Though it took its sweet time this year, warmer weather has finally arrived here in northern Georgia.
Comfortable temperatures invite us to spend time outside on a porch, deck or patio, especially in the evenings. When friends or neighbors stop by, this outdoor space often becomes an extension of the living room, so it’s important to have a well-lit and inviting area.
Outdoor lighting can add both ambiance and function to outdoor spaces. It also serves as a bonus security measure for your home.
Lighting accounts for about 15% of an average home’s electricity use, so it pays to make energy-efficient choices.
There are plenty of energy-saving outdoor lighting options that are better for energy efficiency and your wallet. Here are a few suggestions to help you light your outdoor space wisely.
1. Update your bulbs.
Yep, it’s time to ditch outdated incandescent bulbs. Because outdoor lights are usually left on all night, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs) are better, long-lasting options that will save you money. Plus, both types are available as weather-resistant floodlights that can integrate with a home security system for added safety.
Need a more intense illumination source such as a spotlight or floodlight? Consider fluorescent or high-intensity discharge (HID) lights. Just as with interior fluorescents, exterior fluorescent lights use considerably less energy than their incandescent counterparts and have longer life spans. Likewise, HID lamps turn a small amount of power into a large amount of illumination. These use gases such as metal halide, sodium and mercury vapor to radiate light.
2. Look for the STAR.
Buy only ENERGY STAR® outdoor rated products to get the highest quality, most energy-efficient lighting available. Rule of thumb: Replace incandescent bulbs that are lit three or more hours a day with ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs or LEDs. Incandescent bulbs are based on old technology and waste 90% of their energy as heat. Plus, LEDs typically live up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
3. Set it, forget it and save.
Timers: Consider timers for decorative lighting or outdoor security lights. Outdoor lighting timers, made with a heavy-duty metal casing to protect the unit from the elements, let you program lights to turn on and off automatically. There are also units that combine sensor and timer technologies to give you the greatest flexibility in control.
Daylight sensors: A photocell detects the presence or absence of light, automatically turning your light on at night and off during the day. You can purchase a light fixture with a daylight sensor built in or install a sensor that will control existing lights.
Motion sensors: Lights with motion detectors turn on only when they sense movement, so they save energy. When placed where potential intruders are most likely to pass, these lights can also enhance a home’s security.
4. Seek out solar.
Take Walton EMC’s lead and take advantage of the sun for power. Solar lights are energy-efficient choices for pathway and accent illumination to help improve safety. Outdoor solar lights don’t need wiring, don’t contribute to your electric bills and don’t have the location limitations that wired lights do.
Walton EMC offers outdoor lighting options for security and utility purposes.
5. Check out Walton EMC’s outdoor lighting options.
Ambiance isn’t the only consideration when choosing outdoor lighting. Walton EMC offers outdoor lighting options for security and utility purposes. These lighting options are easy and economical. Whether it’s for a single security light or a larger project, contact us for expert light planning. Then, we will install and maintain your outdoor lights for one low monthly fee. All of our lights feature money-saving, dusk-to-dawn photoelectric sensors that turn lights on only when they’re needed. Learn more at Walton EMC Outdoor Lighting, or call us at 770.267.2505 to schedule an appointment for a custom survey to determine your specific outdoor lighting needs.
Now is the time to reevaluate the illumination outside your home to improve appearance and function. Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying summer evenings in a whole new light.