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Old 18.01.2018, 02:22
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Super bright lights from across the street

It is 1am, and I've once again been kept up by the absurdly bright lights illuminating the stairwell of the building across the street. It's a new construction, 6 floors, and all 6 floors of stairwell have huge floor-to-ceiling windows on the exterior wall. The stairwell lights stay on all night long, and they are MASSIVE and BRIGHT. It seems really wasteful, actually, and it also lights up my apartment well enough to read a book. Not even my blinds shut it out completely.

I'm at a loss as to who I can even talk to about this. The city? (I'm in Zurich.) Is there some way to find out who manages the building? Would they even care if I said something?
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Old 18.01.2018, 08:17
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Re: Super bright lights from across the street

Ger some proper rubber backed blackout curtains, they should do the trick. They're a bit difficult to find these days though.

Also yes, try and find out who manages the building. If someone manages yours then you could try asking them, they may know who's in charge across the road.

And I'd change your profile location to where you actually are, not where you came from. I was wondering why I should bother to reply to someone living in Washington state.
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Old 18.01.2018, 08:55
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Re: Super bright lights from across the street

Shutters??
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Old 18.01.2018, 15:30
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Re: Super bright lights from across the street

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If someone manages yours then you could try asking them, they may know who's in charge across the road.
Oh, that's a good idea. I can email my Hauswart and see if he has an idea. Thanks.

Well, the shutters don't really work great (I have old, crappy ones), and at any rate, it's nice to know that it's morning when I wake up. Also, I've done everything right! I tie my recycling into neat little bundles, I bought the expensive trash bags, I keep my shoes out of the hallway. Surely I can complain about a blazing wall of fluorescent light right outside my window?
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Old 18.01.2018, 15:38
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Re: Super bright lights from across the street

Yes, you should go speak to your local Gemeinde, who will have a building regulations team to which all planning approvals must be submitted. They will have approved the application for this new block that's emitting the light - and will have contact details. They will contact the building company directly. How do I know this? Because I have security lighting on my garage and when we moved in the bulbs were broken. We replaced them and a neighbour complained about light pollution - we then got a letter from the Gemeinde asking us to adjust the lighting (which we'd have done had the neighbour asked us, of course) - involving the authorities is 'the Swiss way'.
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Old 18.01.2018, 15:46
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Re: Super bright lights from across the street

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...involving the authorities is 'the Swiss way'.
Uh oh, I don't know if I'm ready to go full Swiss on them — maybe I'll try the American way of sending a nice letter first :-) But contacting the Gemeinde will probably produce better results, if it comes to that. It's good to know that's an option. Thank you!
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Old 18.01.2018, 15:49
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Re: Super bright lights from across the street

Are there any laws on light pollution in this country?
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Old 18.01.2018, 15:52
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Re: Super bright lights from across the street

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Uh oh, I don't know if I'm ready to go full Swiss on them — maybe I'll try the American way of sending a nice letter first :-) But contacting the Gemeinde will probably produce better results, if it comes to that. It's good to know that's an option. Thank you!
Seems you would be in with a good chance to complain, although not because of your own sensibilities - more to do with light pollution for wildlife, etc.

https://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/wirtsch...237908#overlay

Sorry, only in German...
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Old 18.01.2018, 16:03
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Re: Super bright lights from across the street

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Seems you would be in with a good chance to complain, although not because of your own sensibilities - more to do with light pollution for wildlife, etc.

https://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/wirtsch...237908#overlay

Sorry, only in German...
Ein hochinteressanter Artikel, danke ;-) Not sure if there's any wildlife to disturb in this area, but this is a good reference. I hate the idea of complaining to the authorities for something like this, though I feel less bad knowing that it benefits absolutely no one having these lights on all night. The tenants probably don't even know.
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Old 18.01.2018, 16:03
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Re: Super bright lights from across the street

