Social Question

Kraigmo's avatar

Do any of your neighbors pollute the darkness with lights shining out of their house?

Asked by Kraigmo (8018points) April 9th, 2010

Some people feel safer shining bright lights from the front of their homes (or even worse, all four corners). But a feeling of safety isn’t really safety.

Why do people feel the need to shine such bright white lights, wasting electricity pointlessly, polluting the sky, and polluting the night darkness?

The motion-sensors are the way to go, if you need lights

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42 Answers

TheOnlyException's avatar

I have motion sensors out front of my house. I think they are a better idea, also lets me know if someone gets close to my house in the dead of night (when really there is no need to)

I don’t really care that my neighbours have constant lights, I;m not a huge fan of the dark and I like the way bright lights look at night. But that’s just my opinion :)

Kraigmo's avatar

they could at least tint them red, blue or green, to make them less intense. Especially people who live near observatories, they shouldn’t ever shine lights (except for 5-minute sensors, those things are ok, and are actually better at “safety” than their dumb all-night-long counterparts). 21st Century children see 75% less stars the clustery background ones, mostly… constellations are mostly still visible than 20th century children, due to light pollution. And observatories cannot function properly. Mt. Palomar and Griffith Park, for example (almost all of ‘em actually).

Not to mention the fact its a lot harder to sleep soundly if light is visible. That includes LED, HPS, and flourescent.

JeffVader's avatar

One of my neigbours has those motion sensor light in their back garden, & they piss me off no end…. it’s like friggin Colditz when they flick on!

Brian1946's avatar

Nobody really does that in my neighborhood.

Some people have some fairly bright lights going all night long, but they’re not really noticeable unless you stand in front of their property.

I have motion-sensing outdoor lights.

thriftymaid's avatar

If you want total darkness at night, don’t live in the city—go live in the country.

Kraigmo's avatar

@JeffVader , yeah i hate those too, but I do think motion sensors are a nice way for people who want light to have it, without wasting it all night long. (But they better set it for 5 minutes, anything more is just crazy)

Kraigmo's avatar

@thriftymaid, we’re only talkin about wasteful, pointless light right here. And that occurs in country neighborhoods too, if someone has a floodlight fetish.

JeffVader's avatar

@Kraigmo Cant argue with that…. but damn, do they actually work as a deterant? I know if I were determined to get into someones house a light wouldnt stop me, I’d just cut the wire or something.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Yes. We have a neighbor who has spotlights aiming at his house. It’s ridiculous.
Light pollution and a waste of energy. It must be like sleeping on the sun in there.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I have a city streetlight in front of my house and in the back alley. According to our police blockwatch department, light and a dog are the best crime deterrents. Visibility and noise reduces the likelihood of being selected as a target in an urban area.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I live in a rural area and don’t light up the outside of the house. I use motion, capacitance and infrared detectors, far more efficient at nailing intruders than light. The only lights I usually see at night are (in winter) my neighbors porch light and the occaisional nav lights of aircraft. Outside lighting is an incredible waste of energy and a nuisance to look at.

jazmina88's avatar

i keep a light or 2 on and I’m up til 4 in the morning. Are you talkin about me?? I’m the only one up in my hood. I’m a bit nervous living single.

ShanEnri's avatar

I live in a small neighborhood in the country, and folks here keep their porch lights on all night. We also have those confounded security lights. I hate light at night, the moon should be enough! My husband put up one of those motion sensor lights and within a week took it back down because animals kept making it come on!

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

My neighbor does and I don’t let it get to me.

Cruiser's avatar

I just have the little Malibu lights that were there when I bought the house. My crazy neighbor took care of the driveway coach lamp by cutting the wires. I though wish there were no street lights or house lights on too…but when in Rome…

thriftymaid's avatar

@Kraigmo What is useless and pointless is subjective. Some people want lights on their property all night, wherever they live. If you live in a city neighborhood, be prepared to have neighbors with such habits. If the lights bring a sense of security to some folks, the electricity used to burn them is not wasted.

BluRhino's avatar

I live in a semi-industrial (mixed-zoning) neighbor hood. Directly across the street is a business that has one of those G.-D. mercury lamps outside on all night. I could go out at 2am and get a friggin tan from it. The light pollution here is tragic. I haven’t seen more than 5 stars on any night here.

ucme's avatar

I’m betting you just love christmas time.Like a scene from close encounters.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I wouldn’t worry about it too awful much. The way things are going we’ll all be lucky to scrape together two sticks of wood to burn in a barrel at night, and we’ll be hoping the stars will keep us warm.

