Light Blight Respite

I suppose that my inquiry to the Electrical Safety Authority or the TSSA raised a red flag somewhere – though it sure took awhile. One day in June, 2020, the same electrician who installed the terrible lighting came back and removed it !

The guy was then just going to reinstall the terrible lighting a few feet down from the vent pipes. I went over, trespassing on the gas station property, and said this was completely unacceptable. I asked him if he understood WHY the previous location was a problem – from a safety perspective – ie periodically a huge volume of volatile vapours were released within 4 feet of the stupid light. That an electrical spark could ignite these explosive vapours ! There was some yelling on my end. The plan was that he was just going to stick the wretched floodlight fixture on some makeshift post attached to the shoddy and unstable fence.

I made it clear that as long as the new location kept the light on their side, then I didn’t care. But the terrible, unshielded light on a metal stick was NOT going to be acceptable.

At some point the dude had to concede that was I was telling him made sense, and he packed up and went away !

And by some miracle, the lights over the tire compressor were also TURNED OFF !

Then I had SIX glorious nights with much less light infiltration ! I made sure to spend them on my patio area, even though a few nights were pretty chilly. I could sit ANYWHERE and didn’t have to shield my eyes from the glare. I didn’t have to carefully position myself at the far end of where I had my table and chairs set up, positioned just so, to avoid the excruciating glare in my eyes. I didn’t have to hide behind the tree. There was still the ominous blue light from the overlit canopy, but this was so much better.

When I say the glare from the lights is excruciating, I mean this in a physical sense. Not only does the glare trigger migraines, it physically hurts when I look in that direction.

I made sure to take a LOT of photos to document the difference.

My yard was decently dark again. My gate is looking bright white because I had to scrape the flaking paint off and reapply adhesion primer. And yes, the house sure needs some exterior paint.

This is how it looked in 2018, in June.

This is how it looked with the lights over the tire compressor turned off. Obviously the canopy lighting was a problem but not so acutely. The bar of shadow meant that the light was only shining in 1/3 of my ground floor windows, now.

Here’s how it looked on their side. It’s not like the reduced lighting affected the function or safety of the station.

This is what the same electrician did. It’s really hard to tell from the photo, but the wire in a metal conduit is run from their ceiling over the tire compressor, is attached to that metal rod about 8 feet off the ground, then is attached to the unstable fence. I have never seen such a bizarre exterior lighting arrangement anywhere, particularly at a business. However, the two lights are installed below the the height of the fence so my yard is not unnecessarily illuminated. Of course the hateful potlights over the tire compressor were turned on again.

But I had six nights of improved darkness ! Six nights in 2 1/2 years !

  • I should add: when the station was renovated, there had originally been a separate men’s and women’s washroom, only accessible from the exterior, where the tire compressor is now located. You know – the kind of old school place where you had to ask for the bathroom key attached to a giant plastic key. The building was designed so the washrooms were discretely tucked away, and not really visible from the front of the building. This was changed and the only washroom entrance was now inside the building. Despite the original very bright light over the tire compressor, which was upgraded to TWO very bright lights, then the even worse lighting, the coin operated tire compressor was broken into MANY TIMES. It was not within the sightlines of the staff at any time which made it easy pickings for any creep with a screwdriver. It went unrepaired for a long time, then it was replaced. Within 24 hours it was broken into again ! The station has EIGHT exterior cameras, yet this kept happening, including many robberies that were happening at night, including an armed robbery with what turned out to be some kind of Airsoft pistol. A brilliantly overlit parking lot was not assisting in any way to prevent crime. The very bright light and somewhat hidden location made the tire compressor easy pickings for any thief with basic skills. The staff claimed that they needed this extra lighting because “they found a syringe back here”. FYI: people who use injection drugs appreciate bright lighting as it helps to make it easier to locate a vein !

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