Jump to content


Photo

Big Street Light

  • Please log in to reply
28 replies to this topic

#1 Atl

Atl

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 501
  • Joined: 13 Apr 2012

Posted 14 November 2012 - 10:41 AM

I live back in the Arizona desert, but there is a main road about 1/4 mile away. There is a county street light over hanging my yard on one side. My house is the only house illuminated or even in the area...the road the thing stands on is my driveway. Without this thing I would live at a dark site. The seeing is good, but if I could turn that thing off it would be nice. Is there any way to petition the power company to turn this thing off? Has anyone had a similar experience?

#2 killdabuddha

killdabuddha

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1137
  • Joined: 26 Aug 2011

Posted 14 November 2012 - 11:04 AM


We have one at our driveway ending the cul de sac. Had a perfect chance to pull it down during Sandy but I didn't think of it til later. Neither can I reach it to cover it even temporarily. A good shroud and light baffle is all we can do for now.

#3 howard929

howard929

    Member

  • *****
  • Posts: 3739
  • Joined: 02 Jan 2011
  • Loc: Low End of High Ground

Posted 14 November 2012 - 11:15 AM

It's more likely then not that the light is there for the safety of anyone driving along that road and they won't turn it off. Having it moved might be an option but on who's dime?

Can you block it in some way? When I'm viewing from my front driveway, I move my SUV around so it's between me and the neighbors front lights and it does help.

#4 Maverick199

Maverick199

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 12544
  • Joined: 27 Feb 2011
  • Loc: India

Posted 14 November 2012 - 11:58 AM

You are one lucky dude to live at that place with only a light 1/4 mile away. Use a makeshift screen of sorts to block it. Here I am surrounded by lights. :(

#5 Paco_Grande

Paco_Grande

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1594
  • Joined: 14 Jul 2012
  • Loc: Free State of Arizona

Posted 14 November 2012 - 12:01 PM

If I was in your shoes, I know exactly what I'd do, I just can't suggest it here. :D

#6 JohnMurphyRN

JohnMurphyRN

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 290
  • Joined: 09 Sep 2012
  • Loc: Near St Louis

Posted 14 November 2012 - 01:26 PM

If I was in your shoes, I know exactly what I'd do, I just can't suggest it here. :D


exactly..

#7 csa/montana

csa/montana

    Den Mama

  • *****
  • Posts: 86525
  • Joined: 14 May 2005
  • Loc: montana

Posted 14 November 2012 - 01:30 PM

:shameonyou: Yep; let it pass. :grin:

#8 Mike I. Jones

Mike I. Jones

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3257
  • Joined: 02 Jul 2006
  • Loc: Fort Worth TX

Posted 14 November 2012 - 01:54 PM

Especially if it's hanging over your property line! Yes, I vote for the unmentionable solution. :)
Mike

#9 Atl

Atl

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 501
  • Joined: 13 Apr 2012

Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:12 PM

It isn't a quarter mile away...it is hanging over my front yard...and it is not on a road at all.

#10 dan_h

dan_h

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1984
  • Joined: 10 Dec 2007

Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:18 PM

At the very least ask them to put a shield on it. They might just accomodate you.

dan

#11 David Castillo

David Castillo

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1884
  • Joined: 09 Sep 2006
  • Loc: Carmel Valley, Ca

Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:56 PM

Folks in my small berg just painted portions of the lights to mask out the light that shined all night on their bedroom windows. Neither the town, nor the power company has said a word about removing the paint.
----
Dave

#12 gmussman

gmussman

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 225
  • Joined: 21 Sep 2012
  • Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio

Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:07 PM

Hi Atl, not sure if this is an option in your area, but I just contacted my utility for the same problem.

While they wouldn't turn the light off (or down, my second suggestion), they would install a shield behind the light called a "street shade" that blocked the light intrusion from the light. So, the light will still glow, but I won't see the really bright part that ruins my night vision. They charged me all of $45, which I was happy to pay.

This is definitely second best in terms of looking at the stars, but I think it will be much better than nothing.

I don't know when they'll get around to the install, but if it works well, I'll post pics here and on the light pollution form.

#13 *skyguy*

*skyguy*

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2028
  • Joined: 31 Dec 2008
  • Loc: Western New York

Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:58 PM

Get some M-80 firecrackers ... or the equivalent. Set one off near the streetlight at observing time and the flash will harmlessly shut down the streetlight for several hours. It works for me!

#14 DavidC

DavidC

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1393
  • Joined: 24 Nov 2005
  • Loc: Mesa, Arizona

Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:12 PM

I had the same problem about 3 months ago with an offending streetlight, and neighbors floodlights. I called the electric company and still have not seen or heard anything as of yet. So I changed my urban observing area to a large vacant field, now I've got a few streetlights over a quarter of a mile away, and no floodlights. That's better than a streetlight and neighbors lights glaring in my back yard. I block the distant streetlights with a folding table stood on it's side on top of my camper. Now at least I can see some DSO's.
David

#15 5u4

5u4

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 187
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2006
  • Loc: FL

Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:48 PM

Sure it isn't a light the previous owner of the house had the Electric Co. install on your service pole, not a county light? Are you being charged on your electric bill for it? If that's the case maybe you could have them remove it? You say it overhangs your front yard & driveway, it's not near a street & nobody's around but you. Either way that thing would've been history the first night I moved in.

