Author Topic: Senior home light behind my house  (Read 505 times)

Tye Paez

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Senior home light behind my house
« on: December 31, 2017, 03:29:41 AM »
There's a small senior home behind a small amount of trees next to my house. The lights from the windows and whatnot aren't annoying, but there's some sort of spotlight or whatever on the right side of their parking lot. Recently a lot of trees between us and them have been cut, and with the leaves gone the light shines directly onto my property and blinds me a lot while I'm observing.

My parents have basically told me that all efforts to ask them to shield it, etc. are futile because it's a senior home (they've gotta keep their residents "safe") and it's not shining in our windows (so we have no legal grounding). Is there anything I can do to get that light to stop shining onto our property without having to have an annoying screen or shield two feet in front of me all the time while observing?



galpaydabta

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2018, 08:59:06 AM »
Maybe if you offered to buy a shield for it, and installed it, they would be amenable to reducing their "Light Trespass" on your property.

My mom lives in a "senior home" setup in Connecticut too. Her place is lit up so that the old folks don't fall and break bones. Safety concerns rule.

handthedemo

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2018, 11:17:07 AM »
Quote
There's a small senior home behind a small amount of trees next to my house. The lights from the windows and whatnot aren't annoying, but there's some sort of spotlight or whatever on the right side of their parking lot. Recently a lot of trees between us and them have been cut, and with the leaves gone the light shines directly onto my property and blinds me a lot while I'm observing.

My parents have basically told me that all efforts to ask them to shield it, etc. are futile because it's a senior home (they've gotta keep their residents "safe") and it's not shining in our windows (so we have no legal grounding). Is there anything I can do to get that light to stop shining onto our property without having to have an annoying screen or shield two feet in front of me all the time while observing?

I have a better idea, install a giant reflecting mirror and reflect all the light right back at them. Tell them, here, if you really think light makes you more "safe" then here's more of it!

Who decided to cut the trees? I find that horrendous that someone would do that. Don't put up a screen, buy some really tall evergreens and put them up as a natural barrier on your property and/or a large mirror to reflect the light back at them.

Why do people still believe this old myth that light makes you "safe"? Besides that, who'd want to mess with a bunch of people at a senior home anyway?

esrescioripp

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2018, 08:54:49 PM »
Quote
Maybe if you offered to buy a shield for it, and installed it, they would be amenable to reducing their "Light Trespass" on your property.

My mom lives in a "senior home" setup in Connecticut too. Her place is lit up so that the old folks don't fall and break bones. Safety concerns rule.

If they're afraid of falling and breaking bones that's going to happen in light too. In that case they should stay inside the home and not go outside.

I say the same things to college kids worried about their "safety." They have no business being outside at 2 and 3 am in that case. Leave the late nights to us professionals.

firorectve

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 04:23:58 PM »
Well, Augustus... (please take my comments not as a scolding to you, butjusta practical facts of life set of remarks...I've read you in the past and Ibelieve I know you mean no harm)

Realistically speaking, aside from all the 'what-ifs' and 'oughta-bees' some people toss out, like the kindly neighbor that when approached allows the intrepid astronomer to install a remote switch or remove/paint/etc their lamp or all these other dubiously propagandist feel-good tales one hears in threads like this, along with the gleeful, odiferocously antifarian speculation about near-fascist laws that would hopefully restrict their neighbors from using lights on their own property, or failing that. complaining that it "oughta be cuz like morally we're like in the like right like" (And of course, disregarding the hostile, borderline, or over-the-line illegal actions so many of them also provide as "snappy" retorts either without or to reminders of individual rights and the rights of property owners and rational suggestions of using a personal light shield instead of living all butthurt, in a shotgunned approach one-after-the other before otherise good-intentioned threads like this are usually shut down summarily for violating the ToS)...in all likelihood no.

In my humble (or not so humble) opinion, the best thing we can do is design and build clever, cost efficient, effective light shields that don't require us to sit "two feet" away to benefit from their use and so minimize our annoyance and maximize our enjoyment of the night sky. This generally means identifying one's current local light sources and potential new ones and designing one's light shield based on those "threats".

The best tarps in my opinion are the double sided, dark colored, (not turquoise blue!), near-opaque, rip-stop nylon tarpaulins one can purchase for a modest cost at Home Depot, Lowes, and other hardware/home improvement stores cost for a 20x12 ~$39

Another component of value is grommet sets. ie a box of grommets and a tool for punching and installing them. The little starter kits available at most hardware stores or wallmart or lowes or home depot are good enough for one tarp if thought out... ~$4 They're used to set grommet holes at specific locations on the tarp to help you repeatedly install the shield (or leave it up for an extended period) in an easy, controlled way.

