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What is light trespass and why should you avoid it?

A form of light pollution, light trespass occurs when artificial light seeps into the boundaries of a neighbouring property and causes problems to people living and working in nearby buildings.

Light trespass can originate from both residential and commercial properties and create conflict between neighbours. An excellent example of light trespass is floodlights from a neighbouring property shining into the bedrooms and living spaces of nearby homes. This can have a detrimental impact on sleep and enjoyment of interior spaces.

There are several artificial light sources which can cause light pollution, but the most common are floodlights, security lights and decorative lighting on shop fronts and gardens.

Not only is light trespass annoying and a source of frustration for many people, it is also something that has legal implications for anyone found to be causing this form of light pollution.


What happens if you’re responsible for light trespass?

Local authorities are legally allowed to serve notices upon residents and commercial property managers who are found to be causing light trespass to other buildings. Failure to try and remedy the situation can result in hefty fines.

The only time that light trespass is allowed is in areas used as transport hubs such as bus stations and airports, harbours, prisons and defence premises and goods vehicles operating centres where special rules apply.

For everyone else that has had a complaint raised against them, steps must be taken to minimise the impact that your commercial or residential lighting has on neighbouring properties. Solutions can include changing the angle of security lights so as not to encroach on any nearby properties, installing sensor security lights that only operate during certain hours and minimising reflected light from windows by altering the colour temperature and wattage of external lights.

Solar lighting is also a good idea for anyone concerned by garden light trespass as many of the solar products available now come complete with sensors so that lighting only comes on if and when required. Many security lights now offer the ability to detect motion and will automatically shut off when none is detected, making them an energy-saving solution to reducing the impact of light trespass.

For more information on how to minimise light trespass and the best products for both residential and commercial properties, get in touch with the team at BLT Direct today. We’re always happy to recommend some suitable light sources to suit any illumination need.


Created by Steve Ellwood on 24th February, 2020


Steve Ellwood

Steve Ellwood

Qualified as an Electrician, founder of BLT Direct