Jump to content


Photo

Well I did it....approached the neighbors

  • Please log in to reply
53 replies to this topic

#1 lamplight

lamplight

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2478
  • Joined: 18 Sep 2012
  • Loc: western MA, U.S.

Posted 01 November 2013 - 02:19 PM

finally approached my back neighbors who think they need to light it up like fenway park. they were semi agreeable to try some things like lower wattage bulbs, i called them back to explain thats not the issue, its the fact that the lights shine sideways at me(they are some nonstandard type fixure, they installed about 10 of them all over their backyard). I explained that their lights cast a shadow in our living room. they are in fact at the bottom of a hill behind our house, im about three-four stories above them which gives you an idea.. not to mention im about 1/2 an acre away. outside at night i could read by their lights.
i dealt with it all last winter muttering and using light shades.. as the leaves fell this year, my second observing, i realized i had to say something. its downright ridiculous. the conversaion had some good points : "let us see what we can do over the next few days".. whereupon i kept making the point about shining where you need it not into the sky... after a while she said things like "we all have to deal with something.." and "cant you add some living room shades?" . i explained then i do astronomy. they explained that they NEED this light. i pointed out you should be able to lightup your property as much as you want without shining it at me sideways, UP a hill, 1/2 acre away. they either didnt get it or want to. i maybe talked too much.. i can be quite a pita logical person and perhaps didnt need to argue so much as they DID say theyd look into it. I mentioned the parshield light shades of which i happened to have a couple. she seemed to hear that but im not sure. I just didnt want them to change to lower wattage as i explained that wasnt the problem exactly.

this is their place last winter. I now have some better, thicker 6' tall x 16' long canvas tarps ive hung , but just walking to get behind them is ridiculous i have to sheild my eyes its so blinding.

Posted Image

so i just went down and dropped the box off of two parshield shades at their house with a note to please use them, and if they need to buy some different ones id be glad to buy them.


BTW i got my shades at starrynightlights.com , and they were pretty expensive for what they were (about $50 for two shades delivered!). these neighbors have square lights of some sort, not the typical outdoor light. any recommendations on where to buy something more affordably? also starrynightlights took me literally about a MONTH to get them delivered. they were actually for a different neighbor but they finally took care of it without the need of the shields. i dont know whats going on with that business, it was my first experience there.

thanks for any tips on where to buy, or moral support. advise on how to deal effectively with people would probably be lost on me. :foreheadslap:

#2 bangbangexplode

bangbangexplode

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 37
  • Joined: 26 Sep 2013

Posted 01 November 2013 - 03:06 PM

I wish you the best of luck. The only thing you can do is remain calm and polite when talking with them about the problem. If they're smart and reasonable people you might be able to reach an agreement. Unfortunately most people don't even begin to understand the issue. Hopefully you can get through to them.

I wouldn't use your astronomy hobby as a defense, at least not a main one. If the lights are dusk to dawn (on all night) you should probably say that it interferes with your sleep or something. Inviting them over to observe may help if they are inclined to that sort of thing. If they enjoy what they're seeing they may notice how much of a problem their lights are for you and that can go in your favor.

Also look up lighting ordinances in your town / city. Many have a "light trespass" ordinance of some kind.

"cant you add some living room shades?"


This quote kind of makes me feel like they won't be very cooperative. Whenever I hear/read this sort of sentiment I always imagine myself playing extremely loud music all night long, and if people complained I would say "how about buying some earplugs?". Maybe you could say something like this to your neighbors but in a more polite manner.

#3 lamplight

lamplight

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2478
  • Joined: 18 Sep 2012
  • Loc: western MA, U.S.

Posted 01 November 2013 - 03:21 PM

sweet. it turns out that they are in clear and full violation of what i just found for our small city:

(1) All outdoor lighting shall have full cutoff-type fixtures (See below.) Cutoffs shall shield bulbs from visibility and may consist of internal baffles or reflectors or external panels or other mechanisms.
(a) General site lighting shall not exceed 90º, the horizontal plane of bottom of lamp fixture. No uplighting is allowed; parking, security and aesthetic lighting must shine downward.
(B) Spotlights used to illuminate buildings, signs or specific site amenities/features shall be targeted on such objects so as to prevent direct uplighting. Cutoffs shall limit lighting to a forty-five-degree angle above the horizontal plane.
© Upward search or spotlighting of the sky for entertainment or advertising purposes is prohibited.


good to know i have some backup if we cant get something amicable going.

thanks for the response!