Also, cheap ball end bungies, (about $-5 for ten) that are used the fasten the tarps to their frame by looping through grommetted holes..

Another is inexpensive guy wires and camping stakes from Wallmart and/or camping stores. I can't recall their cost, but they're
pretty darned cheap, and probably even cheaper at a camping store or online. If nothing else, I like to have them on the windward side to bolster that side of the shield from flexure in the wind.

And finally, I use plastic coated tomato stakes for the "frame", which in my case is incredibly primitive, since I simply use a large u-shaped area of stakes planted ~40" apart in the yard to support my tarps, which are just folded in half over the stakes, BUT far more often, pvc constructions are used, as are standard electrical conduit frames. None of these are terribly expensive and the results are well worth the trouble.

My shield is about 6-1/2 feet tall and wraps three sides of my area, (the fourth backs my own home) and it blocks 99% of the intrusions I face, which are in fact quite numerous, bright, and far nearer than many of the "like way intrusive" lighting I've seen/read about on many occasion from people plaintively complaining about their evil neighbors (one exception, the guy with the nextdoor apartment neighbor with the 500W spot. I'll grant that..his neighbor is evil )... however, not the one from the thread ~ two weeks about whose villian d'jour was 50-70 feet below and 200-300 feet away. give me a freaking break... I only wish my intrusions were that minor.. (that thread, btw got shut down due to the two or three streams of ToS violating suggestions of hostile illegal retributional actions, just as I've seen happen three or four times over the past few months) And which <strike>may</strike> will <strike>very likely</strike>most certainly happen here if another few jerks come along with suggestions about parabolic mirrors and how the old folk oughta stay inside where dey belongz..

PS&gt; no I'm not lumping your OP comments into that group Augustus. As I said good intention-ed....

Kyle Styles

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2018, 03:55:25 AM »
Not enough is known in this case to offer anything but advice on using tarps. Complicating the discussion is the fact that the OP is not the owner or renter of the property being trespassed upon. The good news for the OP is that in a few years it will be feasible to choose a better place from which to observe if any still exist by then.

That said, if I owned the house, and the senior home cut down trees, leading to light trespass, I would definitely approach the owners of the senior home about the situation. They're being thoughtless, not necessarily malicious, and should be approachable. I would not tell them that I am an astronomer, as that is not the issue here. There would be ways for them to light their property without lighting mine, and the residents would have enough light to see by, safely.

There might even be some laws, codes or ordinances requiring a buffer of trees between a business (senior home) and a residence.

The thread from a few weeks ago about the four spotlights was interesting. I was going to suggest placing smaller, individual tarps closer to the lights in order to block some of the light closer to the source, but the thread was shut down before I could post that.

Nathan Roberts

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2018, 06:05:05 AM »
Quote
Quote

Quote

There's a small senior home behind a small amount of trees next to my house. The lights from the windows and whatnot aren't annoying, but there's some sort of spotlight or whatever on the right side of their parking lot. Recently a lot of trees between us and them have been cut, and with the leaves gone the light shines directly onto my property and blinds me a lot while I'm observing.

My parents have basically told me that all efforts to ask them to shield it, etc. are futile because it's a senior home (they've gotta keep their residents "safe") and it's not shining in our windows (so we have no legal grounding). Is there anything I can do to get that light to stop shining onto our property without having to have an annoying screen or shield two feet in front of me all the time while observing?

Who decided to cut the trees? I find that horrendous that someone would do that. Don't put up a screen, buy some really tall evergreens and put them up as a natural barrier on your property and/or a large mirror to reflect the light back at them.
Evergreens would either be too expensive or take too long to grow. A giant Mylar reflecting mirror.... where would I get that?

<p class="citation">caveman_astronomer, on 14 Nov 2017 - 11:58 AM, said:<a href="https://www.cloudynights.com/index.php?app=forums&amp;module=forums&amp;section=findpost&amp;pid=8212942" rel="citation">[/url]<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote built" data-author="caveman_astronomer" data-cid="8212942" data-time="1510653516">

Not enough is known in this case to offer anything but advice on using tarps. Complicating the discussion is the fact that the OP is not the owner or renter of the property being trespassed upon. The good news for the OP is that in a few years it will be feasible to choose a better place from which to observe if any still exist by then.

