they would normally do or makes then change their behaviour. For example, the increase in light may prevent a resident from sleeping.

Similarly, if there is an uncomfortably bright light that is in a direct line of sight of an occupant so that they have to look away, change their property in some way such as purchasing more curtains or moving the position of their TV, then that may also contribute to the judgment that there is a Statutory Nuisance.

Typical sources of artificial light include new security lights or external lighting on blocks of flats to light pathways and car parks.

We are unable to investigate a distant ‘light glow’ such as from football stadium or other bright lights a long distance away which may interrupt a night view but do not intrude into a home.

If you are installing new external lighting, you can reduce the likelihood of causing complaints by following our advice:

  • Do not fit unnecessary lights – fully consider how many are actually needed for your purposes
  • Do not use excessively bright lights. Daylight type conditions are probably not required for your purposes
  • Realign or partially shade lights so they don’t shine directly into/onto a neighbouring property
  • Do not leave lights on when they are not needed. Control them with passive infra-red detectors
  • Speak to your neighbours to check that your installed lights are not causing a problem.

If you are experiencing regular problems due to artificial light then please visit our Before you report a pollution problem for information on how this problem can be resolved.

Shop signs

If you want to complain about bright shop signs that include moving advertising then please contact Planning Enforcement to see whether the signs have planning permission.