(How to handle a neighbor’s light that keeps you awake.)

Folks ‘round here pride themselves in being good neighbors.  We watch out for each other’s places and, if anyone is ever in need of assistance, we all pitch in and help.  But there’s one thing that some of us are not so good at and that’s trespassing onto our neighbors’ property.  No, not physically intruding because everyone in Texas knows that can get you shot (or close to it).  But, unfortunately, there is a form of trespass that goes on around here a lot. While it’s not a shootin’ offense, it can be downright annoying.  It’s called light trespass. 

A lot of us moved out here to get away from the city and enjoy country living.  For many of us, part of that enjoyment consists of being able to sit back and enjoy our still wonderfully dark nighttime sky and the peaceful, rural countryside around us.

But, boy oh boy, it can sure be annoying when that view is destroyed by that one neighbor down the way who has a bright light that shines off his place and onto yours!  His light trespasses onto your property to your great annoyance and spoils both your view of the countryside and your enjoyment of the night sky. 

The thing about it is…that neighbor probably doesn’t have a clue that his light is bothering you.  But it is. His light is trespassing onto your property and you just plain don’t like it.

But have you said anything?  How does he know?  If you’ll just mention it to him, you’ll probably discover that he had no idea that his light bothers you and he will be most eager to correct it, especially if you offer to pay for it.  That’s what good neighbors do. 

If you have a light of your own that you’re not sure about, just go out at night and stand on your property line.  If you can see the direct light coming from the fixture — oops!  — that light is shining off your property and is probably trespassing onto someone else’s place.  Whether your neighbor mentions it to you or not, go ahead and do the right thing – shield the light or reposition it so it shines down and stays on your own property.  If we all do that, we’ll all be able to continue to enjoy those beautiful nights we have out here.

Here in the Texas Hill Country, let’s all work together to keep the Stars at Night, Big and Bright!

Free printout here.
Compliments of the Blanco County Friends of the Night Sky (blancocountynightsky.org)                                                                                                                                                  version 1.4, January 19, 2019

Also see: My Neighbor’s Lighting