Neighbors Leave Light On All Night (Do This, Not That)

By - Ron Singh

Updated -

A good neighbor is undoubtedly a blessing and can positively impact your life. They help to watch out for your property and are the first point of contact in the case of emergencies.

However, they could also exhibit some attitudes that irk you. One of such habits is leaving their lights on all night.

Leaving lights on all night is not an illegal activity. It is only seen as a statutory nuisance if it threatens a person’s life. And the authorities will most likely ignore your complaints if you decide to report them. However, if you find this habit annoying and unbearable, there are some tips that you can use.

What To Do If Neighbors Leave Light on All Night?

Neighbors Leave Light on All Night

You can implement several countermeasures if your neighbor leaves their lights on all night. 

Here are a few:

#1. Try Diplomacy

Communication is vital in all relationships. Your neighbors have logical reasons for putting on their lights at night. The most common reason is security consciousness.

Also, they may not even know that it bothers you so much unless you talk to them about it.

Therefore, you should endeavor to communicate your discomfort with them. Together, you can reach a compromise and come up with convenient alternatives. 

If you live in an apartment building, you might not know the exact perpetrator or how to speak with them.

In this case, you can speak with your house manager and explain the situation. They are usually in a better position to reach out to the neighbor.

#2. Lower Your Indoor Lighting

If talking does not work, you may have to resort to working at it from your end. The first step is to use dim lights inside your house.

Doing this helps to lessen and spread the glare of the lights entering your room.

The bright lights coming from outside are more pronounced when your room is entirely dark. Dim lights work well for people who do not mind sleeping with lights on.

#3. Use Blackout Curtains

The primary function of blackout curtains is to block out lights from getting inside your home.

Blackout curtains are made from thick, heavy, tightly woven, and doubly-lined material. This material helps block out as much as 90% of light.

Not only do they block your neighbor’s light, but they can also block out the sun’s harsh rays during the day.

Also, due to their design and fabric, they can block out noise. As a result, most people like to use them in combination with dim lighting.

The only drawback to these curtains is that they are expensive. A cheaper alternative, though less effective, is window films.

Window films are thin materials that stick to your windows to give them a tint. Depending on the quality of the films, they can last for at least ten years.

What Can I Do If My Neighbor’s Light Is Too Bright?

While the authorities might not treat light nuisance with the same severity as noise, you can still make reports.

Reporting might be your last and most effective line of action if you have already spoken with the neighbors.

Your claims will hold more weight if you prove that the lighting affects your health. One common claim is insomnia which affects people who are naturally light sensitive.

Most people start by asking their attorneys to send a demand letter to the neighbor. The function of the demand letter is to identify relevant and applicable laws on light pollution.

You should know that these laws can vary from region to region. So, it is advisable to know these laws yourself before contacting a lawyer. 

If the laws are not in your favor, you might want to try the countermeasures listed above.

The demand letter also states where and how your neighbor has violated the highlighted laws. You might have to file a lawsuit outright if they ignore the letter.

Does Leaving Lights on At Night Prevent Crime?

Leaving your outdoor lights on all through the night does not necessarily prevent the occurrence of crime.

The idea is that when all lights are on, it makes it easy for anyone to notice intruders and report to the authorities.

But this is not always the case. In fact, to a reasonable extent, it could encourage burglary. 

Research has shown that most burglary cases occur during the day (between 10 am & 3 pm). At this time, burglars are sure homeowners will not be at home.

Also, you have to consider your neighborhood. If no one notices suspicious activities, blazing lights will only aid the criminals see better.

If you live in such a neighborhood, there are other alternatives to using lights to deter burglars. They are:

#1. Use of Mimicking Lights

These lights are most effective when you are sure you will not be home for the night. Or even for a more extended period like on holiday.

These lights have timers that periodically turn on lights as if someone is home. The timers also work for televisions and radios.

Most people like to install them indoors. But they work just as well outdoors. The time on these lights has to be irregular to be convincing.

There is an option of smart security lights. These security lights are designed so that you can control them even when you are not at home.

You should ensure you pull down your curtains and window blinds to avoid giving yourself and tactics away. 

#2. Use of Motion Sensors

Motion sensors are another great alternative. These lights stay off and will only turn on when they detect motion.

These lights are usually found outside establishments like parks and supermarkets. Motion-sensing lights can be in the form of landscape lights or flood lights.

People are more likely to pay attention to sudden lighting than to constant lighting.

#3. Use of Alarm Systems 

Alarms are, more or less, the ultimate security system. You can set the alarms to go off if someone steps on your property or if they try to break in.

The former can be a quiet type, while the latter can be louder. This way, if someone tries to break in while you are away, your neighbors can hear the alarm too.

How To Deal with Anger Regarding a Neighbor’s Flood Lights?

The best way to deal with anger regarding a neighbor’s flood lights is to consider all the alternatives discussed above.

The first thing to do is talk with them and explain your discomfort. During this discussion, you can suggest some alternative options to them.

This way, there is a compromise between their security consciousness and your good night’s sleep. 

Each option (those for you and your neighbor) has advantages and disadvantages. Below is a comprehensive compilation of these pros and cons.

Firstly, here are the options for your neighbor with their pros and cons:

Mimicking lightsHighly effective if they have to travel.It will not work if they forget to set the timers.
Motion sensorsIt saves money and energy.It cannot detect motion outside its range. 
Alarm SystemsEnsures round-the-clock protection.It can be expensive to purchase and install.

Then, here are your options with their pros and cons:

Lower Indoor LightsReduce glare of bright exterior lights.It does not work if you want complete darkness in your room.
Blackout CurtainsIt can block out lights from outside, even during the day.They are usually expensive.
Window FilmsIt works as well as blackout curtains and is cheaper.Poor installation can lead to dissatisfaction

My Neighbors Are Watching Me and Turn on Their Lights Whenever I Leave My House at Night; What Should I Do?

First, you should observe to know if the outside lights come on or their indoor lights too.

If it is just their outdoor lights, it could be that they have a motion detector installed. If this is the case, they do not put on the lights; you trigger the sensors. 

You need not worry much unless you can make them out in person watching you.

However, if the reverse is the case and you can see them watching you, you can have a chat with them. Just remember to be as neighbor-friendly as possible.


Most people leave their lights on all night because they believe lights deter burglars. While it might be tempting to install laser beams or make complaints immediately, you should try diplomacy first.

Other options are effective and can help you reach a healthy compromise. Getting the authorities or your attorney should be your last point of action.

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