Outdoor Lighting Design

When designing outdoor lighting, consider the purpose of the lighting along with the basic methods for achieving energy efficiency. Outdoor lighting for homes generally serves one or a combination of three main purposes:

  • Aesthetics Illuminate the exterior of the house and landscape.
  • Security Illuminate the grounds near the house or driveway.
  • Utility Illuminate the porch and driveway to help people navigate safely to and from the house.

Here are some basic methods for achieving energy-efficient outdoor lighting:

  • Security and utility lighting does not need to be bright to be effective.
  • Use fluorescent, high-intensity discharge, or low-pressure sodium lights unless incandescent lights are automatically controlled to be on for just a few minutes each day.
  • Consider incandescent flood lights with combined photo sensors and motion sensors in the place of other security lighting options.
  • Use photo sensors with fluorescent, high-intensity discharge, or low-pressure sodium lights.
  • Make sure outdoor light fixtures have reflectors, deflectors, or covers to make more efficient use of the light source and help reduce light pollution.
  • Use timers and other controls to turn decorative lighting on and off.
  • Use outdoor solar lighting where and if applicable.