Light Nuisance

What does the law say about Light Nuisance?

The Environmental Protection Act 1990, as amended by the Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act 2005, places a duty on the council to investigate complaints of nuisance caused by some artificial light sources. If light is found to be causing a statutory nuisance by affecting the health or materially interfering with the use and enjoyment of a neighbouring property then a legal notice may be served on the person responsible, requiring the abatement of the nuisance. Failure to comply with the notice can result in a criminal prosecution.

To report a lighting nuisance please click on the link on the bottom of the page under "Useful Forms".

Street lighting cannot be dealt with under Statutory Nuisance provision, as a street cannot be defined as a premise.

How to prevent light pollution:

  • For domestic security lights, use a 150W lamp.
  • Make sure the lights are illuminating only on your property
  • Motion detectors on security lights should be properly set up.
  • They should only pick up the movement of persons in the area intended and not beyond.

Some premises are exempt from the legislation, such as premises used for transport purposes and other premises where high levels of light are required for safety and security reasons, i.e.

  • Airports
  • Harbours
  • Railway premises
  • Tramway premises
  • Bus stations and associated facilities
  • Public service vehicle operating centres
  • Goods vehicle operating centres
  • Lighthouses
  • Prisons
  • Premises occupied for defence purposes

Useful Websites:

The Commission for Dark Skies
Guidance for the Reduction of Obtrusive Light