For much of the country, summer weather affords opportunities to spend time outside on the front or back porch or patio, especially in the evenings, and spend time with neighbors in the cooler evening air. At times like these, outdoor spaces can serve as an extension of the living or dining room and provide a great ambiance that’s enhanced by soothing, effective, and energy-efficient lighting. What’s the best outdoor lighting option for your home?
Outdoor solar lights use solar cells and batteries to power LED lighting for areas such as patios and pathways. LED solar lighting comes in a variety of types, including flood lights, lamp post lights, string lights, and staked pathway lights. All are easy to install, often with no electric wiring involved, and nearly maintenance free! Another great feature of solar LEDs is they are offered in the warm light offered by current generations of products that support circadian rhythms and prepare you for sleep during the evening. Their yellow-orange light also discourages insects—it’s a ‘win’ all around! Today’s generation of solar-powered lighting fixtures can be used almost anywhere in the United States, although it’s best to place them in areas that receive a lot of sunlight to keep batteries charged. Be sure to check the product label for “nightly run time” to determine if the product chosen will meet your specific lighting needs.
Of course, ambiance isn’t the only consideration when choosing outdoor lighting; many people need lighting for security and utility purposes. If those are your reasons for choosing outdoor lighting, you might consider the following options:
- LED flood lights with motion sensors are a great security option that will save energy as they only activate in response to detected motion; after a time-out period with no activity, the lights switch off again. LEDs for security are usually brighter and whiter than the warm patio lighting mentioned above; the idea with security lighting is to create the safest experience around your home.
- Consider timers for outdoor security or decorative lighting; many timers these days have an added photocell light sensor that provides the option for lights to come on at dusk and go off at dawn.
- Replacing your aging halogen, fluorescent, or incandescent lighting with energy-efficient LED lighting will improve the performance and durability of your outdoor lighting.
Start your summer off right and enjoy your newly lit outdoor space!