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Are there any laws on light pollution in this country?
Yes. In fact we have 2 garden projects on hold because of the new laws that forbid "superfluous lighting" (like for example anything which is not to illuminate a path, not even a soft light to enhance the beauty of a gorgeous 300 year old tree).
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Old 18.01.2018, 16:05
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Re: Super bright lights from across the street

As the City of Zurich is a big Gemeinde you have to know the correct department. In case of excessive light emission you can contact the Umwelt- und Gesundheitsschutz (During day time business hour )
https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/gud/de/...ation/ugz.html
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Old 18.01.2018, 16:12
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Re: Super bright lights from across the street

Big mirror ,reflect the light back at theme
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Old 18.01.2018, 16:39
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Re: Super bright lights from across the street

Isn't it unusual for stairwell lights to be illuminated permanently? Pretty much every apartment block I've been to has stairwell lights on a timed switch, even older buildings. Maybe the timer is faulty?
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Old 18.01.2018, 17:38
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Re: Super bright lights from across the street

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Isn't it unusual for stairwell lights to be illuminated permanently? Pretty much every apartment block I've been to has stairwell lights on a timed switch, even older buildings. Maybe the timer is faulty?
Quite possible considering the quality (or rather the lack of it) of electrical work on new-builds here.
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Old 18.01.2018, 20:28
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Re: Super bright lights from across the street

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Uh oh, I don't know if I'm ready to go full Swiss on them — maybe I'll try the American way of sending a nice letter first :-) But contacting the Gemeinde will probably produce better results, if it comes to that. It's good to know that's an option. Thank you!

Either go full Swiss or dont go at all. The police get far more tedious complaints that this. Without a police complaint nothing will be done.
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Old 18.01.2018, 23:40
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Re: Super bright lights from across the street

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Yes. In fact we have 2 garden projects on hold because of the new laws that forbid "superfluous lighting" (like for example anything which is not to illuminate a path, not even a soft light to enhance the beauty of a gorgeous 300 year old tree).
You do realise that like all living things trees have a sleep cycle? Being lit up at night will eventually damage that georgeous tree.
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Old 19.01.2018, 02:06
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Re: Super bright lights from across the street

If brightness is the problem, I don't think a switch and stuff would work as you don't want flashes of light every time someone comes in either.
Anyway it's absurd considering that now even streetlights can automatically dim at night down to 70%.
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Old 19.01.2018, 02:42
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Re: Super bright lights from across the street

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Isn't it unusual for stairwell lights to be illuminated permanently? Pretty much every apartment block I've been to has stairwell lights on a timed switch, even older buildings. Maybe the timer is faulty?
Agree. The building we are in has timer lights /the building is 40+ yrs old/, they go off a few minutes after you either activate a motion sensor downstairs or after you press the button on your floor. I have been to a few buildings and all of them are equipped with these. It seems to be the norm. I wonder if the construction company cut corners and did not install these...
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Old 19.01.2018, 10:20
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Re: Super bright lights from across the street

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like for example anything which is not to illuminate a path, not even a soft light to enhance the beauty of a gorgeous 300 year old tree).
Which is of course equally annoying. We live on the ground floor and the lights that illuminate all the alleys around would defo disturb us if we didn't have window shutters.
On the other hand - they're necessary, I admit (sort of...for the odd few people who could walk there during the night....).
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Old 19.01.2018, 10:39
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Re: Super bright lights from across the street

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Are there any laws on light pollution in this country?
Yes, it's regulated by environmental law.

Apparently internal lighting itself isn't regulated so it's not checked at planning time, only if someone complains. If Op does, it would probably be helpful to team up with the neighbors.

The fundamental approach of the environmental law is that a problem must be solved at the source, provided it's technically feasible and economically acceptable. Though still work in progress, these guidelines on the execution of the law explicitly mention this fact (section 2.6). WRT OP's problem, the consequence probably is that theoretically he doesn't even need to consider doing anything himself such as installing/improving his shades or moving the bed. Instead it's on the building's owners to remove the problem - dimming and timing the lights, installing shades, etc.
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