Background: We recently moved to a new neighborhood and it's rather dark at night (not many street lights). Most neighbors leave outside house lights on at night.
Issue: About a month after we moved in a neighbor put a half-page letter in our mailbox stating that our outside lights shine into their bedroom, meaning they can't have their windows open at night. They've asked us not to use our lights at night but ending with essentially "of course it's up to you what you do."
- Only spoken to the neighbor once ("hi my name is...") for about 30 seconds since moving in
- Neighbors in question are across the street and over one house, so maybe a couple hundred feet from the light source
- I don't see how our lights (recessed floods pointing downwards) could be shining into their room, but also don't think they're lying
- The outside area where our outside lights are intending to illuminate is very dark, e.g. wouldn't be able to unlock a car parked there without the lights on.
- Although I'm not too concerned about crime, the area the lights illuminate is steep so slips/falls are possible.
- My wife thinks we should ignore the letter, and not give them any power over the situation. My MIL thinks the people are "crazy" for making the request.
Possible options I see:
- Keep using the lights as we want. They have the problem, so need to adjust.
- Stop using the lights, since it obviously bothers them and we're "nice people." Remember to bring a flashlight when walking by the area.
- Plan to turn the lights off at some predetermined time, like 10PM, except when we know we'll be out and need them on when we return (infrequent).
- Is it reasonable for them to make their "no lights" request?
- Do we respond at all? I assume we will live across the street from these people for many years.
- How much do we "give" in trying to achieve a compromise, assuming they are even open to one?