General Astronomy > Light Pollution Topics

Approaching neighbors about their bright light

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I have one neighbor nearby, a few houses down, that has a very intrusive glowing light that shines right in my own.  It's the only one that mars a relatively dark landscape (for a red zone anyhow).  I don't know them, never met them.  I am considering writing a letter to them explaining my plight.  I was not going to write my name or theirs, just use common terms as "neighbor".  Has anyone done this successfully?  What was your experience?  I looked up and it is a few elderly people, in their 70s.  I guess it does not hurt to try.

I would approach them in person, explain that you are an amateur astronomer and bright lights detract from your pursuit. Invite them over to view! Say that they couldn't have known and are not obligated, but you would appreciate if you could work something out. Most important not to put them on the defensive. My 2 cents.

Matt Gibson:
Rather than a letter, perhaps take the time to go & introduce yourself, and explain in person about the light. A letter unsigned would rather upset me, I'd wonder if someone might be watching me; but a personal visit would at least give each a chance to reach an agreement.

To me, an unsigned letter is rather cowardly.

Matthew Calhoun:
Walk over and talk to them in a neighborly fashion.

Being older folks they may actually like to be friendly with the neighbors, after all that was the normal way of living back in the day. Today, not so much.

Being nice is always the way to go. Sending an unsigned letter may just scare them more and force them to put up even more lighting for "added protection from the unknown unhappy person".
Or you could go over in the middle of the night, armed and dangerous and juice to the hilt and demand that they conform to your wishes.

Man, try using some common sense. Geesh!

Well, as I suggested in another post here a week or so ago regarding a light-polluting "neighbor"--a car dealership w/ bright lights on all night in that case--you might want to invite this elderly couple out for an (early) evening of star-gazing w/ you some night, so they can "see" what their bright light is doing to you there. Whether you should do that in-person, or by letter, I don't know, but again, think if these people that like to have bright lights on on their houses/businesses all night long could be made to experience what that does to someone who needs dark skies to pursue his/her hobby, then that's a better approach than just trying to tell them their light is bad, is not needed, is wasted light, etc., etc. Then if they refuse to come look thru your scope at night, then you can always revert back to some other approach, like complaining to them, or to city hall, etc.

Anyhow, wish you the best of luck in this--keep us posted on your progress?!


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