What is Exterior Security Lighting?

What is Exterior Security Lighting and why is it important?

We’ve talked before how exterior lighting can ad beauty and dimension to your home and even ad to it’s curb appeal, but did you know exterior lighting can be a part of your security system as well?

exterior light fixture
Exterior lighting options at HaroldsLighting.com

It’s starting to get dark earlier, and now is the time to reassess your exterior lighting needs.

Exterior security lighting can be your first line of defense from intruders. It increases the risk of being caught, and immediately thwarts most threats. The more lit the entry points of your home are, the more likely an intruder could be recognized or physically detected.

This doesn’t mean you’ll have to illuminate every inch of your home’s exterior. We don’t want your home to be visible from space! Here are the most important types of outdoor security lighting and places to make sure are illuminated properly:

  • Roadway Luminaries: Driveways, Parking areas and streets
  • Floodlights (motion sensored): Driveways, backyards, entryway, corners, patios and outdoor pool areas.
  • Mounted to structure fixtures: Entryways and high traffic perimeter areas.
  • Landscape fixtures: Ground, large trees or bushes, paths/trails and walkways.

When you’re designing your outdoor lighting plan, keep in mind potential safety and security risks. Take a look around your home and consider the impact adding a light, even if it’s motion activated, will add.

exterior pendant light fixture
Exterior Pendant

Keep areas around high value items lit. These could be your vehicles, landscape features or statues, or even entryways to your toolshed or garage.

These outdoor light fixtures can be put on a time switcher to make sure they’re turned off and on at the right times, or you can have them be motion sensor activated or on regular switches. Keep in mind which lights you’ll want on all night and which ones you’d rather only have turn on when someone or something is in the area. Flood lights are typically motion activated while entryway lighting, post lighting and landscape path lights are typically on an all night timer.

exterior entryway light
Exterior Entryway Light

We love talking about outdoor lighting! There are many more details to go over, such as the degree of cutoff, lighting controls, light color, and more, but we don’t want to fully nerd out! Come on in or call our lighting stores in Seattle and Bellevue today. Our expert lighting staff is here to answer all of your outdoor lighting needs!

Enhance your curb appeal with exterior lighting!

Looking for ways to enhance your house’s curb appeal? There’s only so much yard work one can handle! The right exterior lighting choices can help create an inviting and open feel. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while choosing exterior lighting options for your home:

Choose a finish on your fixtures that will work with your home’s look AND the local weather. Keep in mind the beating these fixtures will take, they need to be much sturdier than your indoor fixtures. This is not the time to choose just any bargain brand light fixture, you’ll need fixtures that will be able to withstand mother nature’s fury! Our exterior lighting options are made of quality materials and we have fixtures for every budget.

The most popular placement of exterior lighting fixtures is beside the front door. The most common type of fixture in this place is the lantern. If you’re looking to place lanterns on each side of your front door, make sure the height of each lantern is no shorter than one fourth the height of the door itself.  You don’t want the lights to be too low.

If your home’s layout allows for just one light on one side of the door, choose the side with the doorknob. Help people find their way in, and make sure the light isn’t blinding or directed harshly at someone’s face. This single light should be installed no shorter than one third the height of the door.

exteriorlantern

Enjoy the rest of your summer with inviting and warm exterior lanterns or sconces!

Outdoor Lighting Issues

exteriorThe issues you face with lighting problems indoors are different than the problems you’ll face with exterior lighting. While you may have reflection and glare issues indoors, that may not be your problem outdoors. Outdoor lighting can be used to highlight architecture, plant life, and provide illumination in areas that need it at night.

Exterior lights can be placed just about anywhere, but there are areas where you shouldn’t overlook. Placing these lights in these areas is important for safety and convenience:

  • Pathways – Well lit pathways leading up to and around your entryway and home can create an inviting atmosphere as well as let people know where to go. 
  • Steps – Illuminating the area around steps outdoors is very important for safety. There are many different methods that can be used. Stairs, especially outdoors, are one of the most common places where injuries happen.
  • Entryways – People need to know where to go when they get to your home at night, so place foutsideixtures on both sides of your door or overhead lights to illuminate your front door, side doors and back door.
  • Driveways – Not much light is needed here, but if you have a tricky driveway or a hazardous area or post in the way, it may be wise to use low lights to show drivers where they can and cannot drive.

