Your family’s safety is probably your top priority, but are you doing everything possible to ensure that safety? Maybe one thing you’re missing is effective security lighting on the exterior of your home. Having a well-planned system will not only make you feel more secure, it’ll deter intruders from invading your space. Intruders don’t like the light. A well-lit exterior is the first line of defense for your family. To make sure you have the best outdoor security lighting system for your Fort Collins home, here are some tips to follow.
How to place your lights
Security lighting should be well thought-out and specific to your home’s architecture and landscape. The wrong placement or brightness could be the difference between an intruder running away and finding their way inside. First, make sure there won’t be any large blind spots. You can do this by placing more soft lighting versus a few bright spotlights. Softer lighting allows the light to dissipate more evenly across larger surface areas. Bright light is more concentrated, making it easier to create blind spots.
Next, make sure you secure all sides of your house. Most people just focus on the front and back yards, neglecting the other sides of their structures. This makes non-lit areas easy targets for intruders. For infrequently used sides, install motion or heat sensitive lights to scare intruders. For high-traffic areas, you can install lighting that complements your home.
Once you’ve decided where your lights should be, you need to figure out how to place them. The higher your security lights, the better. However, they should all be facing downward and you need to make sure they’ll emit the right amount of light. Lights placed too high with not enough brightness won’t scare anyone off–you may not even notice the light. Lights placed too low with too much illumination will create blind spots.
You also want your lights facing down for a reason. Too much glare in your neighbors’ eyes will deter them from looking at your house when the lights turn on. This means they won’t look to notice an intruder. You need them to see what’s going on in your yard, especially if it’s on a side of the house you can’t see.
Lights are also placed high to deter tampering. Hardwiring your security lights is a great option, but it’s not always feasible. For that reason, you need to make sure that the wiring is hard to access. You can also use solar options for areas that get a good amount of sun during the day. Also, make sure your power box has its own security light, just in case.
Finally, make sure you use white or clear bulbs for your security lighting. Color bulbs are perfect for accenting or adding some fun elements to your landscaping, but should not be used for security. They make it too hard to clearly see what set off the motion sensor.
Security lighting maintenance
Once you’ve installed the perfect security lighting system, you need to make sure it does its job – all the time. Changing burnt-out bulbs immediately is incredibly important. So is cleaning off dust and other debris on a regular basis. The best approach to this is establishing a routine that’s easy to follow. For example, checking all of the bulbs and wiping off the lights at the beginning of every month. Yes, every month. You also want to check the wiring and photocells if you have solar lights, as well as trim any trees or shrubs that make it difficult to see out your windows.
A final note: You should not rely on security lighting alone for safety. A well-rounded exterior lighting system is one of the best ways to deter intruders. This includes having permanent and motion sensor lighting that work together. Having a front porch light is important as is having lights above every entrance. Put these lights on timers for added security when you’re not home.
You need a professional electrician to install hard-wired security lighting, so call Chadwick Electric Services today for your Fort Collins or Windsor home.
In Colorado, we’re lucky to have some of the most comfortable weather year-round to enjoy the great outdoors. If you’re able to have a great backyard, you want to make sure you can spend time outside whenever you want, which is why it’s a good idea to ensure your outdoor lighting in Fort Collins and Windsor meets all your needs.
How you know you need to update and add to your current lighting:
- Do you have beautiful trees or statues in your landscaping that just disappear at night? That’s really unfortunate because you should be showing off the outdoor elements that personalize your exterior. Use uplighting to highlight trees, large shrubs or statues. Conversely, any paths should be downlit. To best complement your focal points, light man-made objects with a golden hue, while plants should be bathed in blue light.
- Are your pathways are hard to see? People should be able to comfortably navigate your landscaping, which means you may need to install a series of lights along any pathways. However, make sure the lights act as subtle hints. You don’t need to create a ballpark or airplane landing for people to understand where the path is leading them.
- Does your water feature gets lost at night? Whether you have a fountain, a pond, a pool, or a waterfall, you want to be able to bring attention to in a subtle manner. Waterproof lights are great for fountains and to peek out from under waterfalls. String lights reflect well off of pools and soft downlighting is a beautiful choice for ponds or waterfalls.
- What’s the use of having a living or dining space outside if you can’t use it at night? Add ambient lighting by installing overhead or spotlighting, or go with moonlighting that cascades from your tall trees. If you choose overhead lighting, install a dimmer switch to control the amount of light and how you want it experienced.
