Spring is a great time to consider upgrading your residential or commercial outdoor lighting so that you can enjoy being outside well after the sun has gone down. Due to our extreme weather (in any season), outdoor fixtures take an equally extreme beating. But because they’re not something we tend to look at closely every day, outdoor fixtures often end up in extremely poor shape before they are replaced. In fact, they can be dangerous.
A sign your fixtures need to be replaced includes a brownish discoloration of the interior, which denotes excess heat being trapped inside. This can be a fire hazard, as it is an indication of a damaged casing and conductors. The discoloration can also be because of overlamping, which is when bulbs with wattages too high for the fixture have been continuously used. This is bad for the fixture itself, the wiring, and even your overall electrical system.
There are many great outdoor lighting options available now (at very economical prices) that are both attractive and versatile. It’s worth it to start checking around to see what is out there. You can improve the look and feel of your exterior spaces while also increasing the safety and functionality of your home or commercial property.
Let Us Update Your Outdoor Lighting
Contact us at A-Star Electric to customize your outdoor lighting and help improve your time spent outside. In addition to changing out fixtures, updating your outdoor lighting design may include moving or adding light switches and outlets. There are light switches and outlets that have been specially developed for use outdoors and greatly increase overall safety. Outdoor light switches should be connected with a UF cable rated for outdoor and underground use, and the casing should be made of weatherproof materials to prevent moisture from getting in. Outdoor outlets come with weatherproof covers and must be equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), which will automatically “trip” or turn of if a surge or leak is detected.
Why Great Outdoor Lighting Matters
- Security: A home or commercial property that looks like it is being well tended and watched after is far less attractive to burglars. Plus, it gives them fewer spaces to hide.
- Safety: Well-lit outdoor spaces help prevent nighttime trips and falls, plus make it far easier to enter and exit your home or office.
- Curb appeal: Great outdoor lighting showcases the architectural details and landscaping features of your home or commercial property.
- Functionality: Well-placed zone lighting illuminates patios, barbecue spaces and outdoor living areas so you can spend more time out in the fresh air.
Outdoor Lighting Options
Different types of outdoor lighting to consider include:
- Roof and entry lighting: Perhaps the most important form of outdoor lighting, entry fixtures can be recessed into your soffits and cailings or placed beside doors. These allow you to enter quickly plus greet guests properly. Different types include pot lights, pendant lights and ceiling fixtures.
- Security lighting: Security lighting or spotlights can be placed to specifically illuminate shadowy recesses
- Step lighting: This type of specialty lighting can be installed to detect motion and light up steps and stairways to help prevent slip-and-falls.
- Pathway lighting: Often operated by solar batteries, pathway lighting is both pretty and functional.
- Landscape and hardscape lighting: Highlight your most beautiful shrubs and trees, as well as your stone walls and rock gardens, with dramatic landscape and hardscape lighting pointed up or down on these features.
Motion activated lights detect when someone is approaching or passing by. They are particularly useful for helping to keep energy bills down by removing the need to keep key fixtures on all the time. They also surprise intruders who don’t expect to be suddenly flooded with light, providing a warning that you have taken precautions to keep your property safe.
Motion activated lights can be wired directly into your system so that you never have to worry about turning them on or off. We suggest those with sensors that detect when it is dark and only operate when needed.
Some estimates put the lifespan of an LED bulb at about 60,000 hours. Considering incandescent bulbs last for 1,500 hours at the most, you would have to buy 40 of them to last as long as one LED bulb. But the fact that LED bulbs use up to 90% less power than incandescent bulbs, which lose most of their energy through heat, is what makes them really remarkable. Their use can make a massive difference in your energy bills. LED bulbs also don’t break as easily as incandescent bulbs and are far more reliable in extreme temperatures. They can be turned on and off numerous times without causing any harm, and are better able to handle shocks, vibrations, surges and exposure.
Don’t forget that a certified electrician can also install security cameras, which can be directly wired in to your electrical system or operate wirelessly. Regardless of what kind of system you choose, we will make sure cameras are placed so that they cannot be tampered with and that everything is functioning properly. Usual locations for security cameras include all doors (including garage doors), driveways, porches and pathways.
A-Star Electric are Your Calgary Commercial and Residential Electricians
We at A-Star Electric are certified journeyman or apprentice electricians who know your home or business’s electrical system is integral to day-to-day life and work. We always carry out our professional duties in a positive, efficient and courteous manner, and are fully insurable and bondable. Contact us for your commercial and home electrical system needs.