Exterior lighting is a part of every building’s design. It adds beautiful curb appeal and can make a design statement as it guides the way for visitors and family. But exterior lighting is much more than simply placing a couple of wall lanterns or a hanging light near an entrance. There are many outdoor lighting options available that increase safety and security while creating an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere for your home or business. Here are some of the different types of outdoor lighting to choose from.
Site Lighting and Area Lighting
Site and area lighting fixtures are ideal for lighting large areas. Typically installed on poles or decorative arms, these styles range from a traditional decorative lantern style to high-performance LED luminaires. This type of lighting is used in commercial applications such as parking lots and residential applications for large areas like pool decks and backyards requiring high levels of illumination.
Pathway and Step Lighting
Light the way to your home or business with low-level pathway and step lights for increased safety and beauty. Many styles have integrated LED light sources, which offer minimal maintenance and excellent energy efficiency. When installing, stagger pathway lights about 6 to 8 feet apart to provide just enough light to see while walking. Illuminate stairways by installing stair step lights directly into stair risers not only for safety but to add a lovely focal point to decks, patios and garden paths.
Ideal in commercial and residential spaces, flood lights distribute a cone of light across a wide area. Building entrances, backyards, driveways, walkways and decks can benefit from the high level of security that flood lighting provides. Install flood lights with motion sensors on all sides of the building to come on automatically when they detect nearby movement.
Wall Mount Lighting
Also known as wall pack lighting, this type of lighting is mounted on a building’s outside walls. They are typically mounted in multiples spaced a few feet apart to illuminate pedestrian walkways and driveways. Try pairing them with motion detectors or put them on timers or other photosensors for dawn to dusk protection.
With a wide pattern light distribution, canopy lights are great for garages or entryways. Canopy lights can take many forms, such as outdoor pendants, surface lights, or recessed lighting mounted to a building’s outdoor ceiling or overhang. Commonly seen in commercial applications such as gas stations or hotel lobby overhangs, canopy lights can also be used in residential applications such as covered decks, porches, entryways, and carports.
Landscape lighting serves the dual purpose of providing security light and adding dramatic beauty to the outside area of a home or business. Try aiming spotlights to showcase a tree’s foliage. Create dramatic focal points by cross lighting statues, fountains, and architectural elements with two beams of light. When creating an outdoor landscape lighting plan, a good rule of thumb is to use warm (yellow/orange) light on objects and cool (white/blue) light on plants.
Remember to always select outdoor lighting that is rated for damp locations (for semi-protected areas) or wet rated for places where the lighting receives direct exposure to the elements. Use weatherproof or outdoor-rated electrical boxes, which safely hold the electrical wire connections and prevent water from contacting the wires.