- Do you have a pleasant seating area set off from the rest of your yard? Wouldn’t it be nice to let people know that it’s there? Define your spaces with a mixture of uplighting and downlighting, but make sure it’s subtle and allows for some intimacy.
- Do you feel safe at night? Motion-sensor floodlights can increase your sense of security. Or just having enough light surrounding your house is usually a good way to keep suspicious characters and curious wildlife from wandering into your yard.
- Does your house look flat at night? Capitalize on shadows created from stone or brick siding, or showcase your home’s incredible architecture by having a well-planned lighting design. Make sure you install lights in your landscaping as well, to soften the effect of the lights and the silhouette they’ll create.
Whether you need to add a few lights or overhaul your entire exterior, you may need to hire a professional electrician for installation. Chadwick Electric Services can ensure your outdoors are safe and all wiring is up to code.
Make sure your lighting lasts and works for you. Call us today.
With 2018 fast approaching, if you’re planning on updating your lighting, it may be helpful to know what the top designers are doing. Even if you don’t incorporate more than one of these lighting trends, we hope you can take away some inspiration.
Gold and Brass Fixtures
Gold and brass are back in full swing for 2018 – and they’re everywhere. Whether you incorporate metals into your lighting, wall decor, or accessories, you’re sure to find a lot of it for the next year.
Room designed by Indre Sunklodiene
Image credit: Home Design Ideas
Pink is 2018’s color. You’ll find it on walls, furniture, vases, rugs, and even lighting. You can bring pink into your kitchen, dining room, or your bedroom.
Image credit: YLIGHTING
Image credit: Best Design Guides
Image credit: YLIGHTING
High-quality glass molded into simple shapes is a beautiful and versatile option for every room of your home.
Image credit: Arch Daily
Studio Italia Design
Light and Lace
Create interesting shadows by incorporating Moroccan-inspired lamps.
Clean and sophisticated, this lighting trend is sure to create conversation amongst your guests.
Image credit: Interior Zine
Image credit: *Wallpaper Magazine
Image credit: inhabit
Add some romantic ambiance with a bubble chandelier that brings together the gold and glass trends.
Image credit: Home Design Ideas
Image credit: Kelly Elko
Circu Fantasy Air Balloon
Make your lighting the focal point of your room with an incredible and complex fixture.
The light itself is on display in these futuristic fixtures.
Image credit: YLIGHTING
If you’re remodeling your kitchen, consider installing illuminated shelving to add a touch of personality and customization.
Edison bulbs are still an excellent option for your kitchen pendants.
Sebastian Cox for deVOL
Are you ready to update your lighting? Call Chadwick Electric Services to have a trustworthy professional do your installation. We will make sure your lighting lasts until your next update.
Lighting does way more than help you see at night or set the mood. It actually help learning in a classroom setting. New studies support that lighting can be optimized for a wide variety of different needs in the classroom such as test-taking, gym class, and reading.
It can even be adjusted to help our well-being such as our physical and mental conditions. Overall “the lighting facilities in educational environments were much poorer than we’d anticipated.”- Dr. Hyeon-Jeong Suk, associate professor at the institute.
The study in question involved 54 fourth-grade students in two classrooms. One of the classrooms was equipped with LED lights that “could be tuned to CCTs of 3500 K (which is a “warm” yellowish white), 5000 K (neutral), and 6500 K (a “cool,” bluish white that mimics natural daylight). The other classroom had standard fluorescent lighting and served as a control group.”
The students in the 6500 K lighting room scored much higher on their tests. 3500 K warm lighting is best for a relaxing recess setting while 5000 K is best for reading activities while 6500 k dynamic lighting supports intense, academic activities such as tests.
You can read more about the study here.
Lighting is changing and for the better! It’s getting cheaper and more efficient while also giving us way more options as far as ambiance goes. The lighting in your home shouldn’t be the same from room to room. Lighting can set the mood more than you may think. Don’t believe us? Just ask Rome!
So, it’s important to keep yourself in the loop with all the changes to technology. Below we’ve outlined some of the biggest trends you need to know about!
Internet of Things
What is the internet of things? We are all used to having our phones and computers connected to the internet but what about our lights, coffee makers, washing machines, lamps or any other household appliances? That’s essentially what the internet of things aims to do. Your indoor lighting will be a big part of this.
Everything is so wireless that it’s becoming weird to see things without them. Pretty soon, everyone will be controlling lighting with their smart phones and there will be lots of homes without a light switch.
