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Need Suggestions for Dealing With Stubborn Neighbor

My neighbor has a very bright street light about 30' up a pole in her yard that lights up my entire yard and it drives me nuts. I rented my house for 10 years and never complained because it wasn't my property that was being lit; it still drove me nuts but I never said anything.

Last year, I bought the house and within hours of settlement, went to ask my neighbor if there was any way she could turn the light off during special celestial events like meteor showers or comets. She told me she has no switch and it just comes on at night automatically and that her uncle had installed it 30 years ago. I said ok and a few weeks later offered to buy her motion sensor floodlights and have an electrician install them for her, she said "no", she said she likes the light and again reminded me that it has been there for 30 years without complaint (I'm pretty sure her uncle is the original owner of my house so of course he didn't complain--he installed the blasted thing!).

After much consideration and research I found the Hubble Skycap, a shade specially designed for her light that keeps it in her yard and restricts it from shining all over my property. I offered to buy one and have it professionally installed for her. At first she agreed, but Monday I came home from work to find the following note:

I wanted to catch you today to tell you I'm not changing the light. I AM NOT CHANGING THE LIGHT

So, basically this woman has told me that something from her property is getting all over my property and even though it annoys me she doesn't care. I have tried now 3 times to nicely request and even put out money for an amiable solution to this matter and she has shut me down every time.

Now it is time to stop playing nice and let something or a few things from my property get onto her property and annoy right back. Last night I set up my guitar amp and turned it up very loud and gave her a concert from 9:30 to 10pm (when our local noise ordinance kicks in) but I don't really want to disturb the whole street so I may only do that once or twice a week. I'm looking for creative, LEGAL, and highly annoying ideas to get this woman to want to work something out.

I'm hoping for some DP brilliance on this one!

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Do not fall below high standard!


you will succeed! Do not listen to the devil telling you to be hateful!
You must love her more:
1. Who do you know is in close contact with her? Explain to that person, ask for their help.
2. Visit Pat every day. Bring her cookies, ask how she is feeling today. Tell her that the light problem is very important to you and must be resolved.
3. Be consistent!
4. Write down your ideal situation, outcome. Read it loud when alone.
5. Imagine she gives in, what she will say and how you will become best neighbors after all.
6. Do you have family or friend neighbors that she may take more serious, like better? Take them with you or send them to talk to her.
7. Dress up, you are important!
8. Pray for success in this matter and guidance!


Gerald Mangold

Old Post

Revived from the dead. One down vote.

“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”― Henry David Thoreau

I can relate

Because one of the reasons I am moving is because of neighbor issues! My solution of moving the marshal ended with neighbor calling cops and having them harass me. This guy has the loudest, ugliest mustangs and F-250's, loud engines and kids playing ball yelling f-bombs don't bother him. My music does. Then i got an army of vulgar little precious children yelling and screaming in the street while I'm trying to just relax with a movie or something. They even come on my property despite the no trespassing and keep off the grass signs. I've been polite but nothing works. If I intended to stay here I would set up video cameras and document their refusal to respect my rights. It may take some effort but getting to know local ordanances is a good idea. Threaten to take legal measures and cite your greivances with law. Sometimes they will believe your bluff. Unfortunately in this day and age, it is difficult to know if your neighbors are tolerable. Most people only find out after it is too late and they have moved in. I did a little research on my new place and found it to be more desirable. nothing major, just talked with neighbors. I also went back at night a few times to see if someone blasts loud bass on a regular basis or if they have a diesel truck or tortured boat engine running.

Label Jars, Not People!

Yes Sir...............

I can see it now... "Citizen,

I can see it now...

"Citizen, you are not wearing your seatbelt".... BRRRRRRRAAAAPPPP!

Daisy BB Gun...............................

Boom Boom, Out Go the LIGHTS!

Lol, some of these answers...

I got a big chuckle on some of the advice given below Mike,Lol. I had this happen with a State highway maintenance yard just a short bit away. It was lighting up the desert for 2 miles around, no flashlight needed to go on a night hike. Looked like a damned prison.

I raised hell with the state about it all the way to Sacramento. They decided they were god and didn't need to listen. So I checked into local county code. Lo and behold, a local ordinance requires 45 degree hoods installed on all outside lights over a certain wattage in the name of "Light pollution".

So I just made a phone call to the local code enforcement to take a look the next time they were out in our area. Within 2 weeks the state had a subcontractor with a man lift out installing the hoods. Now I have to figure out who to call because they leave their flag up at night with absolutely NO light on it! lol.

