Outdoor Path Lighting- Know Before You Buy
Outdoor path lighting is tricky. Done improperly and well, we’ve all seen the too-bright runway effect haven’t we?
But used wisely, path lighting can be a great asset to a home, changing the feel of the exterior dramatically.
Looking to boost your home’s curb appeal? It requires planning, an understanding of power and strategic placement.
Planning for Efficiency? Plan to Save on Your Electric Bill:
Cost, materials and durability are important things to consider when shopping for any fixture. But with the growing green movement, many homeowners are starting to think about efficiency.
Getting more for your money is always a good thing; getting more while consuming less energy? Even better.
When it comes to path lighting, there are a few things you can incorporate that can help your home–and your wallet–save green.
Planning your Power:
The truth is, most path lighting doesn’t require much more than low voltage lighting. Unless you are looking to light a commercial building, higher voltage is a waste of energy and money.
In addition, low volt lighting offers benefits that traditional line voltage lighting does not. For example, when properly powered, low voltage lighting supplies two and a half times more light than traditional incandescents.
In other words, a low volt’s fifty watts can outshine the efforts of a 125 volt lamp over time, and do it better quality light, saving you money and making your home look it’s best. What’s more, this light is versatile, appropriate for both up-lighting and down-lighting.
Another green option is, the ever growing in popularity, solar lighting. Cost-effective and with the right planning, low maintenance.
What do we mean by the right planning? Getting to know your annual local forecast. Yep, the weather.
No solar lighting panel can do it’s job properly if its placed in a region where it’s efficiency will be at a minimum. While it is true that most high quality solar lights are sensitive enough to charge in cloudy weather, some places just don’t provide enough natural power due to weather patterns.
It is important to know how your lights will function in your particular area before you buy, in order to make the most of your investment. Be sure to check with the manufacturer for a detailed description on the range of function for your product.
In most cases, some will perform better in the summer and shine less intensely in the winter. To get the most out of your solar lights, be sure to place your PV or photo-voltaic panel in the best spot possible.
Via solar energy, this panel charges the batteries that power your lights, allowing them to run for an average of eight to ten hours every night. Proper placement is crucial for maximum power.
Whatever your choice, timers for automated on and off settings should be considered. They’ll help save energy by making sure you have light only when you need it and exactly when you want it.
Placement is Key:
When it comes to lighting, placement is key. Much like location in real estate, the placement of your path lights can make a big difference in how attractive your home is perceived. And if you’re looking to sell, strategy here is important. Lighting your walk way in a careless airport runway fashion is a mistake to be avoided.
When considering placement, it is important to pay attention to the design of the fixture. What is the direction of light? Most path lightingemanates downward, but some with sheer glass or plastic decor allow for light to stream upward.
All that considered, the planning of spacing can be better thought out. Avoid the runway effect by placing lights on just one side of a path way.
Alternatively, you can alternate placement so that lights on either side of a walk way don’t stand parallel, directly across from each other. If your fixture can produce enough light, try outlining the shape of your walk way with the fixtures by placing them closer to gravel or shrubbery, leaving a buffer of six inches to a few feet.