When it’s time to replace your outdoor lighting, there are so many options available that the process may seem daunting. However, with just a little knowledge, you can navigate this landscape to find the perfect outdoor lighting solution for your needs. Follow these basic steps that will work well in most situations and you’ll be well on your way to great outdoor lighting!
Identify The Existing Outdoor Lighting
Gather as much information as you can about your existing lights. Look around at their placement on the exterior of the house and note how they’re angled. If possible measure them or take a template of angles and measurements with you when shopping for new lights. This will save a considerable amount of time and trouble when trying to match up your new lighting with your old. If you don’t have the old lights, or they’re damaged beyond repair, it’s still possible to get good information regarding placement and angles. Also, take note of roof extensions so you can replicate this in your new lights.
Determine Your Lighting Needs
Before buying any outdoor lighting solution, determine what effects you desire from that light source. To get started, consider these 3 elements: illumination (amount of light), dispersion (area illuminated), and safety (useful in preventing accidents). For example, you may be interested in the illumination of a light source, but this will mean nothing if that light doesn’t disperse sufficiently or your pathway is not safely lit.
Evaluate Your Options
Go to the hardware store and begin browsing for outdoor lighting options. Start by checking out what’s available at your local home improvement store first, then branch out to the internet if necessary; there are many reliable online resources, like at this link where you can learn about your options. Take notes on what you need so you can compare all your options quickly and efficiently. You may find yourself narrowing down to one specific type of lighting solution (traditional post lights, LED landscape lights) or it might take some time before you settle on something. Here are some of your options.
Traditional Post Lights
Traditional post lights are the old standby for exterior lighting. They’re simple to find, easy to install, and relatively inexpensive. However, they’re not always an adequate solution for outdoor lighting needs due to current requirements of safety and energy efficiency. They consist of a lamp-post style fixture attached at the top or bottom by a long metal pole which is often hollow (for ease of installation). The lamp itself is easily replaced by removing the top portion and replacing it with a new one. These fixtures can be installed directly in the ground (if using a bottom mount) or affixed to posts (top mounts). Bottom mounted traditional post lights tend to illuminate more directly downwards while top mounts provide wider illumination that disperses over more area on your pathway.
LED Landscape Lights
LED landscape lights are basically mini light posts that can be installed in the same spots as traditional lights. They’re made of a metal pole with either a top or bottom mount for installation and attached to this “pole” is an LED lamp. This is where the similarity stops, however, as these lamps provide much more illumination than their traditional counterparts due to the technology used to create them. Many models also feature remote controls so you can turn the lights on without having to go outside at night (handy when hosting events). LED landscape lights are perfectly suitable for areas that require brighter illumination of larger spaces, but may not work for areas where direct lighting is needed (like staircases) or where shadows must be avoided (by roads or sidewalks).
LED Solar Post Lights
Solar-powered LED lights are a natural choice for outdoor lighting. They don’t require any wiring, connections to a power source, or expensive installation fees. You can buy solar post lights that look very similar to traditional post lights and they function nearly the same way – except that no outside power source is needed. Just place them in the ground where you want them and let the sun’s energy do the rest. There are even some models which feature motion sensors so they turn on whenever someone walks past them at night.
Making The Purchase
Once you’ve narrowed down your options to one or two, it’s time to make the purchase! Remember that you may need to buy a few different pieces for your lighting solution but that’s okay. If you don’t like the first option be sure to return what you don’t want and get a refund instead of keeping them around.
If you’re looking to provide better security or safety to your yard then outdoor lighting is an absolute must. And don’t forget about the added value it gives to your home too! With some excellent options to choose from when selecting the top outdoor lighting solution for your needs- traditional post lights, LED landscape lights, LED solar post lights- you’ll find something suitable.