Posted on May 8, 2014 by John Bruce
So last week, we talked about how to pick the right outdoor lighting designer because, let’s face it, there are a lot of outdoor lighting providers out there and they aren’t all the same. This week, let’s talk a little about outdoor lighting systems themselves. Making decisions regarding the type of system you install can be confusing too. Just like designers, you have a lot of options when it comes to systems. But which is right for you? Excellent question, and it deserves an answer. Unfortunately at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Kansas City, we can’t really answer it for you, but what we can do is provide you with information that will hopefully help you answer it for yourself.
When it comes to outdoor lighting there are four main types that are installed today – Solar, LED, and Halogen. Within the past few years, Incandescent has been phased out due to the discontinuation of its bulbs, which happened earlier this year. When attempting to make a decision regarding your outdoor lighting, you will be considering several areas of strength and weakness: Quality of Light, Brightness, Energy Cost, Life Expectancy, Directional Ability, Nightly Duration, and Initial Investment. The following table illustrates how the various types of outdoor lighting measure up.
From an outdoor lighting designer’s perspective, solar outdoor lighting technology is not advanced enough to be a viable candidate for consideration. The light produced is very dim, and the color is not natural. With incandescent being removed from the market, the real choice is between halogen and LED. As you can see in the photo below, these types of lighting are visually interchangeable. The difference boils down to the initial investment of LED versus long term operating costs of halogen. When we do additions to systems, we routinely utilize both types of lighting without any noticeable difference.
So once you have determined which type is best for you, what about fixtures? Should you use brass, copper, or painted fixtures? Often, homeowners choose painted fixtures because they are cheaper and have color options. From an outdoor lighting designer’s perspective, it is still better to choose copper or brass fixtures. Why? The painted fixtures are typically made of aluminum, the finish will crack over time, ultimately peel, and you will end up replacing the fixture. Copper and brass are materials that can withstand even the harshest environments. These metals have been used for centuries in maritime equipment. They will not rust or corrode. Actually, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Kansas City doesn’t even carry painted aluminum fixtures, even if they have the protective powder coating. We carry the highest quality brass and copper fixtures that actually blend into your landscaping better than those painted black fixtures, especially after they have developed that aged, patina finish.
So do you have a little more direction? We hope so. With good information you can make the right decision for your property, and really only you can answer the question of what is best. Then, once you have made your decision, give Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Kansas City a call. With years of experience designing and installing Kansas City outdoor lighting using the best quality components, your new system will be in the very best hands.
John Bruce, Owner
Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Kansas City