What to Consider when Planning Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor lighting solutions can take various forms such as small lamps lining the walkway to your house, torch-like fixtures set up around a back deck, or motion-detecting floodlights that shine on various locations. When deciding what kind of lighting is best for you and how to go about installing it, take heed of the following tips!
- Accent Lighting vs. Task Lighting
Do you simply want to add more attractive decor to your property and home? Are you looking for extra security solutions in the form of responsive lighting and alarms? Your needs will dictate the kind of lights you purchase and how you are going to position them around your house. If you are receiving help from lighting professionals to finish this project, communicate your needs clearly with them to ensure that you are given the best advice for your situation.
- The Differences between Indoor and Outdoor Lighting
Recognize that there are differences when it comes to indoor and outdoor lighting. For example, indoor lights are often intended to be used with a shade or shielding surrounding the bulb. This is because a room is a fairly small space and lighting doesn’t have to be extremely bright to create both a pleasant and well-lit atmosphere. When you are outdoors, there is a lot more space for the light to have to pierce, so often the bulbs are barely shielded if at all. This is especially the case for task lighting, which focuses more on safety and making the environment more clearly visible, as opposed to only serving a decorative purpose. Likewise, many outdoor lighting options have to be much sturdier than indoor fixtures, as there is more of a risk for damage.
- Energy Efficiency
Many people consider saving energy and money with the numerous lights inside of their homes, but neglect to practice the same thoughtfulness with their outdoor fixtures. When it comes to lighting your property with minimal power, consider buying fixtures that have built-in reflective surfaces. This will make the light brighter and enable it to cover more area. Be sure to also consider motion-detecting lights that turn off when no one is present to use them, battery-operated solutions, or simply switching out the bulbs of your outdoor lights with more energy efficient options.
- Issues that Arise with Outdoor Lighting
A. One of the most common problems with installing outdoor lighting is controlling the glare. As outdoor lights can be intensely bright, a homeowner must be careful about the placement and shielding of these lights. Thoughtless installation can result in blinding those who walk in front of the light, or inadvertently having light reflect into your neighbors’ homes.
B. Accidents are another problem that frequently arises with outdoor lighting. If your lights are set in the ground and line walkways or driveways, there is a risk of the fixtures being crushed either underfoot or under a tire. The solution to this kind of situation would be to choose sturdy lights that are easily visible both during the day and at night, or to slightly alter your placement to get the lights out of harm’s way altogether.
C. Another issue is weather. If your area is often victim to strong winds or storms, your lighting options will need to be able to handle it! You will have to make sure that your lighting is well-secured either in the ground or to the exterior of your home to help it withstand inclement weather.
Although there are many similarities when it comes to indoor versus outdoor lighting, there are also enough differences to make it important to first consider your overall plan. Knowing your needs, shopping wisely, and preventing damages to your lights are great ways to help you achieve the attractive, well-lit property you’ve been wanting at a satisfying price. There is a huge variety of outdoor lighting options available to every homeowner, so being educated and keeping your priorities in order is important to avoid being overwhelmed.