Great Neck resident sues village over LED lights

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One of the hundreds of LED lights installed throughout the village shines down on a portion of Baker Hill Road, right near Village Hall. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)
One of the hundreds of LED lights installed throughout the village shines down on a portion of Baker Hill Road, right near Village Hall. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

Village of Great Neck residents see the light, but for some it might be causing serious damage, a legal complaint filed in Nassau Supreme Court alleges.

Great Neck resident Judith Youngblood filed a nearly $1 million lawsuit on Feb. 7, naming Mayor Pedram Bral, the Board of Trustees, the clerk-treasurer and the village as defendants, in an attempt to get an injunction against LED light fixtures being installed within 200 feet of her home.

According to the legal complaint, the new fixtures “emit high levels of intense light directly” into Youngblood’s home, making it “impossible to sleep, use and enjoy the home she has lived in for the past 28 years.”

The complaint also says the village “falsely assured residents that the new lights would not be of a high intensity and would not pose a nuisance to the use and enjoyment of residents’ homes” and intentionally continued to install the lights, despite some opposition.

Tamara Harris, a Manhattan-based attorney, is representing Youngblood.

Andrew Preston of Bee, Ready, Fishbein, Hatter & Donovan LLP, who is representing the village, filed documents seeking to get the case dismissed, according to legal documents provided to Blank Slate Media.

In the court documents, Preston argues “a street light is not a substantial interference,” “not unreasonable in character,” and that turning off individual lights to avoid annoying neighbors “could result in an unsafe condition to the general public and expose the Village to further tort liability.”

The village has nearly finished its $600,000 plan to install more than 800 streetlights with LED bulbs, village Clerk-Treasurer Joe Gill said at a Tuesday night board meeting.

The project, paid for by the Community Benefit Fund, is partly offset by a $250,000 state grant.

Some residents have previously expressed concern and opposition to the LED lights both in village meetings and through newspaper letters, questioning trustees about possible health risks and the process through which the lights were installed.

5 COMMENTS

  1. My apt. bldg. recently installed LED lights that shine into my apt. and the only way to block them and stop them from preventing my family from being able to sleep was to install costly blackout curtains. I had regular blinds and the high intensity LED lights, literally, shone right through them.

    • Hi Susan Bourne,
      When a neighbor, a municipality, an electric company, a landlord, a business owner, etc. installs lights that shine into your residence, that’s light trespass. No one has the right to illuminate another’s property PERIOD. Let me invite you to join our group on Facebook …,

  2. https://www.facebook.com/groups/155084901640186/ This Is NOT a frivolous lawsuit. IT IS Fully Warranted. It has been proven in study after study that excessively bright lighting, especially those that emit an excessive amount of blue light wavelengths disrupt circadian rhythms by suppressing melatonin production which increases the incidences of insomnia, cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, obesity, diabetes and damage to your retinas over time. And that’s just what it does to us. Imagine the harm they cause to the natural world and ecosystems everywhere, who can’t just buy block out curtains like us. Bees, Fireflies, Nocturnal Pollinators, migrating and nesting birds, Insects, SeabTurtles, Flora and Fauna of all types. They also have the need for some level of darkness in order to function at their best …, just like us. As far as safety and crime is concerned, criminals and would-be criminals partake in their favorite activities at ANY time of the day or night and regardless of lighting (actually, bright lights assist criminals since they have the same eye structure as law-abiding citizens, someone lurking around with a flashlight is more suspicious than someone who is not). Trust me, trying to replicate daylight is the LAST thing you would want at night.

  3. Not only is this not a frivolous lawsuit but many other cities have decided that white 4000K LED street lights were a mistake all along and have moved on to lower glare street lights using warmer white color, better shielding and lower intensity. This video out of Tucson shows how much better well designed LED street lights are and how much more energy they save. The photo accompanying this article speaks for itself. Not only is the lighting difficult to live with, it isn’t even particularly effective, actually preventing your eye from seeing areas that are lit. Here is how to do it better.

    Tucson listened to citizens like Judith Youngblood: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJL-WPwjMQM

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