Is Your Outdoor Lighting Too Bright?

If you or a neighbor have noticed a glare coming from your outdoor lights, the problem may be that your lights are shining outward, rather than down, directly on what they are supposed to be illuminating.

It’s important to remember that good neighbor etiquette doesn’t start and end with keeping music to a low volume, indeed, the brightness of your outdoor lights will also impact the relationship you have with your neighbors.

Of course, people want and need outdoor lighting but to avoid any conflict, the remedy can be as simple as installing unidirectional lighting with shielded fixtures or flush-mounting, rather than unshielded floodlights.

If the purpose of your outdoor lighting is to simply illuminate objects, you can choose lights which are typically lower wattage (and therefore reduce energy consumption). As well as enhancing the visibility of the illuminated area, there is also a reduced glare.

The great thing about smart lighting is that it’s directional in nature. This means that rather than lighting the sky, it just illuminates the intended area. We may be unaware of this, but the natural light of the sky that we’re used to may be largely influenced by the number of outdoor lights. The more people that have awareness of the glare of their outdoor lights, the more likely they can play a role in reducing light pollution.

4 tips for outdoor lighting in fall and winter

A well-lit home is a safe home, and when adequately lit, it can help to protect your home, offering you peace of mind. Typically, the exterior of our homes is more of a priority during spring and summer when flowers are in bloom and the lawn is beginning to look lush and green, but it’s important to incorporate lighting all year round. Here are our top tips for outdoor lighting in the fall and winter months.

Don’t overlight your garden

When the nights are darker, many people choose to use more lighting, but it’s important to be weary of overlighting. When the light shines into indoor rooms, this can be extremely distracting, not just for you, but for your neighbours. Ensure your garden is safely lit without overwhelming your eyes too much.

Positioning is everything

The position and colour of lighting have a major impact on overall lighting schemes when it comes to outdoor lighting. Try to be strategic with angling, for example, with path lights, point them away from your house, not toward. Also be mindful of when choosing the colour of your lights not to overdo it.

Create drama with pockets of light and shadow

Rather than blasting an outdoor area with lots of light, creating drama with pockets of light and shadow can be really effective. By positioning the lighting fixture close to the surface – whether that be the bark of a tree or ripple of a brick wall – you will better define features and create depth of field.

Stick to halogen lights on the ground

During winter, particularly snowy months, lighting can be muted or completely masked. If you use LEDs on the ground, they are more likely to be disguised in the snow, so you won’t enjoy all the benefits of the installation. Using LEDs up in the eaves of a home and halogens on the ground is a good rule of thumb.

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