Light and glare

Brisbane City Council investigates complaints about light and glare that come from advertising signs, entertainment venues and events, Council's parks, properties and streetlights, and commercial and private properties (such as flood lights or sensor lights). Lighting on freeways and their on and off ramps are usually the responsibility of the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Coronavirus update - Complaint investigations

In response to the ongoing coronavirus situation the Australian and Queensland Governments have implemented public health control measures requiring social distancing.

The personal safety of Brisbane residents, visitors, and contractors is our top priority. As such, there are necessary changes to the way Council carries out environmental nuisance complaint investigations (including noise, light, dust and odour) in residential premises:

  • council officers have been directed to cease entering residential dwellings
  • field investigations for complaints regarding environmental nuisances under Environmental Protection Act 1994 will cease, as officers will not be entering dwellings to investigate
  • existing open complaints will be reviewed and customers contacted to let them know their complaint will not be investigated further at this time 
  • in the future, once social distancing rules are relaxed, and if the matter arises again, customers can lodge a new complaint via Council's contact centre on 07 3403 8888
  • you may consider contacting the Dispute Resolution Centre located within the Queensland Justice Department.  The Dispute Resolution Centre offers mediation services in conflict resolution situations. The centre can be contacted by telephone 13 74 68 or visiting their website www.justice.qld.gov.au.

We are monitoring all developments on the virus and its potential impact on our city’s services, facilities and events. As updates are available, they will be included on Council’s website. For more information, contact Council on 07 3403 8888. We are working closely with Queensland Health and the Australian Government and will continue to be guided by these agencies on all matters of public health. 

As the state’s lead agency on coronavirus, Queensland Health is providing the necessary advice to all Queenslanders including current travel bans, self-quarantine and information on how to best protect yourself and others. For health advice, visit www.health.gov.au.

Lodge a complaint

When investigating a light complaint, Council will consider:

  • the amount of light
  • the duration and rate of emission and the light's characteristics and qualities
  • the sensitivity of the environment and the impact of the light 
  • the position of the light and any measures that have been taken to reduce its impact on neighbours. 

For more information, download our fact sheet, Contact Council or find out more about lodging a complaint about an environmental nuisance issue.

Download the:

Reducing light and glare

Tips to reduce light and glare emissions include:

  • Install timer or sensor lights and ensure lights are turned off when not required for safety or security reasons or when enhancing a night-time scene.
  • When buying external lights, consider their brightness. The lower the brightness, the less likely they will impact on neighbours. Warm white, lower lumen, light-emitting diode (LED) light globes should have less impact on neighbours.
  • Locate the light source as far as possible from neighbours and away from sensitive areas (e.g. bedroom windows and living areas).
  • Avoid placing the light near a light reflective surface and use existing features to hide the light source from view.
  • Wherever possible, direct light downwards, not upwards, to illuminate the target area. If there is no alternative to up-lighting, using shields will help keep spill light to a minimum.
  • Use specifically designed lighting equipment that, once installed, minimises the spread of light near to, or above the horizontal.
  • Don't over-light. Less is more for your neighbours and your electricity bill. 
  • Ensure that the main beam angle of all lights directed towards any sensitive place is kept below 70 degrees. You can also use light shields to help minimise glare and the impact on neighbouring properties. 
Last updated:14 April 2020