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.

Infographics: The True Cost of Lighting

As you may have read in our previous post, ‘The Benefits of Choosing LED lighting’, choosing energy-efficient bulbs such as LEDs will get you more light per dollar guaranteed. But how does the cost of running an LED bulb compare to using a compact fluorescent lightbulb (CFL) or incandescent light-bulb? We’ve scanned the web to find the best infographics outlining the true cost of lighting.

Image: Lamps.com

 

The first infographic in our selection shows LED lights have the longest average lifespan, have the lowest cost to run over 50,000 hours, and produce the lowest amount of carbon dioxide emissions, although the bulbs are generally more expensive.

Image: Greenprophet.com

Our second infographic focuses on LED lights, and outlines the fact that LEDs contain no UV, mercury or pollutant and are eco-friendly, last longer and save on energy consumption.

Image: Frontrow.furniturerow.com

Infographic three shows lighting facts of LED bulbs, and compares its features to that of incandescent bulbs, halogen bulbs and CFL bulbs.

Image: Next.com

Infographic four gives suggestions on the type of bulb you may need for specific purposes, giving reference to fittings, shapes and life spans.

Our LED outdoor lights are made from heavy duty cast aluminum with either a powder coated or brass finish. Shop now.

Are you Taking Advantage of Low Voltage Landscape Lighting?

Every homeowner takes pride in their home and its appearance on the inside and out.  And curb appeal does not have to be limited to just the daytime hours. In fact, more and more people are becoming aware that as the sun sets, their home can actually radiate curb appeal and look even better than in the light.

As landscape and garden lighting is becoming very popular, homeowners realize that the trees that were purchased, the pond that was dug and even the walls and fence surrounding their home can be highlighted and emphasized to create many different effects. And even though this is a worthwhile investment that will increase the value and curb appeal of their home, all of that electricity can prove to be very hazardous.

Electricity which runs from the outside lighting into your home can hold 120 volts, an amount of electricity that can pose a rather grave risk to you, your family, your visitors and your pets. The various inclement weather conditions, regardless of where you live in the world, also greatly increases the danger your outside lighting poses. Although many don’t give it a second thought, if you are considering landscape or garden lighting, consider reducing the amount of voltage to a very safe 12 volts.

Low voltage landscape lighting offers more than just safety benefits. Lamps that are low voltage are more efficient, giving off more light per watt of electricity that is used. Also, the 12-volt lamp units last longer and there is less maintenance needed with this system. Lastly, installation is much easier because of the flexibility of wiring.

Some other benefits of low voltage lighting include:

  • Low cost operating expense compared to 120-volt lamps
  • Many more choices available
  • Safe and reliable
  • 12-volt lamps are more compact and keep the focus on what you are lighting rather than on the lighting fixture itself.
  • Better quality of light with natural effects
  • More options available in 12-volt lighting like quartz halogen
  • Capable of more specialized lighting effects with exact beam control

Low voltage lighting holds many benefits but with one small downside: The lighting fixtures are somewhat dimmer as you get further away from the transformer. But even with this problem there are easy solutions. Using a heavier-gauge cable as well as a higher-rated transformer can take care of the problem nicely and with minimal expense. And if there is a much larger area to consider, multiple transformers can be used or you can allow the dimming effect to be incorporated in your overall design.

Remember, it is also very important that you light essential areas for greater safety at night. Paths, gate areas, ponds, pools and statues should be lit in a way to avoid accidents for your visitors, small children and pets. Overall, landscape lighting can be fun and creative as well as safe and efficient.

If safety, less electricity usage and more lighting options sounds like good news to you, it may be time to consider low voltage landscape lighting. Incorporating low voltage within your design and budget will give you many years of safe enjoyment.