Tips For Landscaping Lights That Won't Annoy Your Neighbors
From highlighting your home's architectural details to creating a safe path to the front door at night, when it comes to developing a landscape lighting design, there are several factors to consider. Unfortunately, there is one factor that is often overlooked: how your landscape lighting impacts your neighbors. According to the Virginia Outdoor Lighting Taskforce, light trespassing occurs when unwanted light shines into your home or onto your property.
Don't allow light trespassing to impact your relationship with your neighbors, and instead avoid it by following these simple tips.
Talk to Your Neighbors
Before buying a single fixture or consulting with a professional landscape lighting professional, ask your neighbors if they have had issues with your outdoor lighting in the past or if there are any concerns. For example, if your homes are close together, they might be concerned with light flooding a nursery or other bedroom.
Research your state or city's ordinances to determine if there are light pollution laws or restrictions on the types and number of fixtures allowed on your property.
Choose the Right Fixtures and Bulbs
Look for fixtures that are adjustable, features visors or hoods, are appropriately sized, and can be raised off the ground or attached to a pole or stake. Adjustable fixtures can be moved to focus light directly where it is needed. A fixture featuring a hood or visor will also focus light on a particular area and avoid it from beaming out in several directions.
Outdoor fixtures are available in a variety of sizes, which allows for the use of larger bulbs. Choose a fixture that is appropriate for the job. For example, if you're lighting a walkway, you will need smaller fixtures than required to illuminate an architectural feature.
Whenever possible, choose a fixture that can be placed several inches off the ground. This will allow you to angle the light downward, which is less invasive to your neighbors.
Test out a variety of light bulbs to determine the ideal wattage. Don't put a bulb with a higher wattage than required. This will only waste electricity and potentially annoy your neighbors. Also, consider LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs. These use less electricity and emit very little heat.
Invest in Motion Sensors
Despite your best efforts, it is sometimes unavoidable for some light to flood into your neighbor's yard. Installing motion-detecting sensors allows you to control how long and how often the lights turn on. Choose fixtures that allow you to control the sensitivity of the motion sensors and the length of time the lights stay on after they sense motion.
Controlling the sensitivity is important, especially if you have outside pets or neighborhood animals that are constantly running across your yard. Turning down the sensitivity will ensure that the lights only come on when a person walks by.
Hire a Professional
Finally, if you have a large property or want to ensure your lighting is not only functional and elegant but also doesn't impede on your neighbors, hiring a professional to take on this task is the best option. A professional landscape lighting design service, such as Marras Lighting Design, can create a plan that will showcase the beautiful aspects of your property. A professional will also properly illuminate any pathway or doorways properly.
There are several other areas outside of your home that should be illuminated to protect your home from intruders. Properly illuminating these hidden spots, nooks, and crannies will make your property less enticing to burglars because they eliminate places for them to hide.
When creating a landscape lighting design, chances are preventing light trespassing wasn't something you thought about. Luckily, there are several ways you can ensure your home's lighting is beautiful and functional and that it doesn't anger your neighbors.