The only time I call the law is when it is a government agency I am calling them on,lol. Love it!

Unconstitutional War - "The story you are about to hear is true; the names and places are being changed to protect the guilty."

I don't know if this would work in your case!.

If her bedroom faces the side of your house, then install the brightest flood light available for residential use. Such a light shining into her bedroom window would be very annoying to say the least.

When she complains about it, offer to remove your light if does likewise. Just a thought! (Take Your Bookmarks Wherever You Go!)



What would the Founders do?

I'm not proud of this....'s so easy though.

Take the light-bulb out, chew gum insert into socket, cover with piece of thin rubber (like a jar twist), put light bulb back.

She'll think it burned out, she may even try to replace it, but it won't work.

(photo courtesy of:

(Listen, I used to climb in and out my window in college to avoid my roommates, you gotta do what you gotta do.)

the jar twist needs to be black; enter: Sharpie.

And for the finale, I have to share one snippet from David's approach(; but you shouldn't rest until you've read the whole transpiration:

From: Justin Flecker
Date: Tuesday 8 May 2012 10.01am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lamp

Did you take our lamp again asshole? What part about not being allowed to go on our property don't you get?

From: David Thorne
Date: Tuesday 8 May 2012 10.32am
To: Justin Flecker
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lamp

Dear Justin,

No, I did not take the light again. I relocated it again. Its current location may be discovered by deciphering the following set of clues to its whereabouts. Perhaps you could invite your friend Ryan over and treat it as a kind of treasure hunt:

1. It's in the letterbox again.
2. Look in the letterbox.

As I realise this probably won't narrow it down much for you, I will give you a third clue in the form of a riddle:

What burns with the light of a thousand suns and is in the letterbox?

Regards, David.

Legally if you were in NY

If this helps, and it most likely won't... I am a certified paralegal (1978) and a Master of Urban Planning... so this is what I know.. in NY, because her light was present when you moved there... you 'moved to the nuisance' and essentially that controls 'legally' you'll lose if the light was there when you got there. Now, that said, if you do any of the tricks outlined, you not using the 'non-aggression' principle. She may feel that somebody id trying to control her, so walk a mile in her imagined shoes. You would not want to be controlled either. So, two things you may try... First, put it in writing. Explain she was here first, and you cannot force her. Next, again offer to have the light IMPROVED (as you say did not work the first time). Explain ... this is the electrician you propose to do the work... licensed in your area, and that he will charge... and you will pay. Explain, he will provide this (list the part and illumines of the fixture proposed. Get her better then she has, and explain the savings she will get over ... months on her bill. And if you really care... offer to pay 50$ cash after the work is completed. Last, and most important, explain WHY you need the light off when you do... because you need 'night' to do your viewing hobby. STOP putting gas on this fire !!! It will not help AT ALL !!. And if you explain the (buy her a DVD copy of the PBS documentary 'The City Dark' or burn this clip for her... . You should beg, and convince, but don't force, it's aggressive and she senses that foremost. You have NO rights on her property, but you always can get what your willing to PAY for. If you cannot afford the expense, your living past you means. JamesKistner C.P., MUP.

A Great Big Mirror

Reflect the light back to her and the neighbors on the other side...Piss in her corn flakes for a while...
But really...its about the same as the law on trees...The neighbor can plant a tree right up to the line of your property..but the moment that tree crosses in any way..limbs, roots, onto your have the right to stop what goes on your property.
I would set up and video how the light effects you. You need proof in court, and video works.
If you have proof you have contacted her a number of, phone records, registered mail and a copy of the letters you send, and her refusal in got her dead to rights. I think you most states..charge up to 100.00 a night for the missed sleep due to the light.
Look up your states legal small claims limit..In NC its 4000.00...Some states its 3000.00 and others can get you up to 7000.00.

I believe in Hope & Change..I Hope the government will Change
Spindale-Rutherford County-North Carolina

That is a great idea. It's

That is a great idea. It's totally non-aggressive and fair. If she complains, simply explain that, as you've said before, it's her property and her light and you have no right to interfere, so you're returning her property to her. :D

Andrew Napolitano for President 2016!

"Patriotism should come from loving thy neighbor, not from worshiping Graven images." - ironman77

Sink Holes Happen

Have shovel... get digging!

"I, __________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

There is no duration defined in the Oath

She has instigated the problem ...

... and you have tried to solve the problem she created, at your own expense, in a peaceful manner.

But she refuses.

This is what courts are for -- whether government or private courts. They are there to solve disputes in a peaceful manner.

