Discuss the greatest threat to amateur astronomy today

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Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2005 3:18 pm
Location: Gloucestershire.


Post by HippyChippy »

Finaly decided to complain to neighbours about their nuisance security lighting. I say neighbours, though they're over 100m away. Their bulhead light with knackered P.I.R comes on randomly throughout the night, then stays on an un-necessarily long time. It also casts a shadow of me and the 'scopes against my house wall on a dark night, so after fretting for a couple of years and somewhat daunted by posts in this forum, I decided to knock on their door. I deliberately stayed in my dirty workmen's clothes (hoping I would look slightly tougher than I really am : ) and had another quick read-up on the CfDS website too. Here goes...

No rottweillers thank goodness and I was hugely relieved when an Old Boy answered the door. Instead of assailing him with my well rehearsed complaint, I had to slow down and speak plainly and clearly into his hearing-aid. He seemed a bit concerned (once he got my drift)... but then his sprightly and much fiercer looking wife appeared, and she wanted to know what was going on.

Suddenly I was wishing I wasn't dressed in ripped clothing and looking like I had a bit of cold Tarmac 'left over from a job and would they like Murphy and me to do their drive'? I explained about the poor design of their lights and how they spoil the enjoyment of astronomy etc. and to my complete surprise she knew exactly what I meant. She said... "I was visiting my daughter in Toronto two years ago when there was that massive power-cut, and everyone came out of their houses to look at the sky - it was absolutely wonderful".


In fact, my lovely 'new' neighbours will be turning the nuisance lights off once they've gone to bed from now on, and in a few weeks they hope to get some replacement 'astronomy friendly' lights. They also look forward to taking me up on my offer of having a look through the 'scopes - I'm hoping to show them Saturn and Jupiter through the 12" :D

Thought I'd post this to booste morale. Good Luck folks.

orion f6.3
Posts: 268
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 8:54 pm

same thing

Post by orion f6.3 »

The same thing happened to me, a polite "Can any thing be done about your light please" got the reply "yes mate, no worries" and it turned off!
Deep and Dark.

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Post by Cliff »

Dear HippyChippy and Orion
I am pleased you had some success with your neighbours and their lights. I had some similar satisfactory outcomes with neighbours. Amongst other things the warden of nearby sheltered housing old folks bungalows was helpful by changing the angle of an offensive "security" light a few years back. It is one of their two security lights on all night visible from my back garden. That is about 25 metres away their other being about 50 metres. They also have two IR triggered lights about 20 metres away. Unfortunately the local authority have since changed some things for the worse removing some solid wooden fencing which blocked off some extraneous light and replaced it with chain link fencing to enable intruders to be seen more easily and not hide behind the solid fence not to mention that I get a "better" view of their security lights as well.
Best of luck from Cliff
PS :- The last time I went to see the very helpfull old folks bungalows warden unfortunately she had just had a bad accident chopping a finger off with a lawn mower. It did not seem the time to complain about my light pollution problems.

RL Astro
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Location: Plymouth

Post by RL Astro »

Dear all
Congratulations on getting the better of light pollution. Wish I could say the same thing. Unfortunately in my back garden about 25% of the sky is blocked by a neighbours house and I'm not entirely sure how well they'd take it if I asked them to knock their house down so in the incredibly rare event of there being no clouds in the sky I can look upwards :lol:
And out the front is a bright orange street light. I'm sure it was made brighter when I asked the local council to move it and get a more astronomy-friendly type. They do seem to be very unreasonable though.
Me: "Excuse me kind Sir, I have a hobby of astronomy but that light is very annoying. You see it tends to block out some wonderful objects that are billions of miles away and look fascinating so I can't see them. Is there any chance you could change it for one that only points downwards please?"
Council [well this is what I'm guesing they said]: "He's asking us to spend money on something that doesn't bother us. What a complete, utter, weirdo! As if we'd help someone do something they want. Especially if it costs us 5p that could be spent on sweets for us. I know. Lets spite him. We'll turn up the brightness of that light and add another one, just to annoy him" :roll:
Anyone else ever get the feeling they refuse to help if it doesn't concern them directly?

Leslie Ewan
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Location: Midlothian

Post by Leslie Ewan »

HI Hippy Chippy,
Thanks for the amusing post :lol: Im glad you had good result.Most people are all right if you approach them in the right way but it must be a thought to go to someones door in case you get a loony.
Regards Les.

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