Outdoor lighting – Accessories, Controls and Options

Many outdoor lighting luminaires can be used as is. They work perfectly fine right out of the box.<br>But their use and efficiency can be enhanced by choosing options and controls that fit your requirements more accurately. RAB Lighting, Inc.

Steve Maurer, IME

Many outdoor lighting luminaires can be used as is. They work perfectly fine right out of the box.
But their use and efficiency can be enhanced by choosing options and controls that fit your requirements more accurately.

On-Off control

For example, many times the lighting is turned off and on by timeclocks and timers. Unfortunately, this often means adjustments must be made at least twice a year, if not more often. The days grow longer and shorter. To enable more efficient lighting control, photo sensors are used.

These can be standalone components that control single or even banks of lights. However, receptacles for sensors, mounted directly on the wall pack, for instance, allow you to control the lighting by sensing the ambient light.

And because of that, your lighting works in conjunction with Mother Nature to decrease your utility bills more effectively.

Advanced electronic designs also make your sensors smart. No longer just on or off, some contain logic boards that make lighting more intuitive. Many include surge protection to ensure that voltage spikes don't damage sensors, rendering your lighting inoperable.

With RF communication becoming more prevalent, you may need shielding options to keep interference to a minimum.

Other options

Many options also offer wall switch overrides too. When using motion detection for outdoor lighting control, this provides you the option to keep the lights on all night if necessary, resetting back to automatic control at dawn.

Great for those occasional company parties, right?

Just light indoor lighting, outdoor commercial lighting has entered the 21st century. Many lighting control options permit configuration and control through software applications, even apps on your smartphone.

Sometimes you need to protect the light fixture, not just from the hazards of nature, but from human damage as well. Vandal proof options are available that make accessing the bulbs or lamps difficult. This is often accomplished by using center-pin Torx screws to secure the lenses and covers.

Wire guards protect lenses in high use areas such as outdoor sporting complexes. These keep errant basket balls and base balls from crashing through and cracking the lenses.

Other accessories enhance the lighting for a more aesthetic appearance. Colored filters can add "mood lighting" or flair to floodlights and downlights.

Baffles and hoods can be installed that direct the lighting, protecting human eyes from lighting "hot spots."

They may also help the business or building owner comply with lighting pollution ordinances. This is something that is becoming more of an issue, not just with the surrounding neighbors, but with the environment.

People want to see the night sky, yet see where they're walking, too. Baffles and hoods help accomplish both.

When designing your lighting scenario, you now have many more options to get just the right look and functionality you need.

You can light up the night... just right.


Photo courtesy of RAB Lighting, Inc.