What is Light Trespass?
“Light Trespass is the poor control of outdoor lighting that crosses property lines and detracts from property values, ones enjoyment and use of their property, and their quality of life.”
Streetlights that are poorly designed or installed incorrectly can end up shining lights onto your property or your home.
This is known as light trespass – light that falls where it’s not intended, wanted, or needed.
An example of light trespass is when spill light or glare from a streetlight or floodlight enters a window and illuminates an indoor area.
For humans, exposure to bright light at night can interfere with natural circadian rhythms (i.e. 24-hour day/night cycle) by suppressing production of melatonin, the chemical that regulates sleep patterns.
Melatonin doesn’t just help us fall asleep; it has antioxidant properties, boosts the immune system, and regulates certain hormones.
Research has linked this disruption to sleep disorders, depression, obesity, breast cancer and more.
Light trespass is easy to identify. It occurs when unwanted light shines on our property or in our windows. When a bright, uncontrolled lighting installation occurs near residential areas, the tranquility of the nighttime environment is disturbed and the quality of life diminished. Light Trespass is the most common source of citizen complaints.
Light trespass or back lighting is where there is an excessive amount of light directed towards a residence.
Certain homeowners are particularly sensitive to light coming into their homes from streetlights and complain of sleep disruption, etc.
While typical luminaries do a reasonable job of controlling the light towards the residence, there have been complaints of excessive light trespass.
Fortunately, light trespass is easily controlled by using full cut-off fixtures and reasonable illumination levels.
Full cut-off fixtures keep the light down on the ground, where it is needed, instead of being cast to the side or in the sky, where it is wasted."
Mitigation may also require selection of different luminaries, repositioning luminaries or the addition of light trespass shields to block the light.
Shields for streetlights are available from every streetlight manufacturer although LCDOT may try to tell us otherwise. We didn’t ask for our yards or homes to be lit up like a parking lot or prison yard! We are simply requesting that the light shining in our direction be directed toward the ground where it belongs.