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Neighbor's Floodlight - Happy Ending!

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#1 John Miele

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 07:54 PM

My neighbor recently installed a powerful floodlight on the corner of his house at least 150 watts if it was 1 watt! The light was pointed almost directly into my backyard telescope pier. It was literally blinding me. It's been this way for a couple weeks. At first I was angry. I mean can't that guy see the effects of the light? But I started thinking he probably just is not aware of where it is aiming. So today I saw him out front and started up a casual conversation about my hobby and asked him if would mind angling the light downwards and away from my telescope. I was afraid this would be awkward but he truly had no idea it was a problem. He said he "completely got it" and was very friendly. Event told me to let him know if he needed to adjust it more after his first try. I just checked tonight and the light is fixed! no problem at all. I am so relieved and happy this ended well. So rather than stew about it, go have a friendly talk with the neighbor. It just might go well!

 

cs...John


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#2 TikiTom

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 08:14 PM

Congrats!

 

Wish I could get this accomplished w/ two of my neighbors. They guy next-door installed a mega-light too. I can see shadows on my house of me and my gear. I have thought of taking a photo of the shadows to show him.

 

How exactly did you 'explain' it?

 

 

 

update:  his light fixture cannot be aimed, it is a big rectangular box....


Edited by TikiTom, 21 February 2021 - 08:16 PM.


#3 DrivingOnTheMoon

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 08:25 PM

Nice to have a happy ending.  My neighbor has a flood light that points towards my yard and shines through the slats of my fence.  I never ever noticed or cared until I was out there the other night with my new telescope.  It's funny, I had set up my stuff in the snow, well positioned with open areas of sky between house, and right as I'm getting the alignment ready, vwhoosh, the backyard is glowing.  



#4 Stellar1

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 08:30 PM

Glad that worked out for you, sounds like you have a swell neighbor!



#5 John Miele

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 08:31 PM

Congrats!

 

Wish I could get this accomplished w/ two of my neighbors. They guy next-door installed a mega-light too. I can see shadows on my house of me and my gear. I have thought of taking a photo of the shadows to show him.

 

How exactly did you 'explain' it?

 

 

 

update:  his light fixture cannot be aimed, it is a big rectangular box....

I just started by asking him if he had ever noticed me out back late at night with my telescope. I went on to say how I was a member of our club and I took photographs of the night sky. Then I said the new light was pointing more sideways than downwards and it happened to be accidentally aimed at my pier. Then it was like "if you don't mind, do you think you might be able to just angle it a little more downwards and to the rear of the year to reduce that glare". This was the critical point where he would either say go jump in a lake or sure...no problem! Luckily I got the latter reply!


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#6 godelescher

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 09:28 PM

It was literally blinding me.

That's not what literally means


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#7 PPPPPP42

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 09:38 PM

One of these days I will find a C band satellite dish that someone wants to get rid of and take a roll of highly reflective mylar to coat the inside and stick a lens where the receiver is mounted in the middle.  You could essentially turn their own light into a spotlight shining right back at them.

I like projects like that.  I suppose technically you could just build the parabola if you could work the angles out.

Just be careful where you point your death ray while the sun is up.


Edited by PPPPPP42, 21 February 2021 - 09:44 PM.

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#8 TikiTom

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 10:01 PM

I just started by asking him if he had ever noticed me out back late at night with my telescope. I went on to say how I was a member of our club and I took photographs of the night sky. Then I said the new light was pointing more sideways than downwards and it happened to be accidentally aimed at my pier. Then it was like "if you don't mind, do you think you might be able to just angle it a little more downwards and to the rear of the year to reducethat glare". This was the critical point where he would either say go jump in a lake or sure...no problem! Luckily I got the latter reply!

Unfortunately, his light cannot be aimed. It is similar to the picture below

.

I would have to figure out how to make something to fit over it, maybe. He put it in there after something got stolen. He said it will deter it from happening again. I thought of saying at 3am, nobody is awake (except for me), to see it.