#4 csrlice12

csrlice12

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10443
  • Joined: 22 May 2012
  • Loc: Denver, CO

Posted 01 November 2013 - 03:22 PM

Uh, truthfully, I wish my back yard was half as dark as yours.....and, unless they take the initiative to install those shades, you're out $50. It would have been cheaper to just throw together some light screens. It doesn't sound as if they'll be very cooperative. On the other hand, maybe order about 10,000 moths from somewhere......

#5 lamplight

lamplight

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2478
  • Joined: 18 Sep 2012
  • Loc: western MA, U.S.

Posted 01 November 2013 - 04:02 PM

the fact that its darker than your yard is completely irrelevant. i dont mind being out a reasonable amount of $ thats the whole point. i bought those light shields to give away in the first place to make peace. i dont want to cost people money but i dont want to be illuminated. sure you might settle for the darkness of my yard, but if you lived here and saw how ridiculous this was youd probably change your tune , since its a reasonable request not to be lit up like a baseball park with sideways lighting. . and further, now that they know about it, its just rude and ridiculous. and, totally illegal ;)

the tarps, hardware and cabling was maybe $100 all told and it works, but they have so much uplighting it lights up the 80' tall trees all around which i cant shield. that affects my viewing as well.. its quite dark around here when those lights are off.

#6 bluesteel

bluesteel

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 439
  • Joined: 24 Mar 2013
  • Loc: KILM

Posted 01 November 2013 - 04:44 PM

This quote kind of makes me feel like they won't be very cooperative. Whenever I hear/read this sort of sentiment I always imagine myself playing extremely loud music all night long, and if people complained I would say "how about buying some earplugs?".

I am going to have to remember this argument for sure! Best one I have heard of yet.
Wasn't there a hot sauce factory that has to install things to mitigate the smell? If the lawsuit goes through, and the smell must be mitigated, this could be the groundworks for using your own property without trespass of other people's "things", whether it be smell, light, noise, etcetera.

#7 bangbangexplode

bangbangexplode

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 37
  • Joined: 26 Sep 2013

Posted 01 November 2013 - 04:46 PM

I hate to admit it, but you should have probably offered to install the shields yourself. Yes, they are your neighbor's lights and are infringing on the enjoyment of your property. Clearly you are in the right, legally. However you have to look at it from your neighbor's point of view, as wrong as it is. Clearly you two do not see eye to eye on the issue. To him/her you're going onto their property demanding that they change something which they do not want to change. I think offering to install or paying for the installation of light shields would be a nice "gesture" to them, and it may win them over if you go about it the right way.

I know how you're feeling about this. Your neighbor has illegal lighting and YOU would have to foot the bill for it. But if you want the issue resolved I think this is the quickest and friendliest way to go about it. What would you rather be without? A small amount of time/money to install the shields or a backyard that is impossible for astronomy?

If all else fails you can go through the legal system. You are very fortunate to have a legal basis for your claim. This of course depends on the mechanism of enforcement, if any.

#8 bangbangexplode

bangbangexplode

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 37
  • Joined: 26 Sep 2013

Posted 01 November 2013 - 04:48 PM

This quote kind of makes me feel like they won't be very cooperative. Whenever I hear/read this sort of sentiment I always imagine myself playing extremely loud music all night long, and if people complained I would say "how about buying some earplugs?".

I am going to have to remember this argument for sure! Best one I have heard of yet.
Wasn't there a hot sauce factory that has to install things to mitigate the smell? If the lawsuit goes through, and the smell must be mitigated, this could be the groundworks for using your own property without trespass of other people's "things", whether it be smell, light, noise, etcetera.


You're right. It *is* trespassing. The problem is most people are afraid of the dark from an evolutionary standpoint and see light as GOOD. In most cases extraneous light has effects that aren't readily noticeable to the general public, whereas loud music and offensive smells do.

#9 vsteblina

vsteblina

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 510
  • Joined: 05 Nov 2007
  • Loc: Wenatchee, Washington

Posted 01 November 2013 - 05:30 PM

The first step to a light pollution ordinance is to check local codes on nuisance trespass.

Our county includes NOISE, SMELL, SMOKE as trespass items, but not light. Politically, it should be relatively easy to amend nuisance codes to include light.

After all it is your property.

Thanks god, my neighbors keep their lights off at night.

Now if I can just get the city of Wenatchee to do the same!!

#10 lamplight

lamplight

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2478
  • Joined: 18 Sep 2012
  • Loc: western MA, U.S.

Posted 01 November 2013 - 06:00 PM

I did offer to pay the full amount of any shades as i said already, so hopefully they will take me up on it!

i called the building inspectors office today and explained the situation that i was hoping to resolve myself.. but he did give me the name and address of who to contact via email in their dept. if i have to do that, thats all it will take for a "written" request and they'll check it out. hopefully won't get to that point, probably won't. they also said thud try keeping them off more often which I've noticed right away.. good sign.

