Lighting an Outdoor Living Space
Have you ever seen the pictures in magazines and on TV of the beautiful outdoor living spaces complete with the hanging light fixtures and wondered how they do it? Do you spend time on Houzz looking at the way light is used to accent a patio or outdoor kitchen area? There are several important factors to keep in mind starting with safety. When dealing with electricity and the outdoor elements you need to be sure that the wiring is installed correctly complying with the current electrical Code(s). Once you have determined the location and designed your space, get a quote from an electrical contractor.
A good electrical contractor will be willing to meet with you and discuss your design, options, and provide you with a quote.
Irish Electric Corp located in Hopkinton, NH will gladly provide you with a free electrical quote. Our knowledgeable staff will discuss your outdoor living design and available options helping you to keep your project on budget. Electrical installed by a licensed, fully insured electrician per Code.
Things to Consider when Choosing a Fixture:
- Outdoor Use
- Timers & Motion Sensors
During your design process you will need to decide on exterior lighting fixtures. Your electrical contractor will be able to work with you on purchasing fixtures designed to withstand the elements or steer you in the right direction. There is a vast amount of choices for outdoor lighting from wall mounted to ornamental chandeliers and step lighting. Select a fixture that it is UL approved for outdoor use. Be sure you purchase the right size fixture for your space; being careful not to over or under light the area. Consider timers or motion sensors to control lighting. Purchase quality fixtures that will last, some cheaper fixtures will not withstand New England winters and will need to be replaced sooner. Choose the right finish on your fixture: brass & steel will rust over time, and aluminum can corrode (especially if located near salt water). There are resin fixtures on the market that will last longer than most other finishes. Look on Houzz and Pinterest for ideas. The internet is a great place to browse for outdoor lighting ideas, and a good source to purchase the fixtures. Many lighting showrooms will have fixtures for you to see for yourself, as well as free brochures and catalogs. Be sure to purchase exterior fixtures that not only look great, but suit your lighting needs, fit your space, and make sure the correct size and type of wiring will be installed.
As you can imagine, there are many types of lighting available, each with their own merits and disadvantages, the decision on which type of lamp to use will depend on the location and use. Be sure to purchase a light fixture for the type of lamp (bulb) that you will be using. The following is a quick guide to help choose the correct lamp.
Incandescent lights emit a soft yellow light but are becoming harder to acquire because many manufacturers have stopped producing them due to their short life cycle and disposal requirements.
LED lights, while more expensive, are very energy efficient; they need to be replaced less frequently and use a fraction of the electricity compared to other bulbs, saving you money. Previously LED were a very bright bluish white but like most things, have evolved and now come in more choices including a warmer, more yellow incandescent looking light that is often perfect for an outdoor living space.
Halogen lamps are a very brighter light that produce more heat than most lamps.
You will find that lighting can be a bit complicated when faced with the different types of available. The internet is a great resource to research types of lighting and their applications.