Light nuisances

Light in the wrong place, at the wrong time, can be intrusive. Light pollution is artificial light that is allowed to illuminate or intrude on areas not intended to be lit. Light pollution and nuisance is a growing problem to many residents due to the large numbers of security lighting around domestic properties. This is classified a nuisance when it interferes with an individuals use and enjoyment of their home.

Before reporting a complaint, please to speak to your neighbour as they may not be aware of the light troubling you. You can politely request:

  • moving or partially shading the light
  • fitting an infrared sensor
  • using a lower wattage bulb


We can take a look at complaints of light nuisance. The light nuisance must be substantial (e.g. preventing you from sleeping) for us to investigate the problem.

You can email [email protected] so we can investigate. We may ask you to keep a diary or visit you.

We'll consider:

  • whether it interferes with the use of a property
  • whether it may affect health
  • how it’s likely to affect the average person (unusual sensitivities aren’t included)
  • how often it happens
  • how long it lasts
  • when it happens
  • whether it’s in the town or country


If we believe the light pollution is a statutory nuisance and the person responsible for it is unwilling to do anything about it, then we will serve an abatement notice. This is a legal document that we serve on the person responsible, owner or occupier of the premises. It requires them to stop the light nuisance and not allow it to restart.

Security lights

If installing a security light, consider:

  • the position of the light - avoid shining it directly at a neighbour's bedroom window
  • a low watt, low energy bulb. Some security floodlights are 500 watts but 150 watts is adequate for most situations - this will also help reduce your running costs
  • reducing the amount of time a light is on by fitting a timer, and if a sensor is fitted, think about the area covered by the sensor, so that it does not cause the light to come on more often than is needed
  • using a shield or hood so that the light is directed to the area it is intended for
  • if the area needs a light - sometimes lights can create shadows for criminals to work in

Last updated 03 January 2024