Author Topic: Approaching neighbors about their bright light  (Read 627 times)

Rodinald Richards

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Re: Approaching neighbors about their bright light
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2018, 09:19:32 AM »
Great points all around. A lot I had not considered. Thanks for the input, I'm glad I asked on here before I pulled the trigger on just sending out a letter.

Daniel Horton

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Re: Approaching neighbors about their bright light
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2018, 11:55:03 AM »
Observing at home we have little control over the neighbors lighting, even if CCN&R's restrict or specify lighting design.
enforcement varies depending on location. Rural areas may be worse.

Absolutely worth talking to them about the lighting . Sure it may go wrong. But it may go right. Helps to know them a bit before talking to them about that.
Ive had mixed success . Tell them its a safety issue ,all the glare. You can't sleep,Kid can't sleep, see your TV , can't see pulling into driveway ect ect. Whatever. Most have little interest other than a glance up here to there.
Sharing some views with them may work .

A letter would freak me out if I got one, just saying.
Some I asked could care less, some complied and turned off the lights- and some forgot after a night or two.
Good luck!

James Holt

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Re: Approaching neighbors about their bright light
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2018, 09:51:51 AM »
You're welcome jtrezzo! We all wish you the best of luck in your quest for dark skies there in your neighborhood and glad we all were of some help!

-jim-

Nathan Harper

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Re: Approaching neighbors about their bright light
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2018, 01:51:48 AM »
I was in a similar circumstance a few years back. During the daytime I introduced myself I also brought them some fresh chicken eggs and a whole bunch of Astro pictures that I had printed out. I left them the eggsand pictures they thoughtastro thingwas really interesting and the lights changed direction. It's nice to get to know people in your neighborhood they even called me for help a few times.

redsfilrerig

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Re: Approaching neighbors about their bright light
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2018, 02:36:24 PM »
It's always a good idea to get to know your neighbors for more than one reason. That way you never have to resort to an impersonal letter.

Daniel Ferguson

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Re: Approaching neighbors about their bright light
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2018, 08:58:02 AM »
Quote
I have one neighbor nearby, a few houses down, who has an extremely intrusive bright light that shines right at me. It's the only one that mars a relatively dark landscape (for a red zone anyway). I do not know them, never met them. I am considering writing a letter to them explaining my predicament. I wasn't going to write my name or theirs, just use common terms as "neighbor". Has anyone done this successfully? What was your experience? I looked them up and it is a couple of older folks, in their 70s. I guess it doesn't hurt to try.


 "Good fences make good neighbors." -Robert Frost

explacgarco

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Re: Approaching neighbors about their bright light
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2018, 11:41:54 PM »
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Once they get a look through your scope with a nice dark surrounding they will understand more. You might offer a look see.

I think we have a winner! I agree.

Make friends, or catch them out for a walk. Invite them over for a look and an adult bevy. Then you can craft how you can work their light into the conversation. If they see how bad it is, they may work with you. I did this and my neighbor leaves her lights off. In fact, she said if she leaves them on and it bothers me to text her and she'll shut them off. Perfect solution and I made a new friend.

If only I could do this to the city's streetlight guy!

David Williams

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Re: Approaching neighbors about their bright light
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2018, 07:06:16 AM »
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Good points. I didn't really think of it that way. It was going to be a very nice letter though! I am generally not a very social person myself, so that was my reason for not wanting to go in person. I feel like I can elaborate and explain things better in a written context. Perhaps if I do write, I should use my name and extend an invitation in it to come view, at least to show I am being sincere and not malicious in any way.

I had been planning on building a big screen with an 8x10' black tarp and PVC piping anyway that can be moved in and out of my garage, I just figured it would be easier to see if they would turn it off first

From what I gather, your neighbor doesn't necessarily know that you are an astronomer expecting to benefit from the peaceful enjoyment of your own property. If you approach them, maybe they will be understanding and cooperative, or maybe the exact opposite. However, divulging your personal business to a total stranger, even if a neighbor, might not be in your best interest. So if a tarp will solve your immediate problem, I vote for that.

rotenoter

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Re: Approaching neighbors about their bright light
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2018, 05:27:32 PM »
Quote
Quote

Good points. I didn't really think of it that way. It was going to be a very nice letter though! I am generally not a very social person myself, so that was my reason for not wanting to go in person. I feel like I can elaborate and explain things better in a written context. Perhaps if I do write, I should use my name and extend an invitation in it to come view, at least to show I am being sincere and not malicious in any way.

I had been planning on building a big screen with an 8x10' black tarp and PVC piping anyway that can be moved in and out of my garage, I just figured it would be easier to see if they would turn it off first

From what I gather, your neighbor doesn't necessarily know that you are an astronomer expecting to benefit from the peaceful enjoyment of your own property. If you approach them, maybe they will be understanding and cooperative, or maybe the exact opposite. However, divulging your personal business to a total stranger, even if a neighbor, might not be in your best interest. So if a tarp will solve your immediate problem, I vote for that.
Yes, a tarp will do as an "observatory".

