The three priorities for Outdoor & Patio Lighting are to deliver overall brightness through general lighting, create functionality with task lighting, and provide a visually appealing space with accent lighting. In order to accomplish this task, you should incorporate these three layers of lighting into your space.
You may need one or several types of light fixtures in a space, depending on the layout, size, aesthetic and space available. Here is a checklist of lighting types to consider for a properly lit outdoor and patio:
Provides lighting for everyday activities
Highlights a specific area creating a focal point or focused Illumination for walkways and steps
- Security & Flood Light
Highlights a specific area creating a focal point or to set a mood
Choosing the right light bulb
The right bulb
Recognizable as the “standard” light bulb, with electricity heating a tungsten filament enough to produce visible light.
- Dimmable Fully dimmable
- Average Life 1,500 hours
Energy efficient and warm light. Halogen bulbs are actually incandescent lighting with their energy savings.
- Efficiency At least 25% more efficient than standard incandescent
- Dimmable Fully dimmable, just like standard incandescent
- Average Life 1,000 hours
Like Halogen, Xenon and Krypton bulbs are also energy efficient incandescent bulbs. Xenon doesn’t get as hot as Halogen, and can be a better option in tight or enclosed lighting fixtures.
Energy efficient bulbs are available in a wide variety of types, and have improved accuracy in how they render color, so everything looks more natural and alive.
- Efficiency About 75% more efficient than standard incandescent
- Dimmable Not always dimmable (check the bulb’s label)
- Average Life 8,000 hours
LED bulbs are fast becoming the coolest light bulb of them all--literally, as they emit almost no heat and they thrive in cold locations.
- Efficiency At least 75% more efficient than standard incandescent
- Dimmable Dimmable options and LED-compatible dimmers available
- Average Life 25,000 plus hours
The color temperature indicates the relative color that a light source has. It is measured on the Kelvin temperature scale. Light sources with warm light are lower in color temperature, usually around 2700-3000K. Light sources with white light (daylight) are usually around 3000-4000K. Light sources with cooler blue light are higher in color temperature, usually 4000K and over.
SWITCHES AND CONTROLS
Light dimmers offer flexibility in that area in-between, giving you just the right level of brightness as dictated by a given situation or desired mood. When choosing a dimmer, keep in mind:
- Incandescent or a Halogen Lamping that is 120 Volts will use a standard dimmer switch.
- Halogen Lamping that is 12 Volts (low voltage) will need an electronic low voltage dimmer or a magnetic low voltage dimmer depending on the transformer.
- Integrated LED fixtures need to indicate that they are dimmable. Often they will use an electronic low voltage dimmer, but please refer to manufacturers spec sheet.
- CFL Lamping is rarely dimmable and can be a fire hazard.