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Are your neighbor’s lights too bright?

| May 29, 2020 | Neighbor Disputes |

Your neighbor is worried about someone breaking into their cars at night. To prevent it, they install bright lights over the driveway, which they turn on every evening.

While you can see that the lights are a deterrent to crime, they also shine brightly right into your bedroom window. It’s essentially light pollution, and it instantly impacts your quality of life. Is there anything you can do?

You may be able to. Experts call this “light trespass” and it often leads to disputes between neighbors. Both feel that they have a right to their own point of view. Since it impacts each person differently — maybe their windows are on the other side of the house, so the bright light is hidden from them in a way it is not for you — it can be hard to consider it on equal footing.

One thing to think about is that your neighbor may not realize how bright and obnoxious the light is, especially if it’s not spilling into their bedroom every night. The first step is just to mention to them that, while you also want to prevent crime and you’re glad that they’re safety-oriented, you think that the light is too much. When you bring it up, they may agree to change the bulb, move the fixture, add a cover or take other steps to cut back on the light pollution you’re facing.

Of course, that’s a best-case scenario. They may just tell you that they can put whatever light they want on their house and refuse to change. If this happens, you must know what legal options you have and what to do. An attorney can help you understand how to take the next step.