How Is Home Outdoor Lighting Protected from the Elements?

home outdoor lightingHome outdoor lighting presents a basic design challenge. You need to illuminate the Great Outdoors but also need to protect your lights from the elements. This protection isn’t automatic, as many homeowners assume, and because of that, plenty of mistakes are made when creating outdoor lighting plans.

Choosing Appropriate Light Fixtures

A general rule to follow for the sake of appropriate lighting design is making sure no bare bulbs are visible from your property line. They create glare, are a nuisance to your neighbors and pose risks to your wiring. Bare bulbs can also be affected by rain, and to a smaller degree, by wind. Also, though Marietta isn’t known for its snowfall, it’s important to remember that dropping temperatures can hurt the performance of certain bulbs, like CFLs. Fixtures providing full coverage offers several benefits.

Fixtures without full coverage can be modified with light shields. These clear glass or plastic covers should be sealed and protected to prevent moisture from making content with the light bulb.

Before installing fixtures or shields, make sure they’re thoroughly prepared. Clean and seal the metal bodies and coat glass or plastic in anti-fog and anti-rain products. This will help your fixtures stay clear and functioning regardless of the weather. You’ll also have extra protection against electrical damage.

Choosing the Right Bulbs

There are three basic types of bulbs used in residential applications: halogen, LED and CFL. Indoors or out, LED offer the most convenience and long-term cost effectiveness. While they present the largest expense at purchase, they last 10 – 15 years, and use one-tenth the electricity of traditional incandescent light bulbs.

CFL bulbs perform poorly in cold weather, though styles with the coil encased in decorative glass does well outdoors in Georgia temperatures. Halogens do well in all weather, but they use a ridiculous amount of energy compared to other options. LEDs excel in both warm and cold environments.

Choosing the Best Locations

The most important thing to consider during light placement is where illumination falls, but professional home outdoor lighting is also placed with practicality in mind. Setting lights close to the house allow the roof’s overhang to provide protection from wind and rain. The same is true for yard lights near trees and bushes, and for lights placed near the roof or front door.

Regular maintenance can also help protect your lights from the elements. This is true whether you’re getting trees thinned or trimmed or you’re cutting weeds down near light fixture bases. These small steps go a long way in preserving the professional, stylish look of an illuminated home.

Want to learn more about how to design the perfect setup for your property? Call Showcase Outdoors at (470) 251-2033 for a free estimate on home outdoor lighting.