Tips for Designing the Perfect Outdoor Lighting
Low Voltage Outdoor Lighting from St. Louis Experts
Outdoor lighting has been steadily growing in popularity with homeowners and on commercial properties nationwide for some time now. Well-designed and functional lighting has become the standard for high end homes.
And at Environmental Landscaping, we provide the expert consultation and installation of low voltage outdoor lighting St. Louis residents can rely on.
The trend to illuminate the night stretches all the way back in 1807, when London implemented its very first gas-lit street light. Hard to imagine the awe pedestrians must have felt at the time! Then the game truly changed in 1879, when Thomas Edison patented his carbon-thread incandescent lamp, making outdoor lighting available to the masses.
Fast-forward to today, and now the options available to modern homeowners seem endless. Flood lighting, landscape lights, spotlights, motion sensors, low voltage and solar options – there are enough choices to make your head spin!
Incandescent bulbs are still with us – but have been joined by all types of other technologies like halogen, fluorescent, LED and even neon. Gas lights have even made a comeback!
CHOOSING THE RIGHT OUTDOOR LIGHTING
With so many different types, styles and fixtures available, choosing the right outdoor lighting may seem like a tough task. But good outdoor lighting is easy to achieve when a few simple rules are followed.
First decide what needs to be lighted and do a quick assessment of the target area. Some popular locations for outdoor lighting include decks, a patio or walkway, parking areas, a pool apron or other recreational areas like a tennis court or basketball hoop.
Next, select a couple different times to visit that location and get a feel for what the surrounding area looks like at that point of the evening. Sunset, dusk and a cloudy night when the moon can’t be seen are good choices. This will help you decide how much lighting you need to accomplish your goals.
In some locations you may want brighter lights for security or safety purposes, while paying close attention to what shouldn’t be lighted too. In other places you might just be looking to provide enhanced aesthetics or highlights.
Select a bulb type & wattage that provide the just amount of light needed. A 100-watt light bulb in a post-top or at a building entrance is excessive and wasteful. A 40-watt incandescent will produce the same lighting effect without the glare and energy waste. Using a 350- watt fixture to light a parking area when a 80-watt would do the job adequately is over kill in the same way.
LIGHTING PLACEMENT IS KEY
It should properly illuminate the designated area, such as a walkway or a landscaping/architectural highlight, and not neighboring properties or ecologically sensitive areas. In other words, well designed lighting doesn’t pollute!
Fixtures come in an endless variety of light distributions. A standard post or porch light is omni-directional, meaning light is emitted in all directions. In contrast floodlights are directional, but capable of projecting the light beam to a greater distance.
Most lighting should be designed or placed in way that its source is shielded to prevent glare.
TIME SCHEDULING IS IMPORTANT
Outdoor lighting should also be turned on only when needed. Unless there is all-night activity, turn lights off at the end of the evening rather than operating them dusk to dawn.
Not only does this conserve energy and lower their cost of operation but can also help avoid creating a potential light nuisance.
This obviously applies to direct or low voltage lighting and not solar-powered light fixtures, which of course fade as they slowly lose their supply of energy. And there may be specific lights you keep on longer for security concerns.
You automate the process by installing a time clock and/or photocell which turns the lighting on at dusk and off at the end of the evening. An interval timer for tennis court can automatically extinguish the light at the end of the preset time.
Working with experienced outdoor lighting experts like those at Environmental Landscaping can help you pick out the right type of light fixtures, distribute them optimally throughout your property and help you come up with a schedule that works best for you.
Call us today at (636) 225-3848 or contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org today to learn more St. Louis landscaping tips or when it’s time to do something special in your outdoor spaces. We install outdoor lighting of all types in addition to a wide range of trees and plants, walkways and patios, decks and lounge areas, gazebos and arbors, water features and more.
We look forward to hearing from you soon,