Most commonly reported complaints about lighting can be due to poor installation of lighting on commercial and domestic properties.
We encourage you to speak directly to the neighbouring business or residents and let them know their lights are causing problems for you. This approach often resolves the issue, because it may be as simple as changing the position or direction of the light. This may reduce the light's impact and solve your problem.
If you are a resident in an apartment complex, you may lodge an official complaint via the Owners Corporation or leasing agent - they will provide details of the dispute resolution process.
You may also want to try using the free services of the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria, who can provide advice on how to approach your neighbour.
Tips for home owners and businesses to reduce light issues
- Install timer or sensor lights to ensure lights are only activated when needed.
- Ensure lights are turned off when not required for safety or security reasons or when enhancing a night-time scene.
- When buying external lights, consider using warm white, lower brightness, light-emitting diode (LED) light globes that are less likely to impact neighbouring properties
- Wherever possible, direct light downwards, not upwards, to light the area. If there is no alternative to up-lighting, using shields will help keep spill light to a minimum.
- Locate lights as far as possible from neighbours and away from sensitive areas such as bedroom windows and living areas.
- Ensure that the main beam angle of all lights directed towards any sensitive place is kept below 70 degrees. Use light shields to help minimise glare and the impact on neighbouring properties.
- Avoid placing lights near a light reflective surface
- Use existing features such as trees to block the light entering neighbouring properties.
- Use specifically designed lighting equipment that, once installed, minimises the spread of light near to, or above the horizontal.
- Don't over-light. Less is more for your neighbours, the environment and your electricity bill.
Lights causing sleep problems
If the light is shining into a bedroom and this is preventing sleep or impacting your health, you may contact our Health team. You will be asked to complete a log of that shows how the light is impacting your health and our team investigate.
Make sure you write down:
- The amount of light being emitted
- How long the light is on
- The type of light. Lights that are there to protect the safety of residents may not be removed.
- The impact the light has had or may have. For example, the direct impact the lights may have on a person’s health.
If the log confirms that the light is unreasonable or a nuisance, we will approach the light owner to review the light. If the light is not visible within a habitable room (that is, a bedroom) we may advise you that the matter is best settled privately.