When working with outdoor lighting, property owners are presented with many decisions, for example, where lights should be placed and what fixtures should be used. However, one thing you should not overlook is the level of brightness your lights put out.
Unique Outdoor Illumination & Mosquito Pros is here to help you select the appropriate light level for your outdoor lights. Depending on your needs, your lights may need to be different from what is described below. This is why it pays to enlist the help of a professional when working with outdoor lighting.
LED Outdoor Lighting
LED lighting is an excellent selection for outdoor lighting. It offers many benefits over other lighting methods.
Some of the advantages of LED lighting include the following:
- Perform better in cold weather than other types of lights
- Produces less heat than other types of lighting
- More durable than other types of lights (although this may vary)
- Environmentally friendly
- Provides savings on energy costs
- Longer lasting compared to other types of lights
How to Measure Light Brightness
Light output from bulbs is measured in lumens. The higher the number of lumens, the brighter the light will be. Knowing how many lumens you are working with can help you plan your outdoor lighting.
How Many Lumens are Needed for Outdoor Lighting
While every situation is different, below is a list of recommendations for how many lumens an LED light should have:
- Step Lighting: 12 to 100 lumens
- Wall-mounted Hardscape Lights: 50 to 185 lumens
- Landscape Lighting: 50 to 300 lumens
- Pathway Lighting: 100 to 200 lumens
- Landscape Spotlights: 120 lumens
- Lamp Post Lighting: 120 to 180 lumens
- Pond or Pool Lights: 200 to 400 lumens
- Motion Sensing Lights: 300 to 700 lumens
- Flood Lights: 700 to 1300 lumens
Please Note: It is critical that you get the appropriate type of lighting for each situation. Be it a pool light or regular outdoor light, make sure it can handle the environment.
Like other types of pollution, light pollution can damage your health and negatively affect wildlife. Homeowners and business owners are responsible for ensuring their lights do not interfere with other people or animals. By consulting with a professional, you can use your lights in a responsible and environmentally-friendly manner.
Types of Light Pollution
Several types of light pollution include:
- Glare – Glare can hurt eyes and make seeing difficult.
- Light Trespass – It occurs when a light source enters private property without an owner’s permission. The offending light can range from a neighbor’s outdoor lights to street lights.
- Skyglow – A glowing sky over heavy-populated areas, for example, cities.
- Clutter – Clutter is what happens when a group of lights is organized in such a way that it creates a distraction.
What’s Affected by Light Pollution
Light pollution is more than just an annoyance. It can negatively affect one’s health, wildlife, and the environment. Light pollution is not just limited to outdoor lights; it encompasses things like indoor lighting and even car lights. The International Dark-Sky Association has more information on the subject.
Some of the things it affects include:
Confusing Baby Sea Turtles: Newly hatched baby sea turtles can mistake artificial lights for the ocean and accidentally crawl away from it. Nova Southeastern University has additional information on how to help baby sea turtles.
Interfering with Animals: Many animals can have a hard time finding food due to light pollution.
Disrupting Birds: Birds who navigate by moonlight during the night can have a harder time finding their way.
Harming Sleeping Patterns: it can interfere with our body’s natural sleep cycle.
Blocking Out Stars: It prevents us from seeing the beauty of the night sky. Stars can be much harder to see, if seen at all.
What You Can Do About Light Pollution
While by no means a definitive list, here are a few ways you can cut back on light pollution. For more information, it is a good idea to work with a professional.
These are some basic tips to get you started on protecting the night sky.
Watch for Windows: Avoid shining light into your neighbor’s window. It might be simple, but it goes a long way!
Avoid Unnecessary Lighting: If it doesn’t interfere with safety, think about going without certain lights.
Use International Dark Sky-Association-Approved Lights: The International Dark-Sky Association gives certain light fixtures the Fixture Seal of Approval for being dark-sky friendly.
Utilize Warmer Colors: Depending on their Kelvin temperature, lights will produce different colors. It’s a good idea to try avoiding cooler colors like blue. Warmer colors, such as yellow, work better with our circadian rhythms.
Equip Lights with a Light Shield: By equipping light fixtures with light shields, you can help prevent light from shining where it isn’t needed. This is a great idea when you are only trying to light a certain section of your property.
Use Motion Sensors and Timers: You can use motion sensors and timers to prevent lights from staying on longer than they are needed.
Outdoor Lighting Design
If this seems like a lot to deal with, don’t hesitate to get a professional’s help. One that can help you responsibly and effectively light up your property. If you’re in the Houston area, Unique Outdoor Illumination & Mosquito Pros can design the proper lighting setup for your situation. We can guide you with everything from selecting the right lights to finding the optimal way to position them. With over twenty years of experience, you can rely on us to do the job right.