Most homeowners will install outdoor lighting systems for one of two reasons: security or appearance. A well-lit outdoor home environment will naturally feel safer and secure, as it has fewer dark spots and shadows in which danger might be lurking. Alternately, a building’s exterior design features can be lost during the evening hours. Installing LED lights outside can address both of these problems with modern and efficient LED technology
A small amount of planning will go a long way toward maximizing the dual benefits of outside LED lights. These design tips will help a homeowner get the most out of an exterior LED lighting system.
Make a plan that is specific to the homesite. Simply purchasing a number of identical outside LED lights and installing them at regular intervals will inevitably lead to light and dark spots. Instead, think about where you need lighting and how to create a uniform lighting pattern across your entire outside space.
Think of all four directions. Walk around the house and consider security issues from all angles. Mounting LED lights outside to illuminate all sides of a home will dramatically improve security and appearance.
Top down or bottom up? Overhead LED lights that cast their beams downward are better for security, but light that projects upwards from recessed fixtures can create more dramatic effects for aesthetic purposes. Decide which is more important and plan the LED light placement accordingly.
Protect power supplies. Exposed or easily accessible power supply wires can be cut or damaged as a result of regular lawn and landscape maintenance. Make sure that the wiring for your LED lights outside is as secure as the fixtures themselves.
Factor in ease of maintenance. Even though LED’s have longer lifespans than other forms of outdoor illumination, they will still need to be replaced and cleaned regularly to to sustain and extend their performance. Do not place LED lights outside in locations that are difficult to access.
Tone down the high beams. Brighter is not necessarily better when installing LED lights outside. A very bright fixture can blind drivers who might be passing by the house, or wash out certain features of the house itself. Select LED lights and fixtures with frosted lenses to distribute light more regularly and to avoid glare and light pollution problems.
Choose white over color for better security. Colored LED outside lights can create dramatic effects, but those effects can obscure or distort a viewer’s perception of events. If security is the primary concern, LED outside lights that are white or clear will be a better choice.
Use motion sensors or timers. A house generally does not need 24-hour exterior lighting. When outside LED lights are turned on and off with a motion sensor or timer, the security and aesthetic effects are optimized without alienating neighbors who might prefer to have lights off during the very late evening or very early morning hour.
LED outside lights have features that integrate well with all of these design tips. LED’s, for example, come to full power almost immediately after they are powered on, making them ideal for systems that include integrated motion sensors. LED’s are also cost-effective and efficient. A homeowner can illuminate a large yard and home for a fraction of the utility costs that would be incurred if traditional outdoor lighting were used instead of LED’s.
SpecGrade LED, a Columbus, Ohio based designer and manufacturer of LED bulbs, fixtures, and accessories, produces a full complement of LED lights for all outdoor applications. Please see our website for more information about our products and services, or contact our support staff at 888-497-0135 for answers to your specific questions about installing LED lights outside.