Attractive outdoor lighting can enhance the appearance and value of your home, reduce crime, and protects your family and loved ones. For this reason, knowing what type of outdoor lighting to use depending on your priorities is vital.
There are many different types of outdoor lighting available, including wall-mounted lights, post-top lights, pendant lights, and freestanding lights. But what you have for the lighting system at large matters.
Consider These Tips When Choosing Outdoor Lighting
With the myriad options for outdoor light, it’s critical to consider the various guidelines to make the right decision.
- Best Lights for Security
Lighting is among the most effective ways to safeguard your home from intruders. The best lights for security are motion-sensing floodlights that turn on when someone approaches. They’re easy to install and typically come with an adjustable sensitivity switch so you can set them to turn on at different distances. You can find different styles and sizes of security light fixtures, so settle for those that best meet all of your requirements. Most electricians advise combining High Beam floodlights with motion-sensing lights so you can be guaranteed the utmost security even before anyone approaches your home.
- Costs Incurred with Outdoor Lighting
It may cost anywhere from $60-$350 or more per fixture depending on the type. Motion-sensing floodlights generally cost less than others because they only turn on when someone approaches, saving energy and money over time. However, if you have a large yard or want to do some landscape lighting around your house, the cost may add up quickly.
If you’re planning on using solar-powered lights, you may also need to budget for the cost of purchasing solar panels or batteries that store solar energy during the day so you can use them at night.
- Waterproof Outdoor Lights
An obvious necessity but often overlooked, the first thing you should look for in an outdoor light is that it’s waterproof. Waterproof lights are designed to withstand water and moisture, but if you want to go with more traditional lighting, you can find many styles made from materials like metal or glass that are suitable for outdoor use as well and are particularly ideal for an area like a deck or patio where water may collect after a heavy rainstorm. Fixtures such as these will allow you to enjoy your deck throughout the year regardless of the weather.
- Outdoor lighting’s ability to keep animals away
If you have pets or wildlife that come around your yard, you might want to consider installing motion sensor lights or solar-powered lights that turn on automatically when there is movement nearby. Your pets will not be scared away from their favorite play areas near the house or in the yard, but it will be especially beneficial if you live in an area where there are deer, raccoons, or other animals that could potentially cause damage to your home or yard.
The sudden illumination of the motion sensor lights can scare away animals coming onto your property, however, it’s important to remember that animal deterrents don’t always work all of the time, so it’s best to try different options before deciding which landscape lighting or yard lighting type to settle for.
- When to Switch Your Porch Light ON/OFF
Porch lights are often the first line of defense in protecting your home from intruders and should be on at all times unless in extreme weather. You can program motion sensors to turn on when an unwanted person tries to enter your property. However, if you don’t have these sensors, you can automatically use timers to turn them on and off. Depending on how far your porch light is from your driveway or walkway, it may take a minute or two for them to come on after the motion sensor is tripped. To avoid this, acute lighting experts can help to counter any loops that may cause hitches in the installation.
- Outdoor Lighting That Does Not Attract Bugs
Several types of outdoor lighting attract bugs such as moths and mosquitos, including incandescent bulbs, halogen bulbs, and yellow bug lights (also known as sodium vapor lamps). These bulbs emit large amounts of heat which attract insects that are looking for warmth during the winter months. LED lights, however, emit much less heat, making them a less attractive place for bugs.
- Security and Decoration
You can use outdoor lighting to improve the aesthetic value of your home. When installed properly, they can create a nice, attractive ambiance outside. For example, if you have a pool in your backyard, adding outdoor lighting will make it look stunning during the evening hours as well as provide a functional yet homely look for passers-by. Of course, the primary purpose of your outdoor lighting installation should be security, but decoration is always an influential deciding factor when it comes to choosing your fixtures.
- Lighting Location
You may have a specific area for your new lights, but if not, it may help to consider where you spend most of your time outside. For example, if you like to cook on the grill or hang out by the pool, perhaps installing a string of lights along those areas would be more practical. Or if you’re used to relaxing on the patio after dinner, then installing lights here can provide a nice atmosphere if you like to read or simply enjoy the view.
Another thing to consider when choosing where to install outdoor lights is how many light fixtures you need for each location. For example, if you have a large backyard with several areas requiring illumination, it may require several light fixtures to fully complement the whole garden instead of just one or two.
- Consider Light Fixtures Durability
Outdoor lighting must also be durable enough to withstand weather conditions and other environmental factors like snow or rain. You do not want your lights to fail after just one year because they cannot handle harsh weather conditions or poor quality materials used in their construction. A good rule of thumb is that if your house is located in an area with extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes or tornadoes, high-quality materials are a must.
In the end, the decision of which outdoor lighting to choose will come down to you and your individual needs and situation. Talking to a local installer can help you to understand the environment that your lighting fixtures should accommodate. If you are looking to save money and prioritize energy efficiency from your outdoor light fixtures, a trusted electrician should also be able to guide you accordingly.