Installing Outdoor Lighting: 10 Safety Considerations
Making Installing Outdoor Lighting Safe and Simple
Installing outdoor lighting around your home or commercial space is always a good idea. A well-lit property not only boosts your curb appeal, but also enhances safety as residents, workers, and customers walk to and from your building. If you’re ready to light up and protect your property’s exterior, here are some simple tips to follow when installing outdoor lighting:
- Plan accordingly. Decide which type of outdoor lighting you will be installing: low-voltage landscape lights, solar landscape lights, or line-voltage lighting. Low-voltage landscape lights, such as landscape lights, are easy to install and safe to work with. These operate at 12 volts and include a transformer that is plugged into an outdoor outlet. Solar landscape lights need no wiring and must be installed in full sunlight. Finally, line-voltage lighting, operating at 120 volts, requires the use of a conduit and an electrical junction box that must be hardwired into your electrical system.
- Choose several smaller lights. When it comes to installing outdoor lighting, several smaller lights placed around the property may be a better option than a few large lights. It’s easier to ensure more of your property is lit with tinier, dimmer bulbs. However, be sure to place lights around the entire perimeter of your property, not just the front.
- Position lights properly. You’ll want to place the light fixtures higher off the ground, so the beams of light cover a larger radius. If you install outdoor lighting closer to the ground, then the beams won’t cover as big of an area. Also, with the lights higher up, it’s easier to position them so that the beams overlap and provide full coverage. Another reason to install high lights is that it makes it harder for intruders to damage them.
- Secure your security lighting. Your security lighting is meant to protect you—but who protects it? Make sure that the wires that power your outdoor lighting are well hidden and hard to access. Another option is to use solar-powered security lighting. These types of lights can be much more difficult to tamper with if they are installed up high because there are no low wires.
- Maintenance matters. After installing outdoor lighting, you should establish a regular maintenance routine to keep your lights shining bright. Check bulbs frequently, clean off any dirt and debris, and replace burnt-out bulbs quickly.
- Beware of going too bright. A common mistake that many people make when installing outdoor lighting is to use the most dazzling light bulbs possible. But bright lights cast a lot of shadows where intruders will aim to hide. And, if not adequately shielded, bright lights create glare and affect one’s vision.
- Stick with white or clear bulbs. Colored lighting is beautiful, but colored lights aren’t ideal for security purposes. White or clear bulbs are your best option. They produce a much brighter, cleaner light.
- Use motion sensors. Having security lights on all the time enables an intruder to see what they’re doing and find the shadows more easily. When your lights are turned on by a motion sensor, an intruder will be bathed in light suddenly, their sight affected by the brightness. Plus, intruders will likely be intimidated and flee the scene.
- Use timers for maximum security. Experienced burglars take their time and scout out any property to find its weak spots. They’ll learn your routine and try to pick a time when you’re not home to strike. Use timers so that your exterior and interior lights go on and off at different times of the day. The more varied the pattern that you program, the more it will seem like there’s an actual person flipping lights on and off. This will scare off opportunistic burglars as well as the more cunning ones.
- Use decorative lights as well. While outdoor accent lighting is no substitution for installing outdoor security lighting, it can still be useful for security purposes. The softer light will provide enough visibility for you or your neighbors to see if something is creeping around. Also, porch lights send a clear message that you’re home and awake.
Light up your home or business with some beautiful and safety-oriented outdoor lighting. If you need help with installing outdoor lighting, contact Apollo Electric today. We’ve been providing the five boroughs of New York City with exceptional electrical services since 1995.