We have all witnessed it first hand. Driving through a neighborhood in the evening, maybe even yours, and the home that is beautiful by day is ruined under the veil of night with, you guessed it, bad outdoor lighting. In the realm of outdoor lighting there is a pyramid that represents the best and worst in outdoor lighting design. The good outdoor lighting designs are located at the top of the pyramid, with all others falling below. In our many years of experience bad can fall into many categories. This includes poorly executed designs, haphazard placement, inappropriate fixtures and the use of too many lights. Some residences may include one, or all, of the above. In our line of business we have seen it all, fixed it all and nothing really surprises us anymore when it comes to outdoor lighting. Here is a rundown of some of the bad and ugly lighting designs we have met over the years:
- Solar Stake Lights — These are the fixtures you often see in “big box” home improvement stores for cheap. They promise a “green” alternative to conventional outdoor lighting because they use solar energy ( light from the sun) to power the implement within and provide light during the evening hours. We are not implying that ALL solar fixtures are bad but due to the poor quality of this type of solar fixture, they rarely last past a season. In addition, the light is inconsistent and by midnight it is not uncommon to see many of the lights have already stopped burning. There is also a tendency to use a large quantity of these lights because the fixtures emit little to no “light spread” — used to line driveways, along sidewalks and paths, these lights resemble a small airport runway! Not the kind of design most upscale homeowners are looking to achieve.
- Improper Placement of Fixtures — Sometimes even the best made plans and intentions can go awry. Much is the case with inexperienced installers who try to promote outdoor lighting with no background or knowledge of proper design, or those that use it as a sideline business. The elements of good outdoor lighting include adding depth and texture to the space being illuminated; work top to bottom to accentuate your homes dimensions, and especially it’s height; side to side to accentuate your home’s width; illuminate your home’s side facade open to the street; light the path to the front door and never place fixtures where they will shine into windows! It also crucial to remember professional outdoor lighting promotes the “effect” not the fixture. Just like your pappy probably told you about children being seen and not heard, outdoor lighting fixtures should not become the center of attention either.
- Cheap fixtures— We cannot begin to stress the importance of using quality outdoor lighting fixtures. When you invest in professional outdoor lighting for your home and landscape it is crucial to have it installed right the first time. Our experience, knowledge and talent enable us to design your one-of-a-kind installation. However, we also stand behind our tried and true exclusive line of fixtures made with copper, brass and other quality materials that are built for longevity to provide years of enjoyment!
Stressing the importance of having a professional lighting designer/installer cannot be stressed enough when it comes to appointing good outdoor lighting. That image in your head can be achieved when you have a lighting professional do the job. From the customer service, the design, the fixtures, follow-up and maintenance to the breathtaking end result.
Don’t fall victim to the trifecta of bad outdoor lighting! Contact Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Wilmington today to schedule a free consultation today at your Cape Fear home or business — you will be glad you did.