Outdoor Lighting – Lamps and Fixtures

Lighting up the night has been important to us for centuries. The reasons are many and varied.<br><br><br><ul><li>Safety</li><li>Security</li><li>Increased productivity, and</li><li>Aesthetics<br></li></ul>Beginning
 with early campfires keeping wild animals at bay, we've always turned 
to lighting to enhance our lives during the twilight hours. RAB Lighting, Inc.

Steve Maurer, IME

Lighting up the night has been important to us for centuries. The reasons are many and varied.

  • Safety
  • Security
  • Increased productivity, and
  • Aesthetics
Beginning with early campfires keeping wild animals at bay, we've always turned to lighting to enhance our lives during the twilight hours.

And certainly, we've come a long way since those early, smoky solutions.

As humans, sight is one of our most important senses. Sound may alert us to our surroundings. But seeing is not only believing, it's knowing as well.

Lighting has been continuously developed, improved, and enhanced from the early days of incandescents to the more modern technologies found in LEDs.

LEDs ushered in the age of more cost effective solutions. Going "green" and saving money on our utility bills are just two of the reasons for this technology's increased development and use.

For sure... many of us old timers balk and using this new age tech. Nothing like the warm, but inefficient glow of the old style incandescent!

But even so, many — myself included — have embraced the new tech, not just at home but at the workplace as well.

Indoor lighting tech has advanced significantly with bells and whistles unheard of just a few years ago. But outdoor lighting hasn't been without its, uh, shining moments.

Incandescents are still widely used. But CFLs and LEDs are making great strides in efficient and effective lighting. The options available now are, in my opinion, astounding. Many communities and utility companies are making the switch to LEDs in their streetlamps and other outdoor lighting.

My own home is almost 90% LED, including the floods in the yard.

Uses for outdoor lighting
Of course, outdoor lighting enhances every aspect of our night life. It lights our walkways for both beauty and safety. Wall packs not only provide a secure, lighted area, but also enhance architectural design and aesthetics.

Decorative and landscape lighting add value to both residential and commercial properties.

HID light, such as HPS (high pressure sodium) are still used to light highways and roadways. But the need for cleaner, more efficient, and longer lasting luminaires pushes the outdoor LED tech development.

With newer technologies come new terminology, or at least more understanding of older terms. And also with that, a better understanding by the consumer as to the correct interpretation of terms.

Take watts, for example. In the past it was equated with light output when, in reality, it deals with energy consumption.

But, let's get back to outdoor lighting.

When determining what outdoor fixtures to use, you'll discover a multitude of options to consider. Of course, it should be somewhat compatible and complementary to the architecture of the building.
But other considerations are part of the mix as well:

  • CRI (color rendering index) to fit the need for color accuracy
  • Color temperature (from yellow to white)
  • Longevity (often demanded in hard to access locations)
The availability of power is also a consideration. Remote locations may not have easy access to a hardwired electrical supply. Newer technologies in LEDs and battery design often make solar powered fixtures more of an option than ever before.

Outdoor lighting has certainly come a long way from the early days of campfires, candles, and torches.

With all the options available now, our outdoor lighting choices are, at the same time, both more complex and more simplified. And what we choose makes a significant impact on our nightlife, both on and off the job.


Photo courtesy of RAB Lighting, Inc.