Lighting can affect productivity, mood, how quickly we recover from illness and also how quickly we learn things. More and more businesses are adjusting lighting to mimic natural light for more restful sleep as well.
Learn more about trends in LED lighting here.
While everyone switches to LED lighting, we all have to learn new terms that we’ve never even heard of before. Most of the time, we are satisfied with a bigger number and that’s enough to make the purchase. Before going all-in on the LED light bandwagon lets figure out what Lumens and Watts even mean.
What are Watts?
Watts are a measurement of power consumption or how much energy is released per second. The higher the watts, the brighter the light will be. Watts is more a measurement of energy use rather than brightness even though there is a direct connection between the two.
What are Lumens?
Lumens is something we just started to hear about but it’s been around for decades. It measures how much light a bulb emits. In 2011, the US Federal Trade Commission made it a requirement of manufacturers to use lumens to indicate how bright a bulb will be. The higher the lumen rating the more bright your bulb will be.
This article shines more light on the difference between watts and lumens.
According to Wikipedia, Solid-state lighting (SSL) refers to a type of lighting that uses semiconductor light-emitting diodes (LEDs), organic light-emitting diodes (OLED), or polymer light-emitting diodes (PLED) as sources of illumination rather than electrical filaments, plasma (used in arc lamps such as fluorescent lamps), or gas.
In other words, when you hear about LED lighting, it is a form of Solid-state lighting.
While incandescent bulbs use thermal radiation, Solid-state lighting creates light with less energy used and a reduction in heat generation. If you’d like to learn more about Solid-State Lighting, use the resources below.
Solid-State Lighting Program at the LRC
The U.S. Department of Energy’s CaLiPER program just released a report on industrial luminaries.
Compared to traditional light sources, LED luminaires can deliver longer life, enhanced energy efficiency, greater eco-friendliness, lowered maintenance demands and equal or better quality of light.
They have some very cool data visualizations to go along with the findings. Some of the highlights are as follows but I highly suggest you download the report of which there is a link of below:
- Color and power quality for industrial luminaires are similar to that of incumbent fixtures. The products have a variety of CCTs, with the majority (51%) at or above a nominal CCT of 5000 K; and 65% of the luminaires have a CIE Ra (CRI) in the 80s.
- Early-generation LED high-bay luminaires lacked the lumen output to compete in the market, but by 2013, LED Lighting Facts® listed 379 industrial products, with more than half exceeding 15,000 lumens. LED Lighting Facts currently lists more than 8,000 industrial products, 41% of which emit between 5,000 and 15,000 lumens and 55% of which emit more than 15,000 lumens.
- Listed industrial fixtures have higher efficacy performance than do listed linear, troffer, area/roadway, and parking garage fixtures.
- The efficacy of LED industrial luminaires is notably higher than what is typical of incumbent fixtures. About 23% of the listed with LED Lighting Facts products have a luminous efficacy greater.
- • As of the CALiPER Snapshot report published in September 2016, lamps comprised approximately 20% of the products listed with LED Lighting Facts. This number had been steadily diminishing since the program’s inception of in 2009.
You can download the LED industrial Luminaries report here.
The benefits of LED lighting are well-documented but that doesn’t mean everyone is on board. Because people are now just starting to make the switch in masses to LED lighting to save money, we won’t truly know it’s impact for many years.
One of the benefits of LED lighting is the different colors and hues that can help you sleep better while also changing the entire atmosphere of a room. Statistics and savings are great but we need to see it to believe it.
That’s why the infographic above is so helpful in visualizing the actual benefits of LED Efficiency.
The main benefits it outlines are:
- 5.1 quads of energy saved each year by 2035
- Scientific progress on key technology frontiers
- Better quality in efficient lighting products
- Affordable products with competitive first costs
- U.S. jobs with domestic manufacturer
The annual burning man festival is a gathering of thousands of people in a desert environment to share an incredible experience. While there are all sorts of amazing sights and sounds present, one attraction in particular always drew a crowd and it was never meant to be a part of the show.
Dan Goldwater used to ride around with his kaleidoscopic LED lights on the spokes of his wheels through Burning Man at night wowing people in the process.
Everywhere that I took it, people would run down the street after me and ask, where could they get this thing?” Mr. Goldwater said.
It was those experiences that laid the foundation for Monkeyelectric, a bicycle equipment company that sells LED lighting for your wheels instead of just front and back.
You can buy a set of LED lights anywhere from $25-$60 and when they spin, they produce a mini light show for anyone watching such as hearts, skulls, and rainbows.