School’s out, and it’s officially summer. Finally, long summer nights are here at last!
We find ourselves arriving home later in the evenings. Late ball games, nights on a patio (fingers crossed!), and late-night dog walks … whatever summer evening activities you return home from, your exterior lighting is important. The safety and security it provides is priceless, but the costs to you don’t have to be. If you light your property correctly, you should be free from worry for years to come.
The biggest mistake people make in outdoor lighting is choosing fixtures that are too small. You really want your fixtures to be proportionate to your home when looking at them from the sidewalk. The perspective from this distance will give you the right balance.
If you have only one power source beside your front door, the rule of thumb is for the fixture to be approximately 1/3 the size of your door; if you have two sources (one on either side of the door), the guideline is for each fixture to be 1/4 the size of your door, from the threshold to the top of the frame. Over-garage lighting is also determined in this way, but junction box placement as well as brick/stone style and window placements may create parameters you have to work within.
I have noticed that a lot of people also tend to over-light their homes. Just because a fixture might be rated to take 100-watt bulbs doesn’t mean you have to use them. Remember, in the dead of night 100 watts is a lot of light – too much, in fact. A 40- or 60-watt bulb will suffice, giving you enough light to see faces and find keys.
When choosing your bulbs for outdoor fixtures, consider the overall look of your home and fixtures. Bulbs these days come in all shapes and styles, so you can continue your style of either traditional or modern all the way down to the detail of your bulbs. Consider also your neighbours, as they are the ones who will be seeing your fixtures even more than you will. Are you choosing a bulb that is cool and bright and will shine right into their homes? A warm bulb can create a welcoming light and illuminate your porch or pathway at the same time. Consider adding in landscape lighting to assist in illuminating pathways and highlighting gardens. The more illuminated your property is, the safer your visitors will be and the more secure your property will feel.
Summer nights also mean summer vacations. Lighting your home or cottage while you are away is always a great safety precaution to take.
Bringing in pictures or a plan of your home always helps a lighting expert to understand your style and lighting scenario. We may see from a photo an opportunity or challenge and be able to present you with an appropriate lighting solution. There are numerous options and styles in terms of both decorative and security lighting.
Come in to speak with one of our lighting experts to find out what is available and will work for you.