Your attempts to ramp up the problem by annoying her are just you creating an additional problem that did not exist before.

She has told your her position: NOT CHANGING THE LIGHT.

Time to learn to use the court system and solve your problem, once and for all. Don't play games.

Agreed. The trying to annoy

Agreed. The trying to annoy her thing could backfire. Best to be the good guy throughout.

Light most likely is a "Barn light"

This is important to note since on the top of every barn light (It does come on automatically on a pole) I am assuming is a cylindrical photo cell. There is a small photo eye that takes in light and turns the light off and on. If a light were pointed at this with enough intensity (not sure if a laser would work) in theory it should over-ride the auto control and cause the light to turn off. Alternatively you could set up two 400W metal halides and aim them in her general direction giving her the equivalent of a Wal-mart parking lot experience.

I can tell you that would most certainly do the trick and I would be willing to bet she would understand what light pollution is really all about in short order. Not sure if you should do any of those things it is just some ideas from an electrician. I can tell you that 400W metal halides pointing into the ocean seriously attract fish.

Here are some links to help you locate what you might need.

You would need to erect a pole to get them up there. I would suggest a regular telephone pole with cross brackets made from 4x4 posts with metal bracing if you are really serious. The top mounts can be hung on top of that or you could go the route of 4x6 poles for mounting. Use a ship auger type bit with through bolts. Ideally you would use a bucket truck to drop in the poles or a friend with a ladder truck rack.

The above link shows a typical barn light with a photocell on top. Nothing a decent green or red light laser couldn't handle although I am not sure if that would turn it off or burn it out or have no effect.


Any updates?


Forgiveness than permission.

Solve the problem.


Seek forgiveness.

End of story.

Chris Indeedski!

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

Stand under the light on your property and...

Read the Bible out loud (real loud).

That ought to work!

Freedom is the ability to do what you want to do.
Liberty is the ability to do what you ought to do.
"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." 2 Corinthians 3:17

..and dress up like a Bible

..and dress up like a Bible character too!

Your best bet:

Go to city hall, describe the problem without naming names, and check into bylaws. If she is violating some obscure bylaw, use the city's resources rather than your own. Elicit some sympathy; get a doctor's note about insomnia or some such thing.

I would like more information as to the location of the pole from your property line.

If you find out the type of bulb, you may be able to blast it with some type of wave so it keeps burning out. She's blasting you with light waves, so don't lose any sleep about using the same sort of method.

If the light pole is very close to the property line, you could just erect a small sheet of plywood on a pole. It would be perfectly legal. If it's not legal, then you have her dead to rights on the light.

consider it practice for your drone license.

any other questions?

For everyone that posted a negative comment on here


Sit and really think about that for a minute. From using force, to claiming your rights are violated, to using government force even through legal means.

Please grasp this concept… are supposed to be the “enlighten ones” regarding LIBERTY, by some of these post, it’s really hard to discern the difference between you and the sheepeople.

"Before we can ever ask how things might go wrong; we must first explain how they could ever go right"



Bump and Thank You again!Nailed it!

Hey Thanks GBA

glad to see other adults on here! Hey I posted something called the Journey to Jekyll Island...check it our let me know that you think...its a long read and I still have 2 or 3 parts to post.

"Before we can ever ask how things might go wrong; we must first explain how they could ever go right"


It's called light pollution

or light trespass to be exact. Many states have laws against it. Hopefully these guys can help you.

"Handel On The Law?'

Well, Mike, the facts are thus:
You rented the house for 10 years, so there was a pre-existing condition that you knew about.
You never complained.
You purchased the house without any 'riders' regarding this 'annoying light'.
You are 'pretty sure' that this woman's Uncle was 'the original owner', and state that he 'installed the blasted thing', so it is to be presumed that you might have actually bought the house from an interest that is directly tied to your neighbor.

With all this in mind, two things ome to MY mind, regarding your complaint.
1) 'You knew the job was dangerous when you took it.' (Opening intro song to old cartoon show 'Superchicken').
2) 'Caveat Emptor' ('let the Buyer Beware').

You need to take a little personal responsibility here. You lived in the house for 10 years, and never said a word. you BOUGHT the house, and never said a word. NOW, you think you can RETROACTIVELY complain about a situation that you KNEW to exist when you bought the property.

I think that Bill Handel would state, 'You've got no case'. She got your money, and you got her house, and the situation about 'light' was well-known to you for at least a decade.

You could always try to sell, and move...


Looks like

You may need to practice with your sling shot