California residents and others may find bright lights coming from a neighbor's house to be annoying. The good news is that homeowners can take action if a neighbor engages in what is known as light trespass. One way to reduce the odds of committing light trespass is to turn off lights when not in use or to use motion detectors.
Another idea is to aim the fixture where it is needed most to provide proper illumination. In addition to precise alignment of a fixture, the use of a hood or shield can further prevent light from spilling into a neighbor's yard. For those who feel that light from a nearby home is causing a problem, the first step is to have a conversation with that person. In many cases, he or she isn't aware that this is an issue.
To prevent a conflict, individuals who are planning to install lights should talk with their neighbors before doing so. In some cases, homeowners can work together to position them in a manner that limits the distraction caused by light pollution. It can also be worthwhile to walk outside at night to see if any changes need be made in deference to nearby neighbors.
Those who find themselves in a homeowner dispute may have multiple options to resolve it. For instance, simply talking with a neighbor may be enough to resolve the matter to each party's satisfaction. If necessary, these talks can be conducted with the help of an attorney as part of an ongoing mediation process. However, if these talks don't yield results, the next step might be to ask a judge to rule. An attorney may present evidence that an individual is acting in a reasonable manner when using lights or by asking them to be removed.