Your Guide to Illuminating the Outdoor Environment with Precision
Top quality outdoor lighting presents your home with welcoming, luxuriant illumination, while establishing a safe and secure nighttime environment.
Now is the time to assess your property and invest in a custom-designed outdoor lighting plan. You will be amazed how a few strategically placed outdoor lamps will enhance your property value, boost security and provide a luminous finishing touch to your home.
New innovations include post lamps, decorative lanterns and energy-efficient outdoor pathway lighting.
Prime Time Players:
Top 5 “Must-have” Items for Every Outdoor Lighting Installation
1. Security lighting equipped with motion-sensors to deter prowlers.
2. Path lighting to provide for safe navigation toward the front door, deck, patio and garage.
3. Outdoor spotlights at home entry zones to define passageways and highlight home address numbers.
4. Sufficient ambient illumination to mark boundaries and variations in elevation levels.
5. Stylish outdoor wall lanterns to add a customized finish and increase your home’s curb appeal.
Make sure that your home is properly illuminated for guests as well as delivery people and emergency vehicles.
All too often, help is delayed in emergency situations, because house numbers are not clearly visible at night and the outdoor lighting is insufficient!
Expert Advice for Lighting Up Outdoors:
- Choose landscape lighting fixtures more for their lighting effects rather than their aesthetic appeal. The decorative features of landscape lighting should be secondary to the objects they illuminate. With a good lighting design, landscape lighting will dramatically increase the value of your property and provide luxuriant outdoor lighting effects.
- Decide which system works best for you: Low voltage halogen lighting provides softer more luxurious illumination, yet the latest LED is energy-efficient, low-maintenance and most durable. Incandescent bulbs typically last 1,000-2,000 hours; fluorescent bulbs may last 10,000-15,000 hours; and, LED bulbs may last 35,000-50,000 hours.
- Make sure to power your lighting with the appropriate transformers and wiring. If you are thinking about adding to your outdoor lighting system, choose power sources that will accommodate the additional fixtures.
- Automated timers and motion- or heat-sensitive controls make your home appear occupied during the night and save on energy costs. Locate timers and controls in areas where they are easily accessible. Consider installing switches in front foyer closets +/or inside the garage.
- All outdoor fixtures and accessories must be selected to withstand the elements, including sun, humidity, rain, ice and snow. Check that all items are waterproof and UL-approved for outdoor use. Copper, brass and composite fixtures are excellent for homes near the seashore where salty air may be a factor.
- Think about landscape lighting as part of your planning and construction in a new home. Outdoor lighting designers should coordinate with landscape architects and electricians.
- Wall lanterns bracketing main entryway doors help you to identify visitors and ensure their safety. They are also appropriate for rear and side entrances and over garage doors. Be sure to select lanterns and wall brackets that are proportional to your home. When in doubt, size up. Fixtures appear smaller from curbside viewing than most people would imagine. * *
- Take care to avoid glare and pointing fixtures into your neighbor’s property. Curb “light pollution” with shielded fixtures that focus illumination downward. Outdoor lighting should be installed for safety and security, yet be shielded to limit unwanted glare and profuse illumination. * * *
**Rule of thumb for sizing outdoor wall lanterns: The height of the lantern should be based on the height of the door. If brackets are to be installed on either side of the door, they should measure about one-fourth the height of the door. If using only one lantern, size up to about one-third the height of the door.
*** “Dark Sky” Compliancy and “Light Pollution”: A man-made culprit which is due, in part, to poor lighting design, light pollution is any adverse effect of artificial light, including glare, light trespass, decreased visibility at night, and energy waste. Many manufacturers offer “Dark Sky” versions of their outdoor lighting products, which “collar” the light bulb around its base to block superfluous upward emissions of light.
Capitol Lighting’s professional lighting consultants will help you in selecting everything from timers and outdoor hanging pendants to path lights and post lanterns. Work with the experts to devise fabulous outdoor lighting designs and prepare for a safe spring season with topnotch security lighting customized to enhance the beauty of your home.