Trillian's avatar

I can’t seem to be able to get away from lights at night, and I grew up stargazing. I also like to watch the Perseids and Leonids. I have to drive and find good spots away from lights and at a good elevation.
I hate it but I don’t try to impose my feelings on the neighbors. The lights do act as a deterrent for would be thieves.

nebule's avatar

because they have too much stuff inside their house that they feel the need to protect by spending money on lights outside their house, which only serves as a message to people that they have too much money to burn…

gailcalled's avatar

I love living in an area that has dark skies and excellent viewing (like Trillian, I stargaze routinely).

However, I have one neighbor (about 12 acres away) who insists on having flood lights that point outwards. They are totally unnecessary. No one without a large truck could get up his ½ mile driveway under any circumstances. 911 would have difficulties. Plus, having seen the interior of the house, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to steal anything.

thriftymaid's avatar

@Trillian Nice to see common sense answer.

TheOnlyException's avatar

@JeffVader aww I’m sure they just mean to bring some excitement into your life with their motion detector lights, make you feel dangerous haha

if i were them would so rig up an audio ‘come out with your hands up’ or something equally corny/annoying

JeffVader's avatar

@TheOnlyException Hahahaha, you’re a trouble maker you are :)
Although it would be fun to play The Great Escape music every time Colditz lit up!

TheOnlyException's avatar

@JeffVader hahaha everytime someone mentions the great escape i immediately get the A-team theme music in my head hahaha sorry (that is quite a funny image, get on the ground fool!)
but that would be brilliant as long as i got the right music! haha

JeffVader's avatar

@TheOnlyException Hahahahaha…. I think that would confuse the hell out of them…. my neigbours aren’t what you’d call, the brightest sparks!

TheOnlyException's avatar

@JeffVader well if you’re gonna confuse them regardless, might as well go all out and throw the Barney song on and bombard them with hot cross buns
they won’t take it too hard im sure ;)

CMaz's avatar

I don’t have street lights in front of my house.

At night my sky is so full of stars. It is beautiful, standing outside my front door.

Till my neighbors across the street puts their spot lights on. They don’t keep them on too long, thank me. But the one next door to me, sometimes leave his porch light on all night.
What a douche.
I really do not get it. Epically in a quiet town like mine.

davidbetterman's avatar

But a feeling of safety isn’t really safety.
Why do people feel the need to shine such bright white lights,”

The bright lights keeps the prowlers away.
No self respecting burglar wants to be seen picking a lock in the middle of the night. better to skip that house and find another.

netgrrl's avatar

I have a motion sensor light on my front porch. I might not be any safer, but at least when going to/from the car I can tell if anyone is nearby.

nebule's avatar

Does no-one else love it when we have a power cut??????

faye's avatar

I have a light on above my front door. It is to deter burglars, make me feel safe and let me see to get my key in the lock. It isn’t very bright, and couldn’t bother you 20 feet away. I see lots of stars when out in the backyard.

YARNLADY's avatar

My porch light is on 24 hours a day.

TheOnlyException's avatar

@lynneblundell yes! i love it. everyone huddling around in the living room by the light of the ONE CANDLE we could find hahah.

thriftymaid's avatar

@YARNLADY I burn two outside lights 24/7 too. If I turn them on and off the bulbs burn out, but if they stay on they burn for years. They are 24W CFLs so the cost is almost nothing.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

My bedroom light is often burning throughout the night, but that’s because I tend to fall asleep with the light on…

ShanEnri's avatar

@lynneblundell I absolutely love power outages for this one reason!

TheOnlyException's avatar

@lynneblundell haha i’ll be right there! lemme just cut these cables first..:P

nebule's avatar

I’ll be expecting you :-)

badgerkins's avatar

we have outside spotlights in the soffits on the front and the side and also spotlights and other low key garden lighting that is controlled all night by photo cells which turns on the outdoor lighting as it gets dark then switches off as it gets light again, it stays on all night, and there is also pir flood lighting for security on pirs etc, not you may say this is light pollution but without this decent lighting our cctv cameras around the house would be next to useless at night so therefore for people who have cctv installed at their properties this extra lighting is invaluable to would be intruders wandering around as the cctv records them.

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