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General Astronomy >> Light Pollution

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kcgolden
sage
*****

Reged: 04/01/07

Loc: Austin, TX
Problem with neighbor's light solved, mostly new
      #5501896 - 11/03/12 01:21 AM

The house across from my back yard has one of those unshieldable, dual halogen, dawn-to-dusk security lights. It's a rental property and with various tenants, it's hit or miss whether they like to use their light or not.

But until now, the light has been off most of the time so I just sort of lived with it. That is until a week ago when a new tenant moved in and they've had it on ever since. Not only does it affect my observing, it shines right through my bedroom window as if some car headlights are pointed right at the window... I can't tell you how horrible it is.

I first called the city, just to verify the codes involved. Their policy prohibits light trespass, specifically stating that the light source itself cannot be visible above a fence line. This situation certainly qualified but obviously, I don't want my first contact with my new neighbor to come in the form of a demand letter from the city.

I decided to talk to them about it under the assumption they were as reasonable and considerate as most and they didn't prove me wrong. Rather than ask them to simply never turn it on, I thought I'd ask if I could just talk their landlord into letting me replace their light with one approved by the IDA. This to me would be most ideal since they won't be the last tenant to live there, even if they never turned the light on again.

Well, they refused to give me the landlord's number (I guess I understand where they're coming from). They also didn't shut off the light. BUT they turned it to face their wall instead of mine. While the light is brighter than I would like, there's no glare from it anymore. I believe I can live with it and it no longer robs me of half the sky.

I only hope the next tenant doesn't re-aim the light and I have to repeat the process all over again. Hopefully, I'll notice the next time the property is up for rent and talk to the landlord about replacing the light when it's vacant and the problem will be solved permanently.

But as of now, I can work around the re-aiming of the light so I am happy.

Just a glimmer of hope for anyone sitting on the fence about talking to your neighbors about a horrible light. Most people really are reasonable.

Edited by kcgolden (11/03/12 01:32 AM)


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Problem with neighbor's light solved, mostly new [Re: kcgolden]
      #5502185 - 11/03/12 10:47 AM

Glad your new neighbors worked with you. It never hurts to try talking with a neighbor first; most will be understanding & try to work with you, while still fulfilling what they wish. A few simply will not be accomodating at all.

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kcgolden
sage
*****

Reged: 04/01/07

Loc: Austin, TX
Re: Problem with neighbor's light solved, mostly new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5502255 - 11/03/12 11:39 AM

You pretty much have to be prepared for them to go their own way. If you think about it, it's actually a lot to ask someone to not use a light on their own private property. You simply must come ready with ideas that will work for both of you and no matter how much we think we "know" about lighting and security, it's not an easy subject to approach with someone without stepping on toes.

In this case, the re-aiming of that light gives them pretty much the same backyard illumination as they had before. I think it's way more then they need but at least it's not lighting up the inside of my house or the tops of my trees where I would be pointing my astrography equipment.

I am very greatful that they cooperated and sorry I had to meet them under these circumstances. I hope to make up for it by sending a nice thank you note and perhaps a gift certificate for some house warming item.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Problem with neighbor's light solved, mostly new [Re: kcgolden]
      #5502303 - 11/03/12 12:08 PM

Quote:

I hope to make up for it by sending a nice thank you note and perhaps a gift certificate for some house warming item.





How very thoughtful! Perhaps invite them over to look at the night sky with you, also.


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Jeff Smith
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/06/10

Loc: Chicago
Re: Problem with neighbor's light solved, mostly new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5543546 - 11/28/12 10:18 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I hope to make up for it by sending a nice thank you note and perhaps a gift certificate for some house warming item.




Great idea!
How very thoughtful! Perhaps invite them over to look at the night sky with you, also.




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stmguy
sage


Reged: 10/11/12

Loc: Western NH
Re: Problem with neighbor's light solved, mostly [Re: Jeff Smith]
      #5543596 - 11/28/12 10:44 AM

You probably can get the landlord's name from either a city GIS map or tax roles

Norm


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