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Tesla Gigafactory neighbors say the company's large safety lights are beaming into their homes at night

Besides making it hard to sleep, neighbors said the lights have chased off the wildlife.

AUSTIN, Texas — People in southeastern Travis County said the large stadium lights at the Tesla Gigafactory are bleeding into their homes at night, making it hard to sleep. 

"I'll put these down," said Jenny Royal as she rolled down her blinds. 

Every night for the past few months, Royal has had to cover all of the windows of her Travis County home black, thanks to a new neighbor.

"Then, in my room, I have blackout curtains now, but I didn't use to have that," Royal said.

Her Hornsby Glen neighborhood is across Highway 130 from the Tesla Gigafactory parking lot, where large stadium-like lights are set up.

She said from 8 p.m. until 8 a.m., the blinding lights illuminate the inside of her room, kitchen and backyard.

"Yeah, it's very frustrating," Royal said. "These seem to be stadium-style lights. I mean, they feel like, you know, if you're at Q2." 

"We would just hang out and you could see the stars and watch the sky and everything, and now it's completely changed," Royal added. "You don't even want to sit back here in the evening." 

Jim Lacey lives in a different neighborhood, Valle Del Rio, with the same problem.

"I came out here because of the solitude and quiet, and I put everything I had into this place," Lacey said. "All the songbirds that were in here, the ducks, the wildlife that was here, it's just gone." 

The 81-year-old rents out his home sometimes to make ends meet, but the bright backyard view is hurting his money.

"My guests can't come out here anymore," Lacey said. "You've taken over the wildlife. Now you're threatening my very livelihood. Come on, guys." 

Lacey sent KVUE photos showing at least one of the security lights facing away from the parking lot and factory and into neighborhoods.

Credit: Jim Lacey
Tesal Giga Factory stadium lights
Credit: Jim Lacey
Tesla Giga Factory lights.

"It points exactly at my house," Lacey said.

People in the Prado neighborhood also contacted KVUE about this same issue. 

"Any Walmart or Target or any H-E-B parking lot, there's different lights," Royal said. 

Royal said a Travis County deputy told her there is not a light ordinance in the county that would require the company to make any changes. KVUE reached out to the Travis County public information officer, who said they follow state law. Upon investigating, no state law was found.

KVUE reached out to Tesla for a statement.

These two and other neighbors hope Tesla will change the lights, or at least point them down so where they live can feel like a home and not a stadium.

Royal provided an update on March 31, stating that the fire marshal got involved and instructed Tesla to fix the situation. Now, the lights are pointed away from Royal's home – something she says has made a big difference. 

However, Royal did inform KVUE that some of the lights closer to the 130 toll road are still pointed toward homes.

"I was here for three years prior to Tesla being here and so there was a lot of wildlife back there, a lot of birds back and everything. So yeah, we're seeing some of them come back in the few days since it happened," Royal said.

Daranesha Herron on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram  

KVUE on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

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