Light nuisance

The council can investigate complaints about outdoor lighting and take action to address incidents which are assessed to be a ‘statutory nuisance’.

The following can cause artificial light nuisance if not maintained or used properly:

  • domestic and commercial security lights
  • sports facilities, including floodlit football pitches
  • decorative lighting of buildings or landscapes
  • laser shows and light art

Statutory nuisance laws don’t apply to artificial light from:

  • street lights
  • airports
  • harbours
  • railway premises
  • tramway premises
  • bus stations
  • public transport operating centres
  • goods vehicle operating centres
  • lighthouses
  • prisons
  • defence premises, including army bases
  • premises occupied by visiting armed forces

When looking into complaints about light nuisance, we can assess the following:

  • whether it interferes with the use of a property
  • how it’s likely to affect the average person (excluding unusual sensitivities)
  • how often it happens
  • how long it lasts
  • when it happens
  • the character of the area

There are no set levels of light which constitute a statutory nuisance. Unwanted light shining into your property (sometimes called light trespass) is not considered when assessing nuisance.