Outdoor lighting fixtures can drastically change the design of a space while also improving a building's security and safety. There are many different types of outdoor lighting fixtures that are suitable for numerous applications.
When it comes to choosing the right outdoor lighting fixture for your space, there are some important factors that one should consider. You should first think about the application and bare in mind that most outdoor lighting fixtures are typically mounted along exterior walls, ceilings, and floors. You will also need to choose a fixture that is resistant to water and has enough wattage to achieve your specific landscaping goal. Shine Retrofits has a vast inventory of outdoor lighting products and we are here today to help you make the best decision for your next outdoor lighting project.
Choosing an Outdoor Lighting Fixture
Outdoor lighting fixtures are typically made from durable materials such as marine-grade plastics or high-density polyethylene that are resistant to heat, light, and moisture. These materials are used to make outdoor lighting fixtures resistant to the elements so that they can retain their aesthetic and functional purposes for a long period of time. Manufacturers use a grading system to determine the best conditions for an outdoor lighting fixture, which includes:
- UL Damp Location Rating: Best suited for lights that are partially covered or protected
- Wet Location Rating: Best suited for use in open-air environments
- Solid Aluminum or Marine Grade Resin: Best suited for use near seaside properties because they will withstand the corrosive effects of salt, moisture, and air.
Choosing a Light Bulb for an Outdoor Lighting Fixture
Outdoor lighting fixtures are usually compatible with LED and incandescent light bulbs with each bulb type bearing different attributes appropriate for specific settings and uses.
Incandescent bulbs are more popular amongst outdoor lighting fixtures because they produce a warmer light and the bulbs themselves are inexpensive. On the other hand, they are not very energy efficient and they need to be replaced more often than other bulbs.
LED bulbs are very energy efficient and last much longer but they are more expensive and provide less color variation.
Shine Retrofits recommends matching your bulb choice to your needs. If your goal is to elevate the aesthetic of your home while also implementing a sense of security, incandescent bulbs are for you. If you are looking to cut costs and can sacrifice aesthetics for a more clinical light temperature, then LEDs are best for you.
Powering an Outdoor Lighting Fixture
Outdoor lighting fixtures are typically powered with a low voltage of 12-24 volts but there are a variety of ways you can power your outdoor lighting system.
Low voltage systems are more common because they are much easier to install than a high voltage system and are more energy efficient, so low voltage systems are typically the standard over high voltage systems. It is also important to consider that no matter what level of voltage you choose, there is going to be some level of installation required, however, the lower the voltage, the less intensive the installation will be, therefore low voltage is typically the best option for traditional lighting methods.
Solar power is also a very popular power source for outdoor lighting fixtures which is a no-brainer considering your fixtures are outside all day anyway and have ample access to the sun. Solar-powered outdoor lighting fixtures are a no-fuss option because they require no rewiring and very little system installation. They also allow you to set them and forget them because most solar-powered outdoor fixtures are made to turn on once the sensors pick up a set level of darkness, so as long as the property is in a place that gets 6-8 hours of sunlight in a day, your solar lights will run with very little supervision.
Timers and motion sensors are also popular in outdoor lighting applications because they provide energy efficiency by optimizing light usage. Timers can be pre-programmed to shut off and turn on at specific times, making them fully customizable to your needs. Motion sensors are triggered by movement and are best used for improving safety in an outdoor space.
Different Types of Outdoor Lighting Fixtures
These kinds of outdoor lighting fixtures are fixed along vertical walls and cast a downlight or an uplight along areas like walkways and entrances. Sconces or lanterns are examples of outdoor wall light fixtures that add both functional and aesthetic value to any outdoor location.
Post lights are mounted on tall posts, fences, or railings. Usually, these lights are installed around sidewalks, paths, and swimming pools. Low-hanging post lights provide better visibility by drawing attention to outdoor objects and preventing tripping hazards on paths. Wider areas of light are illuminated by post lights mounted on taller posts. Solar energy can be used to power post lights for more flexibility.
Landscape lighting is often used to highlight trees and shrubs or outdoor decor like sculptures and fountains. This category of outdoor lights includes path lights, spotlights, and low-profile post lights. Landscape lighting provides functionality while also elevating the design of a space. They also highlight potential hazards that are not as visible in the dark.
Security and Flood Lights
Flood lights provide a focused beam of light directed toward a specific location. These lights are often very bright so they can provide a generous amount of light in outdoor spaces. LEDs are usually best suited in this type of outdoor lighting and are generally perfect for any security lighting application. Security and flood lights are often rigged with a motion sensor that turns on when triggered by movement. Motion sensors are inexpensive and provide increased security against possible intruders.
Still not sure which outdoor lighting fixture is right for you? Our lighting experts at Shine Retrofits can talk you through our wide range of options and advise you on the best outdoor lighting fixtures for your next project. Give us a call at 1-877-643-4534 anytime Monday through Friday, from 6 am to 6 pm, Mountain Standard Time.