Lighting your yard and outdoor spaces takes on new meaning after we switch from daylight savings time in early November. During the long days of summer, outdoor lighting can be about ambiance and getting the most out of your outdoor spaces.
But during the long nights of winter, your outdoor lights become much more about safety as you and your family find yourself leaving and returning to your home in darkness every day. This can be especially true in the very short days of December and early January when even your kids may be leaving for bus stops and walking to school in dim light.
Of course, lighting safety plays two roles, first by allowing you to simply see what you’re doing, but also by discouraging intruders who could threaten your home and family.
Overhead lights provide the best illumination to see what you’re doing, while lights at eye level make it easier to identify faces and individuals.
Eric Krise Electric can help you design the perfect lighting scheme to keep your yard safely lit and secure for another fall and winter season. Keep in mind that there may local requirements and regulations for outdoor lighting in your community as well.
In the meantime, here are a few steps you can take to improve the outdoor lighting at your home.
The entranceways for your home should be well lit both so that you can see while entering, but also to allow you to identify and greet guests at the door. However, you can be a little more creative than simply leaving on a porch light. Wall lanterns on each side of the door, for example, will give your home a warm, welcoming look and still assure the safety of those who enter. If you have a porch or overhang, you can also install recessed lighting or ceiling fixtures. Outside the garage, mount a lantern on each side or install a single fixture above to provide lighting for safety and security.
Motion sensor lights can also save you from having to leave the porch lights on full time. Photocells, or cells that turn the lights on as it gets dark, can also save electricity.
However, avoid harsh glaring spotlights, which can actually make it more difficult to see clearly. Not only can they “blind” someone whose eyes aren’t adjusted, they can actually create a strong glare that also makes it difficult for neighbors to see what’s happening at your door. The glare can also make shaded areas seem even darker, making it easier for an intruder to hide.
Also illuminate the sides of your house near entranceways and first story windows that would otherwise be in shadow. Spotlights can be installed along your roof eaves, or for a more decorative look, run ground lights along your home’s walls. Again, photocell sensors will save on electricity.
Steps, paths, and driveways are also perfect spots for ground lights that will help keep your family and visitors from stumbling in the dark. Post lanterns are another option. Low-level path lights, which spread circular patterns of light, will brighten your walkway while highlighting nearby flower beds, shrubs, and ground cover. Low-level path lights can also be used to define the boundaries of long driveways.
For larger outdoor spaces like decks, porches, and patios, low-voltage mini-lights can be concealed under steps, railing or benches. You can also install a spotlight in the branches of a nearby tree. These tricks reclaim your outdoor space without strong, harsh lighting.
Brighten up the night with a new outdoor lighting that will not only look great, but provide a level of safety and security. Call Eric Krise Electric to talk about your ideas, or have us create a plan for you. Our number is 856.769.3932 or contact us online.