Let’s do something about Leicester’s growing light-pollution problem

I would like to bring to light a subject that is about light. I have lived in the Leicester community for 15 years and have done so because of its relative "peace and quiet." Peace and quiet can mean many things to many people, but to me peace is living in relative harmony with your neighbors and quiet means no undue stress due to obnoxiousness from your neighbors. The building craze of the past few years has impacted the Leicester area to the point where the term "peace and quiet" is now threatened.

We have had mountains leveled out here in order to build ugly condominium projects and many new homes. … Through all this, the people of Leicester have endured.

I would like to bring to the attention of everyone in the mountains another form of harassment that has been encroaching upon our peace and quiet. This is light pollution.

Recently, a new apartment complex has opened its doors on Leicester Highway. I do not condemn this at all; I actually think it is needed to allow all people to enjoy this area equally. What I don't understand is why they have to light the place up at night like a UFO arriving from another planet. Before this complex was built, the relative glow from Asheville, 10 miles from my house, was relatively benign. It was there, but at least it was diminished and you knew you still lived out in the country. Now I come home at night to the perverse glow from this complex of white light on the mountains. I can see their white lights from over five miles away, and it is quite brilliant. If there is cloud cover in the area, the light is just made that much more brilliant. I recognize that this complex needs to be lit for safety reasons and the like, so I'm all for that.

What I would like to suggest is that they tone down the lights to an amber, low-intensity light, such as their neighbors up the hill in the new housing development have used. I know the builders of this complex are not from here, and that is OK. They should at least consider the impact that their lighting scheme has on the long-standing residents of this area before adding any more stress to our lives. Peace and quiet is still attainable with a little common sense.

— Lawrence Weissman
Leicester

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3 thoughts on “Let’s do something about Leicester’s growing light-pollution problem

  1. bikeman

    Downward firing lights would be the best thing to help control this issue. Direct the light to where it is needed, not up in the sky.

  2. baba

    I too live in Leicester and I saw this terrible light complex last week at night when the clouds were hovering. I was shocked at how bright this is. I’m 4 miles down on Newfound and I could see this shining from my mountain surrounded home.

    This complex has lights brighter than a Pro baseball field. I’ve lived all over the country and this apt complex qualifies as the most offensive light pollution I’ve seen – it has no place in Leicester. It seems like others have taken notice, what can we do get this UFO complex turned down or off ?

  3. Viking

    There are solutions to these nuisance issues, often low cost. They just have to be part of how we govern the commons. That means our politicians need to show some guts and intelligence regarding nuisance issues.

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