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Taz777

Street light at the end of my back garden

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The primordial fear of the unseen - or unknown - is often mistaken for security or lack thereof. The obsession with light-flooding our nights is nothing but a grown-up version of 'monster in the closet', but this time, on a societal level.  This is a state of mind that has no grounding in reality. Where do you draw the line between perception and reality...? I'm afraid this is hardly decided by the average man on the street. 

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That's hilarious Steve.

In contrast, last night I was checking my bird feeders still had nuts in with the torch on my phone in complete darkness. My neighbour's dog went beserk in their lounge and he came to my door to check if someone has just been in my garden with a torch as he was worried it could have been someone unsavoury. I doubt he or his dog would have noticed anything had a security light been on. Good neighbours trump security lights anyday.

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6 hours ago, Moonshane said:

I never understand how lighting makes a premises more secure. Surely no lighting 1) makes it more difficult for villains to see and 2) makes the use of a torch more obvious when they need to use one to see? I'd urge anyone adding lights to add them low down. That way they light up the garden / area but not the rest of the sky like the 500w halogens do.

From a purely security point of view, I'd rather have my garden lit up like Wembley Stadium given the choice. People are much more visible - and they know it too. There's usually enough ambient light for burglars to see what they're doing anyway, and jemmying uPVC patio doors doesn't require careful placement and execution. Lighting isn't the last word when it comes to security - there are many factors involved - but if a street light was shining over my back garden, potentially increasing my security (at no extra personal cost) but decreasing my enjoyment then it wouldn't be an easy call for me to make.

Oh, and as an aside - I've lived in areas where they've (through cost cutting) turned street lights off beyond a certain point. It's A LOT more difficult to see anyone walking down the street, even if they aren't trying to hide.

Edited by A_N_other_beginner

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1 hour ago, A_N_other_beginner said:

From a purely security point of view, I'd rather have my garden lit up like Wembley Stadium given the choice. People are much more visible - and they know it too. There's usually enough ambient light for burglars to see what they're doing anyway, and jemmying uPVC patio doors doesn't require careful placement and execution. Lighting isn't the last word when it comes to security - there are many factors involved - but if a street light was shining over my back garden, potentially increasing my security (at no extra personal cost) but decreasing my enjoyment then it wouldn't be an easy call for me to make.

Oh, and as an aside - I've lived in areas where they've (through cost cutting) turned street lights off beyond a certain point. It's A LOT more difficult to see anyone walking down the street, even if they aren't trying to hide.

No problem disagreeing. I on the other hand would love to live somewhere I need a torch to see anything and would happily only turn on lights when I really needed them.

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1 hour ago, A_N_other_beginner said:

From a purely security point of view, I'd rather have my garden lit up like Wembley Stadium given the choice. People are much more visible - and they know it too. There's usually enough ambient light for burglars to see what they're doing anyway, and jemmying uPVC patio doors doesn't require careful placement and execution. Lighting isn't the last word when it comes to security - there are many factors involved - but if a street light was shining over my back garden, potentially increasing my security (at no extra personal cost) but decreasing my enjoyment then it wouldn't be an easy call for me to make.

Oh, and as an aside - I've lived in areas where they've (through cost cutting) turned street lights off beyond a certain point. It's A LOT more difficult to see anyone walking down the street, even if they aren't trying to hide.

Security is psychological to begin with. 

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On ‎28‎/‎01‎/‎2019 at 12:53, Peco4321 said:

I have a light on a street about 100m away that always seems to distract me, I put up a parasol to block it. My neighbours have bright bedroom lights and never even seen to be in them!!  I have a retractable washing line that I extend right across the back, clip on old blankets and duvet covers then prop up with 3-4 m long pieces of wood. My house still reflects a lot of the light so it’s not perfect but it stops the direct bright lights. 

ditto. I have some washing line supports that slot into pipes in the ground and then I have some jet black shower curtains to hang from them. Even though its not 100%, it make a huge difference not to be blinded every time I look in that direction.
Meanwhile the tree is growing nicely 😉

 

 

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Where I am, able to contact local electricity supply company, and they fitted a shade to the offending street light

Just quoted the pole number when contacted them

Recently had a new housing estate developed near me, and the developer has installed LED street lighting

Very glary, and fortunately, have a hill between there and my place, which blocks most of the LED light

John,

 

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If you can find or make a place were stray light can't enter the telescope tube end using wood, black plastic sheet or even a longer dew/light shield and use an eyepatch and head covering one can overcome to a degree observing very close to a sodium light. I call this a personal dark site and have been very successful using this method when traveling for work to many brightly lit big cities. Moving the patch from one eye to the other keeps the dark adaptation advantage consistant as eyes can and do dark adapt individually. Observed the Pinwheel once just twenty feet from a streetlight and on fresh white concrete as an experiment to test this methods limits, it works well just a bit of awkward getting used to the head covering and patch.

