Bylaw in Works to Combat Nuisance LED Lighting

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A city committee is listening to concerns from residents over a new lighting trend that's been popping up at local businesses.

Many storefronts have installed LED strip lighting and, according to Ward 4 resident Shane Mitchell, the lights are creating a nuisance to the public as well as drivers passing by.

"It has been spreading very quickly because it's a very cheap and quick way to brighten a storefront. The problem with it is that they are extraordinarily bright, the light passes well beyond the property limits and can illuminate homes and windows in apartments above stores, across the street even."

Mitchell says there are rules in place for lighting, but not this particular kind.

"If you build a new building you can't have lighting that will pass past the property line and become a nuisance to your neighbour. What's happening with this lighting is that store owners are just doing this to try to attract more attention to their property. So what this bylaw will do is just create a regulation to that store owners have something to meet."

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LED lighting seen on Tecumseh Rd. E. in Windsor (Photo by AM800's Zander Broeckel)

He says neighbouring properties are being blinded by the light.

"Smaller businesses are trying to attract attention to their business, which is understandable, but what's happening is you're creating a negative situation in the entire neighbourhood. So what might be good for one store owner is going to be really negative for the neighbouring store or the neighbouring residential properties."

Councillor Chris Holt brought the issue up after receiving several complaints from residents claiming the lights are too bright.

Windsor's Development and Heritage Committee has asked city administration to draft a bylaw regulating LED lights in storefront windows as there's currently nothing on the books prohibiting the new technology.

That bylaw will come before city council for further discussion in the future.