#11 bangbangexplode

bangbangexplode

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 37
  • Joined: 26 Sep 2013

Posted 01 November 2013 - 07:31 PM

I did offer to pay the full amount of any shades as i said already, so hopefully they will take me up on it!


I'm talking about installation. They may be more inclined to cooperate with you if you either DIY or pay for them to be installed.

#12 lamplight

lamplight

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2478
  • Joined: 18 Sep 2012
  • Loc: western MA, U.S.

Posted 01 November 2013 - 11:56 PM

right, i can do that no problem too.. next time we talk ill mention that too, its not like we're through. but i have some good news.. theyve been shutting off the lights much more instead of leaving them on all the time.. at least the last two days since i mentioned it. this might be all the solution i need. there were no clouds tonight and the neighborhood was dark! very nice.. their lights came on briefly for motion detect when someone came home but that was no problem. i will have to call and let them know that has been perfectly good, if it can stay this way.

#13 GlennLeDrew

GlennLeDrew

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10508
  • Joined: 17 Jun 2008
  • Loc: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Posted 02 November 2013 - 05:13 AM

Follow-up by way of thanks for their kind consideration is a good and useful gesture, which should reinforce their good behaviour. You might mention that you're perfectly willing to help out with affixing shields if they would prefer to have those lights on. After all, you're not requesting that they be turned off; you don't wish to cause unnecessary disruption or deprive them of their right to employ reasonable illumination. And an invitation to come over for a look at the Moon or Jupiter could do wonders.

#14 csa/montana

csa/montana

    Den Mama

  • *****
  • Posts: 86110
  • Joined: 14 May 2005
  • Loc: montana

Posted 02 November 2013 - 10:12 AM

Follow-up by way of thanks for their kind consideration is a good and useful gesture, which should reinforce their good behaviour.


+1.

#15 herrointment

herrointment

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4370
  • Joined: 12 Mar 2011
  • Loc: North of Hwy. 64

Posted 03 November 2013 - 09:05 AM

An unexpected and terrific development.

Don't screw it up!

#16 Guy Noir

Guy Noir

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 246
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2005

Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:57 AM

they asked you to buy some shade for your windows so their light does not inter your house ... mmmh ... maybe rent some stadium sized speakers, pointed in their direction, play the "coming of the valkyres" at full blast every night, all night, and when they complain ... ask them to buy some ear plugs ... or even better, rent some of these giant chicken frying search lights they use for events, and shine them at their house ... tell them, you need this to feel safe, after all, no burglar will come to your house since they risk being incinerated by these lights ... and then ask them to buy some shades or curtains ...

#17 darknesss

darknesss

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 286
  • Joined: 05 Sep 2013

Posted 04 November 2013 - 07:46 PM

they asked you to buy some shade for your windows so their light does not inter your house ... mmmh ... maybe rent some stadium sized speakers, pointed in their direction, play the "coming of the valkyres" at full blast every night, all night, and when they complain ... ask them to buy some ear plugs ... or even better, rent some of these giant chicken frying search lights they use for events, and shine them at their house ... tell them, you need this to feel safe, after all, no burglar will come to your house since they risk being incinerated by these lights ... and then ask them to buy some shades or curtains ...

For the first part they'll just call the cops if someone plays music at night. Better play some annoying animal sounds like an owl.

#18 Kfrank

Kfrank

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1766
  • Joined: 20 Dec 2008
  • Loc: Northern Colorado

Posted 05 November 2013 - 11:57 AM

they asked you to buy some shade for your windows so their light does not inter your house ... mmmh ... maybe rent some stadium sized speakers, pointed in their direction, play the "coming of the valkyres" at full blast every night, all night, and when they complain ... ask them to buy some ear plugs ... or even better, rent some of these giant chicken frying search lights they use for events, and shine them at their house ... tell them, you need this to feel safe, after all, no burglar will come to your house since they risk being incinerated by these lights ... and then ask them to buy some shades or curtains ...

For the first part they'll just call the cops if someone plays music at night. Better play some annoying animal sounds like an owl.


Actually, it would be better to behave like a mature adult and not try to "get back at them".

Such an approach is simply CHILDISH.

#19 StarStuff1

StarStuff1

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3847
  • Joined: 01 Apr 2007
  • Loc: South of the Mason-Dixon Line

Posted 05 November 2013 - 02:00 PM

I was strongly tempted to take some mirrors and mount them on a simple wooden frame and reflect the light back to a particularly annoying neighbor's unshielded lights that are on all night long about 340 nights a year. But since the wife and I are moving to an even more light polluted neighborhood :bawling: next year why stir the puddin' here.