Should have put in a camera instead. I thought of aiming a security cam his direction to help. The other neighbor is about 500ft away and has something similar that is almost painful to look at in the dark. I quietly mentioned it to him at a block party 2 years ago and he pretty much just dismissed me.

I am the newest guy in this rural 2 street neighborhood. (streets shaped like a y). 

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#9 aatt

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 10:14 PM

I had the same issue with a neighbor and they were great about it. I dreaded the talk, but it turned out fine. Some people are great and some not so much. Congrats on having a good neighbor. It is like winning the lottery if you have good people around you.

#10 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 11:20 PM

It's good to hear a positive outcome in a situation like this. 

Some of my neighbors who burn their carriage-style lamps all night are switching to incredibly bright LED bulbs which is making casual observing from my driveway increasingly difficult.



#11 csa/montana

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 11:46 PM

One of these days I will find a C band satellite dish that someone wants to get rid of and take a roll of highly reflective mylar to coat the inside and stick a lens where the receiver is mounted in the middle.  You could essentially turn their own light into a spotlight shining right back at them.

I like projects like that.  I suppose technically you could just build the parabola if you could work the angles out.

Just be careful where you point your death ray while the sun is up.

From the CN Light Pollution guidelines sticky at the top of the thread:

 

"It is not our place, nor our mission, to persuade people to turn off their lights or tell them what to do with their own property or business. We do not want to come across as some activists with a collective chip on our shoulders against people who don't share our love of stargazing."

 

What people do in private is their business, but please do not use CN to post how to retaliate against others.

 

Thanks!


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#12 teast

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 11:59 PM

I've often thought what we need is a nice little award or trophy we can give to those who are friendly and cooperative and willing to adjust their lights when asked. Local clubs might come up with something to give out in recognition. Maybe even get a little positive "PR" effort to go along with it. Local media coverage could be halpful.

 

Need a catchy name to go with it - "Shining Star Award" or something similar.  Just my 2 cents.



#13 John Miele

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Posted 22 February 2021 - 08:19 AM

That's not what literally means

 

blind·ing
/ˈblīndiNG/
Learn to pronounce
adjective
(of light) very bright and likely to dazzle or temporarily blind someone.

 

When you are in the dark and turn around and catch that light, this definition fit for the few seconds after looking at that light...the filaments were visible...but yea...I get your point...I can still see!


Edited by John Miele, 22 February 2021 - 08:32 AM.

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#14 John Miele

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Posted 22 February 2021 - 08:30 AM

Unfortunately, his light cannot be aimed. It is similar to the picture below

.

I would have to figure out how to make something to fit over it, maybe. He put it in there after something got stolen. He said it will deter it from happening again. I thought of saying at 3am, nobody is awake (except for me), to see it.

Should have put in a camera instead. I thought of aiming a security cam his direction to help. The other neighbor is about 500ft away and has something similar that is almost painful to look at in the dark. I quietly mentioned it to him at a block party 2 years ago and he pretty much just dismissed me.

I am the newest guy in this rural 2 street neighborhood. (streets shaped like a y). 

Tom,

 

That's a tougher situation to resolve. You might resort to using light shields around your telescope. I originally thought that is where I was headed, and even constructed a prototype light shield this weekend in case the request did not go well...

 

John


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#15 alphatripleplus

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Posted 22 February 2021 - 06:45 PM

It's great that you have an understanding neighbour. Perhaps he will be curious sometime, and ask to look through one of your scopes.smile.gif



#16 DSOGabe

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 10:41 AM

Nice to have reasonable neighbors. 



#17 Hax

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 05:11 PM

You should invite him over and blow his mind with some visuals some day!
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#18 brentwood

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 11:04 AM

When we first moved into our house and I was in the back using my scope, or neighbour would often switch his 150 W porch light on, flooding light all over our back yard, and leave it on, but never came out onto his deck. 

