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Light nuisance

Light nuisance

Artificial lights are an essential part of modern life providing safety, security and general illumination.

However, insensitively designed or poorly installed lights can cause significant disturbance to people’s lives. Bright lights can be dangerous and anti-social, as they can dazzle motorists, shine into people’s homes and affect people’s ability to sleep.

Artificial lighting from premises could be a statutory nuisance if it unreasonably affects a person’s enjoyment of their home.

There are exemptions to the law for safety and security reasons, including:

  • airports
  • harbours
  • railway premises
  • tramway premises
  • bus stations 
  • public service vehicle operating centres
  • goods vehicle operating centres
  • lighthouses
  • prisons
  • defence premises

What we will do

Our officers will investigate statutory light nuisance complaints, and will need to observe the lights from within your home. Nuisance from security lights is normally worse in the dark, so observations will be carried out at night by two suitably qualified and experienced investigating officers.

If we agree that the problem is a statutory nuisance, we will serve an abatement notice on the person or people responsible. Fortunately problems associated with security lights are often remedied very easily and cheaply, as most issues arise when the lights are incorrectly positioned; column lights can be blown out of position by strong winds, or knocked by passing vehicles.

If you are being unreasonably disturbed by lights, or want advice about installing your own security lights please contact us:

Phone: 01246 345345


Find out more about the laws regarding light as a statutory nuisance in the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.

Last updated on 21 September 2016