#16 Atl

Atl

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 501
  • Joined: 13 Apr 2012

Posted 14 November 2012 - 06:08 PM

Sure it isn't a light the previous owner of the house had the Electric Co. install on your service pole, not a county light? Are you being charged on your electric bill for it? If that's the case maybe you could have them remove it? You say it overhangs your front yard & driveway, it's not near a street & nobody's around but you. Either way that thing would've been history the first night I moved in.


That is worth checking. I know none of my breakers will turn it off, but if I am footing the bill I should be able to turn it off.

#17 newtoskies

newtoskies

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1441
  • Joined: 15 Jul 2012
  • Loc: SE Ma.

Posted 14 November 2012 - 06:23 PM

hm, the street light in front of my house really does not bother me that much. Now all the other bright lights from the orphanage, shopping mall and the city...well those put out much more Lp than the dim light in front of my house.

God luck to you, and I agree with the others.

#18 GeneT

GeneT

    Ely Kid

  • *****
  • Posts: 12841
  • Joined: 07 Nov 2008
  • Loc: South Texas

Posted 14 November 2012 - 06:30 PM

If I was in your shoes, I know exactly what I'd do, I just can't suggest it here. :D


Ditto.

#19 GeneT

GeneT

    Ely Kid

  • *****
  • Posts: 12841
  • Joined: 07 Nov 2008
  • Loc: South Texas

Posted 14 November 2012 - 06:32 PM

If I was in your shoes, I know exactly what I'd do, I just can't suggest it here. :D


Ditto.


I also recommend that you talk to the county about this. They might move the light to another area further away. They also might arrange for an off/on switch that you could set when you are viewing.

#20 5u4

5u4

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 187
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2006
  • Loc: FL

Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:59 PM

When I was in the market to buy a house in the country several years ago, one of the houses I was looking at had a street light that the owner had the electric co. install on his service pole. It's wired directly to the transformer & there's no control except for the light sensor on top. I called the electric co. & asked them if they'd wire a switch so I could turn it on & off & they said no. I asked them about taking it down & never got a straight answer. I ended up buying a different house with no street light anyway.

#21 Meadeball

Meadeball

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 357
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2012
  • Loc: Midlothian, Virginia

Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:41 AM

Here in Virginia, Dominion Virginia Power will install a shield on a streetlight that's rented by a private party -- but only if the private party agrees to the shield. I had a similar situation at my old house, where a neighbor had the utility install a streetlight on an existing pole on the street beside their driveway. Apparently they weren't enamored with the shield idea because no shield ever got installed. I found I could knock out the light in 15-minute increments by hitting the light's photovoltaic sensor with my laser pointer. But that got old -- eventually I just oriented myself on a side of the house away from the streetlight. I don't live there anymore, so it's a moot point now.

#22 Tony Flanders

Tony Flanders

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11305
  • Joined: 18 May 2006
  • Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA

Posted 15 November 2012 - 05:29 AM

This whole discussion has a surreal quality. Whether the light was installed by the county or the previous owner, it was surely done at the request of the previous owner. People don't go around installing random streetlights in the desert far from any road!

It would be a shame if this light gets grandfathered into eternity despite the fact that nobody wants it.

#23 TexasRed

TexasRed

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 976
  • Joined: 17 May 2011
  • Loc: East Texas

Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:12 AM

This sounds like the sort of streetlight that power companies routinely provide as part of their service when running power to a rural location. They may be reluctant to do anything about it, but from your description, I have to wonder if anyone else besides you would ever report any malfuction of it to anyone.

When I first had power run to my rural home, the electric company told me a streetlight would be included. I told them not to bother because I would only shoot it out. They made a special note to omit the streetlight and warned me that they would not come back out to install one later without charging me for it. Everybody was happy. My nearest streetlight is on the other side of a hill over a mile away.

#24 FirstSight

FirstSight

    Duke of Deneb

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 9977
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2005
  • Loc: Raleigh, NC

Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:40 AM

Sure it isn't a light the previous owner of the house had the Electric Co. install on your service pole, not a county light? Are you being charged on your electric bill for it? If that's the case maybe you could have them remove it? You say it overhangs your front yard & driveway, it's not near a street & nobody's around but you. Either way that thing would've been history the first night I moved in.


That is worth checking. I know none of my breakers will turn it off, but if I am footing the bill I should be able to turn it off.


The light's location and configuration suggests that it came to be there via request of the previous homeowner, rather than as part of a general plan to install streetlights along your road. Nor is it surprising that even though the light came to be via the homeowner's request, no homeowner-accessible switch or breaker was installed; this is often true of automatic on/off lighting installed by power companies at the homeowner's request (quite why I don't understand, but it's true that this is a common practice).

If they won't remove it, perhaps you could offer to pay for the cost of replacing the fixture with a full-cutoff fixture now commonly used by a great many municipalities in new installations or upgrades of old installations. At the very least, you could get them to shield it; your complaint as phrased to them should be that it shines into bedrooms and interferes with sleep, not that it interferes with your astronomy habit (although you could coyly state that your daughter Cassiopeia in particular, is disturbed by the light).

#25 csa/montana

csa/montana

    Den Mama

  • *****
  • Posts: 86525
  • Joined: 14 May 2005
  • Loc: montana

Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:57 AM

Nor is it surprising that even though the light came to be via the homeowner's request, no homeowner-accessible switch or breaker was installed; this is often true of automatic on/off lighting installed by power companies at the homeowner's request (quite why I don't understand, but it's true that this is a common practice).



Very true. I also had a dusk to dawn yard light, which I requested of the power company, for them or a private electrician to install a shutoff switch; of which they said this was not allowed. However, they were very gracious to come & remove the light. The billing for the light at that time was around $5 a month.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics