There are many good reasons to install outdoor lighting along your pathways, patios and other dimly lit areas outside. Household members and guests will be safer when moving around your yard, which saves them from possible injury and pain—and you from potential lawsuits. You can use and enjoy your deck, garden or pool area even on the darkest evenings when you have adequate landscape lighting and other fixtures to illuminate tables and seating areas.
Whether you need your play area lit up for nighttime fun, or you want spotlights to show off your colorful flowerbeds after dark, take the time to choose your outdoor lighting carefully using the following two tips:
Use portable lights for research
Lighting fixtures sketched on your property plans may perform quite differently than they do once installed in real life. Too much glare from lights can make it hard to see, while too little illumination can create walking hazards or make your patio less enjoyable at night. Outdoor lighting in the wrong spot may also beam into bedrooms and interrupt sleepers in those rooms.
Research your yard using a portable light or lamp with the same strength and color lights you plan to use in your outdoor spaces. You might use a portable work lamp or a household lamp plugged in to an extension cord. Do your research at night for the best results.
Move the light around to see where the shine falls to determine if your chosen fixture spots are suitable. If lights are too bright or dim in a certain zone, use bulbs with more or less incandescence to adjust the brightness.
Go for healthier LED lights
Many homeowners and municipalities are switching their outdoor fixtures to LED bulbs, as the bulbs can last three times longer than standard outdoor bulbs and use far less electricity. But physicians are concerned about the effects of bright, blue-spectrum LED lights on human health.
All bulbs have what's called a color temperature or CT. This number represents how "warm" or "cool" the light emitted appears to the naked eye. Old-school light bulbs have a CT under 3,000 Kelvin (K), which means they have more red and yellow tones that are kinder to the eye.
LED lights are known for their much higher CT levels, and they often exceed 4,000 K due to the prevalence of blue light waves they emit. These brighter lights can harm the retina, disrupt circadian rhythm, and confuse wildlife at night. Ask your outdoor lighting professional and go to this site to learn more about LED lights with a lower CT rating for installation on your property.