Alfonso del Cristo Hilsaca Eljadue
With the cooler months comes less daylight. These pros offer their top lighting tips for extending outdoor fun after dark.
“Our bodies follow natural circadian rhythms, which is why the ‘winter blues’ can be so common. Luckily, we have some great technologies available that can really help with these issues. Starfish smart bulbs by SATCO can be adjusted to mimic natural light, and even set on timers to mimic the action of the sun, bringing ‘outdoor’ light in when you need it during the winter,” says Laura Levy, lighting consultant at Pace Lighting. “You can also set these LED bulbs to have a soft, warm glow for the evening hours, which many of us like while we unwind from our busy days.”
For an even richer glow, Charles Camacho, Lighting Design Manager at Circa Lighting, loves natural gas lanterns and wall-mounted sconces in glimmering copper and patinaed brass. “For longevity and corrosion resistance, a brass-based fixture will last the longest,” says Camacho.
ON A STRING
The unsung hero of the backyard, stringed lights are ideal for bathing an outdoor patio or screened porch in a cheery glow. Better still, you can tie low-voltage string lights into your electrical system, and they are energy efficient, says Donald Wendling, owner and designer of Lowcountry Landscape Lighting. “We attach the lights to stainless steel cables, so they don’t sag over time,” says Wendling. “The 2700 Kelvin, one-watt LED [bulbs] are the perfect lighting for operating the grill. You don’t want bright-white, grocery-store lights.”
“Exterior lighting provides the best source of safety and security for your home after dark.” – Laura Levy, lighting consultant, Pace Lighting
SAFE AND SOUND
Besides amping up your home’s curb appeal and charm, layered spotlights and landscape fixtures make the most of architectural details and plantings by illuminating their best features. Plus, they add a layer of protection. “Exterior lighting provides the best source of safety and security for your home after dark — welcoming guests, preventing accidental slips or falls by illuminating your footing and deterring would-be home intruders,” says Levy.
To help distinguish your home, while also making the exterior feel more inviting and secure, the experts at NiteLites Outdoor Lighting can provide customized lighting solutions, including LED flood and spotlights for trees and dormers, well lights for columns and spread lights for walls and shrubs. For island ambiance, consider torches with both LEDs and lit flames.
Did you know light pollution affects more than just the humans who create it? Animals and even plants need dark hours to thrive. To coexist with the natural flora and fauna around you in the winter months, invest in Dark Sky-rated outdoor light fixtures. “Making the move is easy and has substantial benefits,” said Denise Vaughn, vice president of Environmental, Social and Governance at Ferguson Enterprises.
“It can mean the difference between being able to enjoy the stars at night and not.” To keep things cool and bug-free on early fall evenings, the experts at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery suggest buying an outdoor ceiling fan without a light and pairing it with a Dark Sky-rated recessed ceiling light or pair of wall sconces.