I eventually saw him in his yard and asked if he could maybe leave  the light off when he didn't need it?  I told him why his light put an end to my observation session. He laughed and said  he only put it on as he would see me fumbling around in the dark, and would put his light on so I could see what I was doing!laugh.gif  


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#19 csa/montana

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 11:11 AM

lol.gif  Well, he was being "helpful".lol.gif


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#20 Sam Danigelis

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 10:26 PM

Our neighbors across the street has high intensity LED lights on the front of their house. I refer to them as "Stalag 13." So, I endured it for a few months.

Then, we had them over to see Jupiter and Saturn in the driveway. They loved it. At this point, it was pretty natural to mention the effect that the lights had, as they could see for themselves. It helped that we were already good neighbors. You don't want this to be your first-ever conversation with your neighbor.
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#21 BRCoz

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 10:59 PM

The house next door to me (My house is on the corner) seem to turn on one of his three lights on when I setup my scope.  He was a jerk so I setup a light shield.  He sold the house and the new owner put up lights on the side of the house and flooded in between our houses.  It had two flood lights.  One was pointed at my bedroom window and the other at the street.  I asked him to point it away from the bedroom window and he laughed and said his wife is afraid to go in between the houses at night.  I won't even get into their 4 dogs barking all night.  So I had to go to the city.  I completed the complaint with photos from the bedroom window and from my driveway with the lights off and on to show the effect.  Well about a few weeks later the light was pointed down. He sold the house and got a divorce.  The new owners are really cool and loved it when I called him and his family over to look at comet Neowise.  

 

My city has this for a code:     a.   In all single-family residential areas, light should be shielded such that the lamp itself or the lamp image is not directly visible outside the property perimeter.

    b.   The maximum wattage for residential lighting shall be one hundred (100) watts incandescent or equivalent light intensity and twenty-six (26) watts compact fluorescent or equivalent light intensity, except for recreational courts.

 

I wish they had this when I moved to the city in 1985 because I could see the milky way from my backyard.  Now I am lucky to see all the stars in the big dipper some nights.  Bortle 8

 

 Glad it worked for you.  


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#22 tag1260

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 08:08 PM

When I approached my neighbor a couple of days later they called me over to show me the switch installed in a hidden spot for me to shut them off when I needed to.
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#23 Napp

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 08:56 PM

This, unfortunately, is my situation.  The neighbors' lights are the least of my worries.  There are more of these streetlights nearby, too.  We used to have much dimmer sodium bulbs in the streetlights.  But the homeowners association determined they could save a lot of money with LED replacements.  And my backyard is really sloped and filled with trees.  Notice the shadow from the streetlight.  What doesn't show in the picture is the sky glow from the local Super Target and Super Walmart.  Oh joy!  

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Edited by Napp, 26 February 2021 - 09:10 PM.


#24 James_5474

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 10:37 AM

This, unfortunately, is my situation. The neighbors' lights are the least of my worries. There are more of these streetlights nearby, too. We used to have much dimmer sodium bulbs in the streetlights. But the homeowners association determined they could save a lot of money with LED replacements. And my backyard is really sloped and filled with trees. Notice the shadow from the streetlight. What doesn't show in the picture is the sky glow from the local Super Target and Super Walmart. Oh joy!

Could always try to convince them to save more money by dimming the streetlights. Because we see whiter light better in the dark compared to the old HPS yellow, they can actually reduce the light output to have led illumination equivalent to illumination of the older bulb. (I don't know if anyone watches the Technology Connections guy on YouTube, but he has a video on this)
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#25 Napp

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 11:06 AM

Could always try to convince them to save more money by dimming the streetlights. Because we see whiter light better in the dark compared to the old HPS yellow, they can actually reduce the light output to have led illumination equivalent to illumination of the older bulb. (I don't know if anyone watches the Technology Connections guy on YouTube, but he has a video on this)

The association chose these bulbs for two reasons.  Less energy use and more light.  Unfortunately, there has been a rash of car burglaries in the city.  More light is seen as a preventative instead of just making life easier for the burglars.




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