Outdoor Lights & Furniture :: Outdoor Flood Lights
Outdoor Flood Lights - How to Choose the Right Light for Your Property
Outdoor flood lights are the best choice of outdoor lighting if you need to thoroughly light medium to large areas of your property. Reasons for needing a lot of light at night varies from property to property. Perhaps you live in a high crime neighborhood and need outdoor flood lights for security. Or maybe you live in a rural area where there are no public owned streetlights and you need a few well-placed flood lights so that you can see outdoors at night. Do you like to take out the garbage at night, or go look for the cat? You might like to light the walkways around your house and garage with outdoor flood lights.
All of these are great reasons to invest in an outdoor flood lights. But first check out a few facts about flood lights to help you make a wise purchase.
Light bulbs commonly used in outdoor flood lights are:
- MVL (Mercury Vapor Lamp) used in streetlights
- Quarts Halogen bulbs used for lighting stadiums, playing fields, and other large venues
- Halogen bulbs available for residential use
- CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light) bulbs
- LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs
- Incandescent bulbs
PIRs (Passive Infra-red sensor) can be built into many outdoor lighting fixtures and will automatically turn on your lights when activated my motion. Usually there are settings to allow to decide how long the light remains on each time it is activated.
Halogen bulbs are commonly thought of as the bulb of choice for outdoor flood lights because they cast a very bright light. The largest wattage used in a residential outdoor light fixture is 500 watts. But this is typically way too much light for a normal residential property outdoor lighting requirements.
Outdoors at night, light looks much brighter to our eyes than during the daytime or inside of a house. Our pupils dilate when we are in the dark to let in more light. So our eyes are quite sensitive to bright lights and will become blinded by a light that is too bright. The result of too much light is blindness and dark shadows, creating a bigger security problem than before you started!
If you need to use a halogen bulb, try a 150-watt bulb, and try to find a fixture that can be easily directed downward, as well as one that could be placed well above the eyes of people on the ground. This will cut down on glare, and effectively light your dark corners. Halogen light fixtures are designed to be directed downward, not outward.
CLFs or Compact Fluorescent Lights used for outdoor flood lights are the same type of bulbs that we use inside our homes these days to replace incandescent bulbs. The reason for replacing incandescent with compact fluorescents is that CLFs are much more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs. They last a long time as well, so you can avoid the hassle of frequently changing bulbs in your outdoor flood lights like you needed to with incandescent. Compact Fluorescent Lights range between 10w to 40w.
LEDs, or Light Emitting Diodes can be a good choice as outdoor flood lights because they don't produce UV light that attracts insects, and they are also very energy efficient. LEDs are often used in solar power outdoor flood lights because they are so energy efficient. Look for outdoor solar flood lights that come with a separate solar panel. That solar cell can be larger and therefore more powerful than the typical inbuilt solar cell, and allows for overhead or eve installation of the solar fixtures. The solar collection cell can then be located a distance away, for example, on the roof where it will get plenty of sunlight. LEDs come in 40w, 70w and 100w.
Before purchasing outdoor flood lights are ask yourself a few questions
do I need light outdoors and for what purpose do I need this outdoor
light. Remember that too much glaring light improperly directed is
worse than no light at all and that light that is too weak defeats the
purpose of installing outdoor flood
lights. Try to get it right before
going to the trouble if installing outdoor lights.