What to consider when choosing outdoor lighting
Winter time brings short days and long nights for us here in the Pacific Northwest and we see an increase in calls regarding outdoor lighting. I hope to shed some light (no pun intended!) on the subject of outdoor lighting so that you can make a more informed choice when deciding what to do and how to do it when it comes to choosing how to keep the outside of your home and business safer from hazards and more secure from those things that go bump in the night!
Home and business owners install outdoor lighting for different reasons and whether you are looking for decorative, safety, or security, the options are endless. So I’d like to start by giving a little insight as to the types of lighting available so hopefully you can narrow down the choices a bit.
HID lighting, or high intensity discharge lighting comes in a couple different types and are typically used in commercial applications, or in areas where a large space needs to be lit up. The 3 main types are mercury vapor, high pressure sodium, and metal halide. They provide a lot of light and typically have a long life span, however they are somewhat costly to run and maintain and will have a delay turning on, warming up until you have full brightness. Mercury vapor lights are rarely used anymore but you will find them typically as “barn lights”, the type of light you would see hanging over the eve of a barn.
High Pressure Sodium lights are a good choice when lighting up a perimeter as they give off a very even light pattern. These are the yellow colored lights you see in parking lots or along streets.
Metal Halide lights give off a nice crisp white light emulating daylight, and are a good choice for security lighting of a large area.
Compact fluorescent lighting is a very energy efficient choice when looking at outdoor lighting. It gives off a nice white light and can be used for many different applications. One thing to consider however is the temperature of the area it will be used in. Many fluorescent lights do not perform well in the cold. Some take longer to get to full brightness, while others may never reach full brightness if it is below freezing. Typically they will use far less electricity that a standard incandescent light and have a lifespan of up to 10 times longer than an incandescent light bulb.
I’ve saved what I think is the best for last. LED which stands for light emitting diode, is somewhat new technology when it comes to the lighting world. It came on the scene about 2010 in full commercial production and has steadily improved while the price of LED lighting has significantly decreased. LED lights come in all shapes and sizes. They can be used for any application, whether it be security, safety, or decorative. Just about any fixture type out there can be found in an LED form of some sort. They provide instant, crisp light for security lighting, or can be found in more subdued contrasts for decorative lighting or pathway lighting. They last for more than 25,000 hours and draw less than ¼ the wattage of standard incandescent lamps. The costs are slightly higher than other types of fixtures, but the operating costs will make up that difference in short order.
In closing, I hope that by reading and making an informed decision when choosing the type of outdoor lighting you would like to use your project will come out better than you could have envisioned. Remember, we at HB Electric Solutions are always here to help as your friendly electrician when it comes to wanting information on what type of light would work best for your need. Please feel free to give us a call at 253-256-7861, or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Outdoor lighting Puyallup WA