#20 bangbangexplode

bangbangexplode

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 37
  • Joined: 26 Sep 2013

Posted 05 November 2013 - 02:29 PM

they asked you to buy some shade for your windows so their light does not inter your house ... mmmh ... maybe rent some stadium sized speakers, pointed in their direction, play the "coming of the valkyres" at full blast every night, all night, and when they complain ... ask them to buy some ear plugs ... or even better, rent some of these giant chicken frying search lights they use for events, and shine them at their house ... tell them, you need this to feel safe, after all, no burglar will come to your house since they risk being incinerated by these lights ... and then ask them to buy some shades or curtains ...

For the first part they'll just call the cops if someone plays music at night. Better play some annoying animal sounds like an owl.


Actually, it would be better to behave like a mature adult and not try to "get back at them".

Such an approach is simply CHILDISH.


I'm pretty sure that was a joke.

#21 Kfrank

Kfrank

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1766
  • Joined: 20 Dec 2008
  • Loc: Northern Colorado

Posted 05 November 2013 - 03:19 PM

they asked you to buy some shade for your windows so their light does not inter your house ... mmmh ... maybe rent some stadium sized speakers, pointed in their direction, play the "coming of the valkyres" at full blast every night, all night, and when they complain ... ask them to buy some ear plugs ... or even better, rent some of these giant chicken frying search lights they use for events, and shine them at their house ... tell them, you need this to feel safe, after all, no burglar will come to your house since they risk being incinerated by these lights ... and then ask them to buy some shades or curtains ...

For the first part they'll just call the cops if someone plays music at night. Better play some annoying animal sounds like an owl.


Actually, it would be better to behave like a mature adult and not try to "get back at them".

Such an approach is simply CHILDISH.


I'm pretty sure that was a joke.


I'm pretty sure you just made my case for me!

#22 barasits

barasits

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 423
  • Joined: 12 Jun 2011
  • Loc: Chicago

Posted 05 November 2013 - 04:14 PM

The posts by Guy Noir and darkness were tongue in cheek, at least to me. CN has a tradition of lighthearted banter even when the thread is serious, and without the humor it would be a duller place. If you're unsure about the poster's intent, why not give them the benefit of the doubt. In any case, there's no need for personal attacks.

Geoff

#23 darknesss

darknesss

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 286
  • Joined: 05 Sep 2013

Posted 05 November 2013 - 06:20 PM

they asked you to buy some shade for your windows so their light does not inter your house ... mmmh ... maybe rent some stadium sized speakers, pointed in their direction, play the "coming of the valkyres" at full blast every night, all night, and when they complain ... ask them to buy some ear plugs ... or even better, rent some of these giant chicken frying search lights they use for events, and shine them at their house ... tell them, you need this to feel safe, after all, no burglar will come to your house since they risk being incinerated by these lights ... and then ask them to buy some shades or curtains ...

For the first part they'll just call the cops if someone plays music at night. Better play some annoying animal sounds like an owl.


Actually, it would be better to behave like a mature adult and not try to "get back at them".

Such an approach is simply CHILDISH.


I suppose you're right about this approach being CHILDISH. Some people might not even notice an owl. But when your windows are trembling from elephant roars at 1 AM you might rethink attracting wild animals from whatever nearest city that has a zoo with your lights.

#24 barasits

barasits

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 423
  • Joined: 12 Jun 2011
  • Loc: Chicago

Posted 05 November 2013 - 07:16 PM

I'm pretty sure that unshielded outdoor lighting attracts zombies. ;)

Geoff

#25 GeneT

GeneT

    Ely Kid

  • *****
  • Posts: 12632
  • Joined: 07 Nov 2008
  • Loc: South Texas

Posted 05 November 2013 - 08:51 PM

sweet. it turns out that they are in clear and full violation of what i just found for our small city:

(1) All outdoor lighting shall have full cutoff-type fixtures (See below.) Cutoffs shall shield bulbs from visibility and may consist of internal baffles or reflectors or external panels or other mechanisms.
(a) General site lighting shall not exceed 90º, the horizontal plane of bottom of lamp fixture. No uplighting is allowed; parking, security and aesthetic lighting must shine downward.
(B) Spotlights used to illuminate buildings, signs or specific site amenities/features shall be targeted on such objects so as to prevent direct uplighting. Cutoffs shall limit lighting to a forty-five-degree angle above the horizontal plane.
© Upward search or spotlighting of the sky for entertainment or advertising purposes is prohibited.
good to know i have some backup if we cant get something amicable going. thanks for the response!


How is this enforced, or what is the process to enforce these regulations?






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics