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Light and Glare Pollution

Light emissions can come from many sources including security lights, spot lights and flood lights, advertising signs and entertainment events.  Sometimes light can affect neighbours and interfere with their normal activities.  If severe enough, it can impact on people's health.

How can I manage light or glare coming from my property?

  • Consider where lights are placed to minimise impact on sensitive areas of properties such as bedrooms.
  • Avoid placing the light near a reflective surface and use existing features such as shrubs or trees to hide the light source from view.
  • Direct light downwards to brighten the target area only.
  • Try shields and baffles to help keep spill light to a minimum.
  • Fit only the number of light bulbs you need for an area.
  • Use low wattage bulbs if possible to reduce light intensity.
  • Use a timer or sensor so that lights are only triggered when necessary.
  • Turn off lights when they are not in use or not required.

How can I make a complaint about light or glare?

Discuss with your neighbour

People are sometimes unaware that their activities are causing a nuisance. Ipswich City Council encourages all residents and business operators to talk to their neighbours first about nuisance problems and only make a complaint if the issue remains unresolved.

Before you proceed with lodging a complaint, please refer to the below question to see if Council is the appropriate contact for your issue.

  1. Does your complaint relate to light from a highway/freeway?
    If you answered yes, please visit Department of Transport and Main Roads.

If you answered no to the question listed above, please follow the below steps to lodge your complaint with Council. Have the following information ready:

  • details of the source and nature of the issue
  • where the issue is coming from and how is it affecting you
  • specific information on how often the issue is happening e.g. what time on what day

Contact Council by one of the methods below:

How does Council manage a light or glare pollution complaint?

  1. Council sends out a letter and fact sheet to the address of the alleged offender advising them of the issue.
  2. If Council is then advised that the issue has continued we will investigate further.
  3. Council will initially attend the property causing the issue and determine if light or glare pollution is detectable or the cause is evident. As part of this inspection, the following can occur:
  • If no light or glare pollution is detected, Council Officers will contact the person who has made the report and see if further information is available or advise of outcome.
  • If a breach is identified, Council will speak to the residents causing the issue to attempt to resolve it.  If necessary, Council may issue Compliance Notice.
  • If a Compliance Notice is issued, a follow up process is put in place and will be undertaken to determine if the breach is ongoing after the expiration of the notice.
    d.If the breach is found to be continued then further action, including the issuing of infringement notices, can occur.

Resources

Printable Light and Glare Pollution Fact Sheet