That said, if I owned the house, and the senior home cut down trees, leading to light trespass, I would definitely approach the owners of the senior home about the situation. They're being thoughtless, not necessarily malicious, and should be approachable. I would not tell them that I am an astronomer, as that is not the issue here. There would be ways for them to light their property without lighting mine, and the residents would have enough light to see by, safely.

There might even be some laws, codes or ordinances requiring a buffer of trees between a business (senior home) and a residence.

Hmm, I'll try looking up ordinances to see if there's anything. My parents have basically shrugged off the issue with "well, there's always going to a dark site a few times a year", "we're not suing", and "it's not shining in the windows so we don't care".

Another problem with the light is that it doesn't just illuminate my yard, but also the tops of the trees, which it bounces off of. Forgot to mention that.

EDIT: Have looked through zoning, ordinances, etc. with no luck. Seems our city regulates everything BUT lighting.

buddderpdrivla

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 12:24:08 PM »
Quote
....

A giant Mylar reflecting mirror.... where would I get that?

.....
If there were a Radio Astronomy forum, its denizens could probably provide some useful tips on that. I've always wanted to build such a mirror to see if I could use it during the day to make popcorn.

Kenneth Brown

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 05:51:14 AM »
Hoping to get this in before the lock occurs...

Some of the suggestions of reflecting the light back at the perpetrators may look good on paper, but in the end are kind of impractical and probably wouldn't have the desired effect anyway. And really, do you want to be "that guy"?

I live in a suburb where most of my neighbors and the city officials believe that stadium lighting on every street is a good thing and there will be no remedy for me short of erecting some sort of personal, local barrier. My plan is to build a portable PVC frame with a tarp to block the light in my viewing area. It will only add a few minutes to my setup time and will be effective. As hobbyists, we should be accustomed to setting up stuff, preparing for the nights viewing, etc... a few more minutes of setting up a barrier isn't going to kill the session.

Sure, the best solution is astronomy friendly lighting ordinances, but the bulk of the population doesn't give a rip about my hobby.

Many will disagree with me... but if we refuse to adapt on a personal level, where does that leave us? A full time war, with no real chance to win...

Keep looking up!

CB

stimtinpaso

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2018, 07:00:17 AM »
@ Augustus: You should talk to the senior home's management. What have you got to lose? You may expect a "No" answer, but you may be pleasantly surprised if they say "Yes". Perhaps you could arrange something whereby you could telephone their Front Desk on your Astronomy observing nights, and they could switch the offending light(s) off for you for the duration of your observations? On 3/4 of the nights (when it's too cloudy), they could leave their light(s) on.

"Do. Or do not. There is no try."(Yoda)

Mike Brown

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2018, 01:09:19 PM »
We all need to accept the fact that people have a right to light up their property in a manner sufficient to provide for their comfort and safety at night. We can debate what that means, but there it is. I wish people were more considerate of the nighttime environment, but most don't give it a second thought.

Step one is approach the senior home to see if they are open to you installing a shield to cut back on the glare that is impacting your quiet enjoyment of your property. Nobody likes light shining directly in their eyes, which is why we put shades on lamps in our homes. Outside lights are really no different. If you explain it that way, they might be open to it. Let them know if they have objections after the shield goes in, you'll keep working with them until everyone is satisfied.

If that doesn't work, then start looking for code violations or erecting privacy barriers.

That's been my experience with light polluters in my area. Your's may vary.

Daniel Horton

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2018, 01:54:50 PM »
Reflecting/shining light back at the polluter is fun to talk about, but would probably only trigger a lighting arms race, which only the polluter can win and increases light pollution for everyone.

ramapali

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2018, 04:44:17 PM »
Quote
A giant Mylar reflecting mirror.... where would I get that?
Folks, retaliation will only bring more escalation of the problem; and it possibly might be unlawful to do this! CN definitely does not recommend nor allow such acts to be suggested. Please refrain from this type of suggestion(s), in the future.

vojbuohautes

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2018, 06:25:36 AM »
Quote
If they're afraid of falling and breaking bones that's going to happen in light too. In that case they should stay inside the home and not go outside.
Really? So we can push for darkness in our hobby, but in order for us to enjoy it, people should just stay inside the rest home &amp; not go outside, for our benefit? That's a great solution, rather than working with the home to get more efficient lighting.

Chad Shepard

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2018, 10:38:00 AM »
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&gt;snip&lt;
Is there anything I can do to get that light to stop shining onto our property without having to have an annoying screen or shield two feet in front of me all the time while observing?

No.