Though this method is not for everyone those that need to use it see more than than those who dont use it but should.

A binocular view would improve with a light blocking surround and head covering, or a walk or drive to a darker location...

                    Best of Luck 🙂

                              Freddie...

Edited by SIDO

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A bit of an update everyone. A couple of days ago I logged the issue with my local council and right now I'm watching workmen replacing the sodium lamp! Two days to get my council to do something is simply amazing. It has taken them around 5 minutes to swap the lamp over. It's early morning and sunny here at the moment so I won't know until night time how much the new light has improved the situation. Fingers crossed...

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Before and after shots of sodium street light versus LED:

7jkOpse.jpg

8nw8Pdi.jpg

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37 minutes ago, Taz777 said:

Before and after shots of sodium street light versus LED:

7jkOpse.jpg

8nw8Pdi.jpg

Great outcome, makes a difference...

Very pleased for you. 

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Thats quite a difference, definetly better. Well placed complaint indeed...

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Hello all.

 I had a similar problem, I almost solved it with my other hobby, fishing... I have a large 60 inch brolly that I erect between my 8inch dob and the street light on the other side of the street. It helps, it doesn't solve the problem but its makes it slightly darker in the brolly shadow..

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9 minutes ago, paf500 said:

Hello all.

 I had a similar problem, I almost solved it with my other hobby, fishing... I have a large 60 inch brolly that I erect between my 8inch dob and the street light on the other side of the street. It helps, it doesn't solve the problem but its makes it slightly darker in the brolly shadow..

If at first you don`t succeed don`t go hand gliding......

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Guest

I'm certain my neighbours security light can be seen from space. At least we are close enough that I can hear their back door open and squeeze eyes shut. It only stays on for 15 second so grateful for that anyhow.  They were burgled recently so probably would be a tad untactful to mention it to them.  

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On 29/01/2019 at 14:36, SteveNickolls said:

The photo on page 21 is interesting-

Shedding_light_-_a_survey_of_local_authority_approaches_to_lighting_in_England.pdf

Courtesy of the CPRE.

Regards,
Steve

Pages 20 and 21 ("Crime and street lighting") of that report make interesting reading.  Noting the Home Office finding I tried to download the report from the Journal of Criminology suggesting that the HO interpretation is not supported by the data, but I get no response from the server.

CPRE's main point of the section seems to be:

"No local authority respondents said there had been an increase in crime in areas where street lights had been switched off.  Instead crime has fallen slightly."

James

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On 29/01/2019 at 18:01, A_N_other_beginner said:

From a purely security point of view, I'd rather have my garden lit up like Wembley Stadium given the choice. People are much more visible - and they know it too. There's usually enough ambient light for burglars to see what they're doing anyway, and jemmying uPVC patio doors doesn't require careful placement and execution. Lighting isn't the last word when it comes to security - there are many factors involved - but if a street light was shining over my back garden, potentially increasing my security (at no extra personal cost) but decreasing my enjoyment then it wouldn't be an easy call for me to make.

If that's what makes you feel secure then that's what makes you feel secure, but I'm not sure it's a view that is supported by the evidence.

I've struggled to find reliable figures, but from what I can find it appears that the incidence of house-breaking or burglary is (slightly) more common during daylight than at night, suggesting that being seen is not a particular concern from the criminal's point of view.  Far more relevant seems to be whether someone is in the building or not.  Being seen also requires that someone is looking, and if everyone is asleep then no-one is looking regardless of the state of the lighting.

As to whether there is enough light for burglars to see by anyhow, that's very dependent upon your situation.  Where I live, on a clear night a week either side of the full Moon it's very light indeed, where the moonlight falls.  But that also means the shadows appear very dark and it's not easy to get sufficiently dark-adapted to see into them because of the contrast between lit and unlit spaces.  On a cloudy night outside that period it's exceptionally dark, to the point where it's sometimes very difficult to see anything at all even when fully dark-adapted.  There are nights when I can't even see my hand held a few inches in front of my face.  If all the lighting that wasn't absolutely necessary were turned off, perhaps it would be very similar elsewhere.

But as Emad points out, security is often more about psychology and making people feel better rather than addressing or changing the reality, to the point where there's even an expression to describe such measures -- "security theatre".

James

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