Author Topic: Senior home light behind my house  (Read 124 times)

Kyle Wood

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2018, 01:54:43 AM »
Quote
Quote

>snip<
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.
The OP can probably reconfigure his tarps for better results. For any kind of semi-permanent tarp, much will depend on what his parents will allow and what the local ordinances are (and those ordinances can be WEIRD!)

Jason Pederes

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2018, 12:22:10 PM »
I am at risk of tripping or falling when I drag my tarps out to set them up or put them away. I have to stand up on a chair or ladder to complete the assembly. It's a two-way street folks.

There is that old saying, "Your freedoms end where my nose begins."

Michael Hobbs

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2018, 02:20:39 AM »
Quote
Quote

Quote

>snip<
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.
The OP can probably reconfigure his tarps for better results. For any kind of semi-permanent tarp, much will depend on what his parents will allow and what the local ordinances are (and those ordinances can be WEIRD!)
Take your pick, and take it with you.

Truth is to find your own ways around it, because it is NOT going away.
It IS going to get worse.

Maybe when Augustus begins driving, he can travel to darker sites and enjoy more.

Douglas Preece

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2018, 04:31:30 PM »
Quote
Quote

>snip<
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.
The OP can probably reconfigure his tarps for better results. For any kind of semi-permanent tarp, much will depend on what his parents will allow and what the local ordinances are (and those ordinances can be WEIRD!)[/quote]
Take your pick, and take it with you.

Truth is to find your own ways around it, because it is NOT going away.
It IS going to get worse.

Maybe when Augustus begins driving, he can travel to darker sites and enjoy more.[/quote]
Some of us would like to observe now, in our yards, that we pay for, without having to drive in order to observe at all.

olaralal

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2018, 08:32:45 AM »
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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....

That's not how it works. Property owners have rights sure, but not when their "rights" impact the health of others. I would be inclined to file a lawsuit if this didn't get resolved properly.

chionewssesu

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2018, 04:59:05 AM »
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<p class="citation">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.[/quote]
They've already proven to be too stubborn to work with. As I said in the above post, if it goes too far I'd be inclined to sue them and bring forth the dozens of studies showing the negative impacts on human health that light pollution has (including cancer.) Let's see how much money they are willing to part with in order to keep believing their myths that light keeps them "safe."

Aaron Romano

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2018, 09:38:11 AM »
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.

[/quote]
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.[/quote]
So you haven't talked to the people themselves? I think you should, because it seems like you care more about this issue than your parents do. But if you're a minor, you can't bring forth a lawsuit on your own, so that suggestion might not work for you in case they deny your request.

bescoldsearchroom

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2018, 11:30:41 AM »
Quote
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.

That part angered me more than the rest (which was bad enough.) Why would they cut down the trees? It's almost like they intentionally wanted everyone else to share in their polluted ways.

Nathan Roberts

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2018, 02:37:45 AM »
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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

I think the best argument one can make isn't for our hobby, it's for human health, something they should be concerned about. The best way to get people's attention is to show them how their own behavior impact's their own health.

Joel Russell

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2018, 02:00:35 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 think it is worth asking them, not least because they may not be aware that it is interfering with your hobby,
Let them know that it's not been a problem up til now, as the trees used to be effective at shielding the lights.

However, now that the trees have been cut back, you want to ask that they fit cut off shades that allows lights up as far as their boundary, but doesn't encroach on your parent's grounds.

As has been said, they have the right to light their own property, but they do not have the right to submit their neighbours to light nuisance.

inmactoopho

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2018, 03:50:56 AM »
Having some familiarity with the health &amp; safety and property usage codes commonly employed in many urban settings in the Northeast, let me point out some items of consideration typical of such codes.

Building usage, particularly in the instance of medical, recovery, and care facilities must meet a number restrictions. Many of the more progressive towns and often the state itself will require a certain level of exterior illumination for entrances, exits, driveways and parking lots associated with such facilities that remain "on" throughout the hours of darkness for emergency access and safety. These the surrounding private residents have no say in, or say over, and such lighting can not be curtailed.

The OP makes no mention of just who removed the buffering trees that protected his parent's residence from the offending light(s). However, whether the building in question was converted from a private residence to a care facility and especially if it is of new construction, it is typical that there be "green buffer zone" included on the site plan, this usually consisting of fencing lined with a tree break to assist in hiding the facility from its neighbors if sited in a residential area. Such tree-lined breaks surrounding the facility are to be maintained. Assuming that the OP lives in an urban community, it might be worthwhile to check into the town codes and with the building department by inquiring at the town/city hall regarding what the facility's site and building plans called for around the edges of its property.

Short of that approach, in my eyes the only logical approach for the OP would be construction of a small shelter in his own back yard.

BrooksObs

Christopher Patel

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Re: Senior home light behind my house
« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2018, 03:56:40 AM »
Quote
Having some familiarity with the health &amp; safety and property usage codes commonly employed in many urban settings in the Northeast, let me point out some items of consideration typical of such codes.

Building usage, particularly in the instance of medical, recovery, and care facilities must meet a number restrictions. Many of the more progressive towns and often the state itself will require a certain level of exterior illumination for entrances, exits, driveways and parking lots associated with such facilities that remain "on" throughout the hours of darkness for emergency access and safety. These the surrounding private residents have no say in, or say over, and such lighting can not be curtailed.

The OP makes no mention of just who removed the buffering trees that protected his parent's residence from the offending light(s). However, whether the building in question was converted from a private residence to a care facility and especially if it is of new construction, it is typical that there be "green buffer zone" included on the site plan, this usually consisting of fencing lined with a tree break to assist in hiding the facility from its neighbors if sited in a residential area. Such tree-lined breaks surrounding the facility are to be maintained. Assuming that the OP lives in an urban community, it might be worthwhile to check into the town codes and with the building department by inquiring at the town/city hall regarding what the facility's site and building plans called for around the edges of its property.

Short of that approach, in my eyes the only logical approach for the OP would be construction of a small shelter in his own back yard.

BrooksObs

Brooks, how about smart lighting? That is, the lighting only turns on when someone is out there. We've started to use that here in NY. I find it more progressive to reduce light pollution (especially because of health concerns), not to increase it

I believe NYC has a new plan in place for their smart LED lighting to reduce lighting by 50% after 11 PM in their skyscrapers and other buildings with LED lighting. Right now they operate at 70% all the time but as of Jan 1, that will be reduced.

He could also have his own small trees planted to act as a natural buffer (and trees also filter out air pollution and provide nice shade in the summer.) They aren't that expensive, I had a bunch of small 4 ft tall evergreens planted all around my property 10 years ago and now they are 10 ft tall or more and are better than any fence  No one can even see through them- they provide a real wall of green! Now that's real progressivism lol.