Light nuisance

The Council has a legal duty to investigate complaints about light nuisance.

If you feel that you are disturbed by light nuisance then you need to report it.

We investigate light nuisance in much the same way as we investigate other kinds of nuisance, for example noise. When we receive a complaint we will try to find an informal solution to the problem but legal powers are available to tackle light nuisance. To determine whether the problem is sufficiently severe as to warrant legal action by the Council we consider the following:

  1. How long does the light problem last for when it happens; seconds, minutes or hours?
  2. How often does it happen; daily, weekly or infrequently?
  3. Does it affect someone's use of their house? The usual critical factor is whether it disturbs sleep.
  4. Is the noise malicious or does the problem arise from ordinary behaviour?
  5. Is the person who is complaining 'ordinary' or overly sensitive to the light?

It is unlikely that street lighting would be a light nuisance in law. There are also a number of sources from which light cannot be classed as a nuisance. These include anywhere used for transport purposes or where high levels of light are required for safety, such as:

  • public service vehicle operating centres
  • goods vehicles operating centres
  • railway premises
  • bus stations and associated facilities.

Report light nuisance

Security lighting

The majority of actionable light nuisance investigations relate to domestic security lighting. Advice and recommended installation methods to minimise light nuisance from security lighting can be found on the Institute of Lighting Professionals.