Placing lights in these areas will not only make your home look more inviting and cozy, it can help keep your company safe and injury free. Our Harold’s Lighting showrooms in Seattle and Bellevue, WA have tons of amazing exterior light fixtures to choose from. Stop on by today!

 

Functional Outdoor Lighting Benefits

outdoor lantern
Beautiful Outdoor Lighting Fixtures at Harold’s Lighting in Seattle.

Whether you’re having an outdoor party, just hanging out with the family, or walking around the outside of your home, it’s important to have proper outdoor lighting to illuminate your landscape areas.  There are many different kinds of outdoor lighting fixtures, and they can serve multiple purposes.

It’s important to think about what outdoor lighting you need before you start buying fixtures. Think about where you will be placing the outdoor light fixtures, and what purpose they will serve.  Outdoor lighting can help provide functional lighting, they can add beauty, and even help make your outdoor space safer.

Increasing the safety of the exterior of your home and outdoor space should come first.  Take time to walk around the property and assess possible danger zones.  Make sure to write these areas down and figure out what type of lighting you’ll use to illuminate these areas.  Many people use zone lighting to illuminate large areas where safety may be a concern.  Another way to do it is to use smaller directional lighting along smaller areas, such as a sidewalk, pathway or stair case.

Outdoor LanternIf your home is lit up from the outside, it will be less tempting for intruders as getting into the home undetected is much harder when there it is illuminated. Some homeowner’s install motion detector lights so that they will turn on if someone is to walk by them.  This also can deter theft and trespassers.

Outdoor lighting can create a whole new landscape when the sun goes down. Different angles of light and shadows can create a beautiful effect if placed correctly. Light fixtures can be positioned to shed light on great landscape fixtures as well as architectural elements of your home.

As you can see, the need for outdoor lighting for every home is essential.  Stop by or call one of our expert lighting specialist today with any of your outdoor lighting questions.

Custom Light Fixtures – A Work of Art!

Light fixtures can be made out of just about anything. A custom piece can really bring a unique feature to a room or space, or it can help preserve a piece of the past or a family heirloom.  Custom light fixtures are oftentimes one of the homeowner’s most special items of decor in their homes because they can have special meaning. We have made custom fixtures out of just about anything, but our most common items are family heirlooms such as urns and vases.

One of our friends is an amazing artist and specializes in garden art. Pictured below is one of her beautiful creations.  She bought a pot rack at an antique store and then had us wire it up.  She then made all the custom glass art that is mounted gorgeously around the fixture and hung it in her gazebo. At night, when the fixture is all lit up it is truly an amazing sight to see!

Pot Rack Light Fixture
Beautiful Outdoor Custom Made Light Fixture

Our staff at our Seattle and Bellevue stores can help you create a beautiful custom fixture with an item you cherish. We’ll work with you to find and install the right wiring and mountings to compliment the style of the fixture as well as the rest of your room.  Stop on by or call us today to learn more about what you can do to create a custom piece of art in your home!

Lighting Techniques for Exteriors

Beautiful Exterior Lights at Harold’s Lighting

Using the right techniques for lighting the exterior of your home or building can be really important.  Correct lighting techniques can help highlight important features as well as create depth and character to a home and yard.

Here are some common techniques many designers use to balance the exterior of a structure:

  • Highlighting: This is one of the most common techniques used in outdoor lighting. Many people highlight an object or feature by placing a spotlight at the base of the feature.  Different effects can be achieved by playing with the distance or angle of the spotlight and sometimes 2 or more lights can be used for larger areas. Some common items people like to highlight are trees, posts, and architectural features.
  • Silhouetting: This technique provides a great backdrop and can add depth. A silhouette is achieved by placing a spotlight behind an object casting light around it and producing an outline.  This effect is commonly used with smaller plants, like bushes or small trees.
  • Path Lighting:  This is another very common techniques.  It is one of the most practical and useful ways to feature an outdoor path.  This is when smaller lights are placed along a pathway to illuminate the area.  Small lights are often put along walkways, driveways, patio edges or dangerous areas to make sure that people can see where they’re going.  It’s important to find lights that are out of the way and will not be kicked or driven over.

Harold’s Lighting in Bellevue and Seattle has many different outdoor lighting styles to choose from.  Their expert staff can help you find the right lights to help illuminate and bring your yard and home to life.