Monday, January 28, 2013

Big Country, Bright Lights

(Note:  This photo has absolutely nothing to do with the following post.)

This past Friday we officially took possession of our current lodgings - we bought our house.  There were a number of subjects we included as part of the purchase agreement, one of which was to have our yard light repaired or replaced.  It burnt out shortly after my arrival three months ago and yesterday, our friend and previous landlord arrived to install a brand new light.  One reason for the delay is the simple fact that the light is situated several feet above ground on a pole and is not easy to access without proper equipment.  

We left him here to work on it while we went in to town for a couple of hours.  

Returning home after nightfall, we couldn't help but notice a brilliant white beacon where our house is located.  Holy crap!  

I'm not sure what possessed him to choose a light that is literally 4x brighter than the original one was, without consulting us first, but I'm sure his heart was in the right place.  I do not exaggerate when I say it's like having an aircraft landing light in our back yard.  

One of the things we don't miss about the city is the absence of darkness.  It's perpetually light in the city and it's something both The Frenchman and I were happy to leave behind when we moved to the country.

Every country home here has a yard light, but most are orange and illuminate a limited radius.  We have one neighbour whose house sits near our property line behind us.  This new light shines directly in what I suspect is one of their children's rooms and that horrifies me.  It's one thing to suffer ourselves, but to impose it on our neighbour is another story altogether. 

The light is hardwired in and automatically comes on at dusk, mercifully shutting off at dawn.  Last night, in desperation, we shut the breaker off for the light so that we and our neighbour could have some respite, but that's not going to work in the long term.

We spoke to our friend about it and he's going to replace the bulb with a lower wattage one.  In addition, we're going to install a light switch in the house, so we can turn the light off altogether if and when we want to.  

I'm not sure how long it will take to institute these changes, needless to say, we will have to deal with it soon, before the nearby airport starts using our driveway as a landing strip.


Catherine said...

LOL! Oh my stars! I should have looked out your way last night to see if I could tell which light was yours and which was the lights of the Casino! Hahaha! Oh you should have been here when they were building the Casino and people were complaining about the brightness of the Casino lights. Honestly... ;)

Glad your light is getting replaced.

Happy Monday!
xo Catherine

JaneK said...

Cute photo of sweet Willow!
My neighbor installed flood lights at their house and one of them shone directly into the guest bedroom where I went to sleep when my husband was snoring. I actually went out a couple of nights to turn it off b/c the switch was in their garage. One day there were workman at their house and I asked them to point the light down a little more and that helped a smidge.
Anyway, needless to say it would have been nice if my neighbor had been as thoughtful as you! Good luck with it!!!

Carolynn Anctil said...

Catherine: Look East. We're the bright shining star. Unfortunately, our friend has advised us that he can't simply replace the bulb, he would have to replace the entire unit, resulting in more expense. So, we're still going to get the light switch installed and leave it off until we need to use the light to do something specific in the yard.

Jane: When I lived in a condo, I overlooked the courtyard and every once in a while the gardeners would adjust the lights on the trees and I'd have a spotlight shining directly in my bedroom window. It was horrible.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams said...

You are very thoughtful to think of your neighbours...not many would. I thought it was brighter then normal last night.

I had a friend that lived on the 3rd floor of our condo, and she had a plant room, with a mercury vapor light, and no curtains. Let's just say that the alley was crime was so bright.


Rain Trueax said...

That is one of my complaints about country living. Everybody has to have an outside light that is on all the time-- everybody except us. I see the value of them when you need the light but they shine our way (although don't block our view of the stars like it doubtless does theirs because of their distance from us). I really don't get the need for the perpetual light outside but can see where if you get yours with soft light, it'll be better-- and with a switch.

Congratulations on the house purchase :)

Carolynn Anctil said...

Jen: lol...

Rain: The light is going to be off unless we have a specific need to use it outside to work on something. I don't see the point of it. Our neighbour also has a yard light - much dimmer than ours - that sheds light onto our property. That's enough for me to see by to take the dog out before bed.

C-ingspots said...

Can't say as I blame you. We enjoy the night darkness as well, and having the choice as to when and if, you have the outside light on, should be your choice.
When I saw Willow's most recent picture, I was startled. She looks so much like my little Nellie. Oh, how I miss that sweet face! Will I ever stop missing her, or grieving for her loss? Maybe not. Then again, had Nellie not left, Ruby would not have come into our lives...guess I'll never understand why some have to leave us so soon. She's a beautiful girl, your Willow.

altadenahiker said...

I'm sorry I'm laughing -- it's the thought of your flight pattern and landing strip in the middle of the Canadian prairie.

shadowlake2005 said...

Congratulations on your purchase! When we moved last year, I thought I'd like to be able to see the horse and goats at night if I wanted to, so the electric company installed one of those orange ones. I knew the light would also draw flying insects, and therefore bats, which was fine with me, but I failed to pursue that train of thought. Turns out the bugs also draw frogs, which draw snakes! Eek!

Sharon said...

Outside lights are big here, too. We make do with a motion-sensor light on the garage and one on the deck when we're going out or know someone is coming after dark. Otherwise, I keep the lights off to let the house sit inconspicuously in the dark. A full moon is a different story, welcome light that is ~

Carolynn Anctil said...

C-ingspots: I still grieve every one of my animal angels who have passed on. Willow is a good girl - until we get company, then she forgets her manners completely and is like a child who's acting out in front of guests. *sigh*

Karin: It'll make it easier for out of town visitors to find us, anyway. *grin*

Shadowlake: One of the "selling" points of having this bright light was that it would keep the animals from traipsing through our property. I'm not convinced - and I hadn't considered the attraction it would be for bugs in the spring & summer. More reason to keep it off!

Sharon: The light from the full moon shining off the snow has been so bright - who needs anything else!

Laura said...

the joys of home ownership:-)

Gillian Olson said...

Congratulations on your new home.
Glad you can laugh about the light fiasco. We have had problems with neighbours' lights illuminating our bedroom at night so I can relate.

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