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Roommate is constantly turning the lights off. Why???????

abc1234567890abc1234567890 0 replies1 threads New Member
My roommate and I live in a dorm. I am a super busy person and like being productive throughout the day. I like keeping the lights on while I work. However, whenever my roommate walks into the room she turns the lights off (this is at like 6PM or earlier). I do not like working in the dark with only my desk lamp on because it makes everything harder to see and makes it feel like I'm about to go to bed when I really am going to be up for the next 5 hours doing work. We don't pay for electricity so the bill is not the issue. I do not understand why she always wants the lights off and I also do not know how to go about this issue. I always end up having to move to another room but it's my room too and I shouldn't have to leave it whenever she comes home.
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Replies to: Roommate is constantly turning the lights off. Why???????

  • PrdMomto1PrdMomto1 468 replies7 threads Member
    Maybe she likes more "mood" lighting and not the overhead florescent lighting? Or she's just conserving energy. But regardless, it's rude to walk into the room and turn off the lights you have on without asking or saying anything. Especially when you're study and "using" the lights and if she's not getting ready for bed.

    Why don't you talk to her about it? Ask why she does it and explain that you like the lights on when you do your homework. Hopefully the two of you can come to some sort of agreement regarding when the lights wilI generally be turned off.

    Sharing a small space with some is hard and it can be complicated to figure out how the space will be used in a way that works for both.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7735 replies82 threads Senior Member
    At the risk of being obvious: ask her. Perhaps she grew up in a household where there was a big emphasis on reducing energy use & for her turning off “unnecessary” lights is expected.

    Part of living with other people is figuring out compromises. Ask her about it - calmly!- and listen to the answer. Work together to figure it out.
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  • GatormaamGatormaam 25 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I like a well lit room as well.
    When she turns off the lights, how about just saying, “would you please turn the lights back on? I need them so I can work on —(fill in the blank).
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  • agreatstoryagreatstory 114 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Tread lightly. The roommate may be using this as a coping strategy if there is a mental health issue involved.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 2078 replies33 threads Senior Member
    I will concur that asking her will get a better answer than asking us.
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  • crknwk2000crknwk2000 375 replies15 threads Member
    I hate harsh overhead lighting and turn it off whenever I can, but I don't think I'd just do that without asking if it was okay in my dorm room that I share with someone and especially if that someone was in the room doing something. Just ask her if it's okay if you turn it back on because you need it to see. I'm sure it won't be a big deal.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 26281 replies265 threads Senior Member
    Having lights on during the day, beyond a task light, seems like a waste of energy. Try getting used to doing without. I bet you'll adjust.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6410 replies1 threads Senior Member
    I can think of several possible reasons.

    One is that she might be concerned about "saving the planet" by conserving energy. If this is the reason then you might ask if she would be okay with leaving the lights on if you replace the bulbs with more efficient light bulbs. LEDs in particular are super efficient -- vastly more efficient that old fashioned incandescent bulbs. Whether this is possible will depend upon what sort of fixtures you have in the room.

    Another possible reason is that she has a eye issue that bright light bothers her eyes. Some drugs (including some illegal ones) can do this. There also might be a mental health issue.

    Of course it is easier to see with more light. People with very strong eyes (eg, me at 18) can see very well with relatively little light. People with weaker eyes (eg, me now) need a bit more light. She might not appreciate that you need more light to study than she does.

    I would ask your roommate. However, I would try to be low key about it as @agreatstory says.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9725 replies371 threads Senior Member
    edited February 27
    I like keeping the lights on while I work. However, whenever my roommate walks into the room she turns the lights off
    She walks into a room you're using and turns the lights off? For me the issue wouldn't be that she's turning out the lights. It would be that she's turning them off while you're clearly using them.

    Doschicos: Having lights on during the day, beyond a task light, seems like a waste of energy. Try getting used to doing without. I bet you'll adjust.
    My spouse is an electrician. The type of lighting can make a huge difference in the quality and quantity of light. There are spaces where I could work with just a good lamp and others that would require additional light from a ceiling fixture. Working without the additional light would cause eye strain and possibly trigger a migraine.

    I do not like working in the dark with only my desk lamp on because it makes everything harder to see....I always end up having to move to another room but it's my room too and I shouldn't have to leave it whenever she comes home.
    I wouldn't ask your roommate for permission to turn the lights back on, especially if she's not asking you for permission to turn them off. And I wouldn't leave either. I would politely ask why she turns them off while you're using them. It's probably just a habit. Then turn them back on so you can see what you're doing.
    edited February 27
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 3229 replies74 threads Senior Member
    Excellent suggestions so far. I would add that in the event your roommate is not cooperative, you can put a more powerful bulb in your existing desk lamp, and even buy a second lamp if there are any shadows on your page that bother you. Then you'll be able to study with full light while your roommate doesn't have to tolerate the sharp overhead lighting.
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  • Leigh22Leigh22 938 replies9 threads Member
    “Can you leave the light on please? I have trouble seeing without it.”
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 6861 replies30 threads Senior Member
    So do you two discuss anything else or talk at all.? Maybe she has migraines? But it's rude if your evidently physically in the room. It's a power play. Talk to your roommate. If you can't compromise then talk with your RA.. Since you leave the room to go elsewhere to study maybe she likes that and wants to be alone? Like Pavlov theory.. She turns off the light and you leave. To me that's telling.

    If she gives you a reason that makes sense then might need to compromise and do the above suggestions. Maybe she can stay out of the room till a later time so you can study in your room longer?

    Some people with ADHD and other mental health issues go through a crash at some point. They just sorta collapse and want to lay down. Does this sound familiar?

    But as suggested the first thing to do is talk to your roommate. It might be a simpler resolution then you think.
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  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU 14454 replies104 threads Forum Champion
    How to solve roommate problems:

    Let's say you have an 8:00am class and go to bed at 11:00pm. Your roommate stays up to 2:00am every night watching videos. Quiet hours are after 12:00am.

    1) Think about the reasonableness of your request. Not having the light of TV on until 2:00am is reasonable. Not having noise is reasonable Not being able to turn your desk light on all day because your roommate never gets out of bed isn't. Not being able to leave your dirty clothes all over the floor isn't. Having guests over occasionally is reasonable…but having a boyfriend move in is not.

    2) Take steps to ameliorate the situation yourself. Try eyemasks or earplugs, for example.

    3) Discuss issue with Roommate. Say that you are wondering if s/he could use headphones to listen to videos after midnight.

    4) See if roommate is compromising..No, s/he won't use headphones.

    5)Think about what you want to the end result to be..that works for both of you. For example: Overhead Lights out at 12:00, and after that, he goes elsewhere or uses headphones

    6) Go to RA. State the issue, state that you have talked to roommate (because they will ask), state that you have tried other steps (like eyemasks) and ask for help in resolving the situation. "RA, I would like to get your advice on figuring out a resolution to an issue I am having with my roommate. <describe issue>."

    Most likely they will come up with a roommate contract for you both to sign.

    7) Follow the contract..and if your roommate doesn't, then go back to the RA. If your roommate retaliates, go back to the RA.

    8) If RA doesn't follow through or is useless, see if there is a different RA in your building. If not, go to the Housing office. Explain you have gone through the "chain of command"...that is, you talked to your roommate and then the RA but the issue still exists and it is preventing you from sleeping.
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