I have a semi-portable "observatory" that takes me all of 15 minutes to put up. When the moon gets full it goes back in the garage. The neighbors don't even get to see my telescope (though a few have looked through it on occasion).

suppsilzuning

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Re: Approaching neighbors about their bright light
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2018, 01:41:11 AM »
As many have already stated, the letter is highly unlikely to have a positive result, no matter how well written. However, before any action is taken, including a personal introduction, be as prepared for a negative reaction as you are hopeful for a positive outcome. The "make friends" approach can also backfire depending on how deftly you are able to segue into the true intent of your friendship overture: the intrusive light. The puzzlement these neighbors may feel as to why a neighbor a few houses down is suddenly interested in them could be replaced by a determination that you are a disingenuous person- depending on how natural the situation plays out.

As a real estate investor I often have to introduce myself to neighbors that are trespassing on my property in some form or another (parking, just hanging out in the yard, etc). I am an introvert who has to pretend to be an extrovert. Over time I have learned to size up and gauge people by body language and have prepared myself accordingly. While my routine work is not analogous to your problem at all in terms of degree of trespass, I only mention it to stresstwo points:

1. Keep in mind the outcome is not only dependent on your own handing of the matter but also on this person's own maturity. That is an unknown variable.
2. Imagine what may go wrong (even if it goes right). Are you prepared for a curmudgeon to give you a dressing down? Are you prepared for a quid pro quo of watching his cats when he goes on vacation because, after all, he helped you out with that silly light thing? If you are unable or unwilling to deal withalternative scenarios then it's better not to proceed.

All in all, a tarp may take less energy.

Zachary Patterson

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Re: Approaching neighbors about their bright light
« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2018, 02:38:29 AM »
Quote
Ok, I have been thinking about this for just a few minutes and I have come up with this. It is not aimed at jtrezzo, but to all who may be in a similar situation and looking for answers.

So, lets put the shoe on the other foot.Lets say you are a nice person just looking up in the sky at stars and the such. But there is a person who doesn't know what you're doing out late at night with a telescope.

What would you like that person to do to you in order to resolve their concerns.
A. Call the cops and report you as a Peeping Tom. (investigation will start and your name will be on a police record as a suspected Peeping Tom)

B. Have their Lawyer write you a letter demanding that you not use the telescope within view of their house or legal action would be taken.

C. Shine a bright light directly on your viewing position so that you can't look into their windows.

D. Stop over one night and pretend that they are interested in what you're doing and show some interest in your hobby, only for the reason to determine what you are actually doing.You know, it may cause concern to see a person out in their back yard with a telescope at night, especially if all evidence of their activities are gone by morning light. It's kind of spooky!

Why don't YOU take the responsibility of your hobby and do what is right. Why not build an "observatory" of sorts, one that can easily be put up and taken down, so as not to alarm the people living close to you.

Did you ever think that these people with bright lights are just trying to protect their privacy from some stranger with a telescope. Maybe you are the scary one.

Any concerns this hypothetical neighbor might have are entirely in his head, whereas the light trespass he commits is a demonstrable disruption of the peaceful enjoyment of the property of another human being.

The scary one is the one who would use police, lawyers and floodlights to harass someone whose perfectly legal behavior is misunderstood. I think it is a dangerous precedent to have to explain one's legal and moral activities and essentially ask permission of a primitive in order to do them. This country is supposed to be better than that. We stopped burning witches several centuries ago.

/rant over

ertafsurpnant

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Re: Approaching neighbors about their bright light
« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2018, 03:52:10 AM »
Quote
As many have already stated, the letter is highly unlikely to have a positive result, no matter how well written. However, before any action is taken, including a personal introduction, be as prepared for a negative reaction as you are hopeful for a positive outcome. The "make friends" approach can also backfire depending on how deftly you are able to segue into the true intent of your friendship overture: the intrusive light. The puzzlement these neighbors may feel as to why a neighbor a few houses down is suddenly interested in them could be replaced by a determination that you are a disingenuous person- depending on how natural the situation plays out.

As a real estate investor I often have to introduce myself to neighbors that are trespassing on my property in some form or another (parking, just hanging out in the yard, etc). I am an introvert who has to pretend to be an extrovert. Over time I have learned to size up and gauge people by body language and have prepared myself accordingly. While my routine work is not analogous to your problem at all in terms of degree of trespass, I only mention it to stresstwo points:

1. Keep in mind the outcome is not only dependent on your own handing of the matter but also on this person's own maturity. That is an unknown variable.
2. Imagine what may go wrong (even if it goes right). Are you prepared for a curmudgeon to give you a dressing down? Are you prepared for a quid pro quo of watching his cats when he goes on vacation because, after all, he helped you out with that silly light thing? If you are unable or unwilling to deal withalternative scenarios then it's better not to proceed.

All in all, a tarp may take less energy.

The neighbor is responsible for his cats. He was also responsible for the light trespass. It's all on him, not you.

izweekwardmas

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Re: Approaching neighbors about their bright light
« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2018, 07:31:35 AM »
If it means less consternation and solves the intrusion, light shield (tarp) FTW. Just make it tall enough it covers above the dew shield.

Eric Castillo

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Re: Approaching neighbors about their bright light
« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2018, 01:16:29 PM »
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If it means less consternation and solves the intrusion, light shield (tarp) FTW. Just make it tall enough it covers above the dew shield.

My experiments are showing that the tarp can act as a giant dewshield.

suctoleshe

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Re: Approaching neighbors about their bright light
« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2018, 04:04:34 PM »
If you are on speaking terms with your neighbors, a tarp is a good conversation starter.
 " What the heck is that in your yard?"
  " It's a light shield to block your *@#& light when I'm looking through my telescope. You want a beer?"