Lighting is one of the important aspects that affect the environment and mood of a place. Along with illuminating a space, the lighting fixtures also play a crucial role in creating an ambiance. While a white light makes an area look bright, thereby pumping you up, a yellow light evokes a feeling of relaxation.
Therefore, you must show prudence before deciding on the illumination of your property’s indoor and outdoor areas. Lighting up a place is not a topic that can be discussed completely and thoroughly in a single blog post. Hence, this blog post focuses only on outdoor lights. To be more precise, we have discussed how LED lights are a perfect option to illuminate various outdoor areas.
Now, LED lights are not a new development or technology that needs any introduction. They have been in use for more than half a century. Their popularity has increased over time. Currently, LED lighting has become the top choice for several applications in residential, commercial, and industrial environments.
A lot of property owners, renters, builders, facility managers, and even government agencies in the USA and worldwide prefer LED outdoor lights to fulfill their lighting needs in outdoor spaces. The reason behind the same is that LED lights offer a ton of advantages compared to traditional types of lights. Outdoor lighting solutions must be innovative, feasible, creative, and budget-friendly. LED lights make it possible to find and implement such solutions. They have a huge scope in terms of functionality and aesthetics.
Let’s have a look at some more details about LED lights and why they have become extremely important in today’s time.
Characteristics and Benefits of LED Lights
LED, whose full form is Light-Emitting Diode, is a semiconductor device. The term ‘semiconductor’ is used for a material or substance whose electrical conductivity falls between a conductor and a non-conductor. Semiconductors conduct electricity better than non-conductors, i.e., insulators, but not as well as conductors. Some common examples of semiconductors include arsenic, selenium, sulfur, carbon, and silicon.
So, in simple words, LED is a semiconductor source of light. It emits light when electricity passes through it. LED is used as a source of artificial lighting all over the world. It is used to illuminate objects as well as spaces. The uses of LED lighting to light up spaces are widely known and discussed, but the uses of LED lights in objects are not discussed much. The objects in which LED lights are used are a part of the daily lives of millions of people. Let us share a few examples – television sets, mobile phones, digital watches, and cameras.
When it comes to using LED technology for lighting up places, the sky is the limit. LED lights are known for their brightness. LED-based luminaires function with the help of LED devices. It’s easy to distinguish an LED lighting fixture from a traditional lighting fixture because of the bright light it emits. Areas with LED lighting look lively.
However, LED lights are different from the rest of the artificial light sources in many other ways as well. They are a better option from various standpoints, such as environment, energy efficiency, and cost savings. On top of it, technological advancements have led to the emergence of LED lighting products that can be remotely operated with a single tap in a mobile application. People can easily find LED lights with several modern features, such as the ability to dim and the ability to change color.
Now, let’s see the benefits that LED Lights can provide
- Minimum UV Emissions
Lights emit UV radiation whenever they are kept on, i.e., whenever they are working. This UV radiation generates heat which increases the temperature of the surroundings. In fact, more than 90% of the energy or electricity that a light fixture consumes gets turned into heat. Fluorescent, incandescent, halogen, sodium vapor, and many other types of lights cause UV emissions.
On the other hand, LED lights emit only a small amount of UV radiation, as only a small portion of the energy they consume gets turned into heat. Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation can lead to harmful effects, such as skin damage and cataract. You can prevent these harmful effects by using LED lights.
- Energy Efficiency
As explained in the previous point, minimum heat is generated by using lamps, bulbs, tubes, and other LED-based lighting products. In some cases, it is even close to zero. The heat generated is the loss of energy. So, LED lights use most of the energy to emit light instead of ultraviolet radiation.
Moreover, LED lights produce more lumens than traditional types of lights. The lumen is the unit used to measure the quantity or amount of visible light that a lighting fixture emits per unit of time in all directions. LED lighting fixtures produce 70 to 100 lumens per watt. A watt is a unit used to measure the power of a circuit. In simple words, a watt is a unit used to measure the electrical energy a lighting fixture or appliance needs to function.
Hence, LED lighting products are considered to be highly energy efficient. Reduction in the total energy consumed leads to a reduction in the electricity bills. It’s a major reason so many property owners, renters, and facility managers opt to get LED retrofit kits to replace their existing lighting systems with LED lighting systems.
- Long Lifespan
LED lights are not just energy efficient but also extremely durable. The average lifespan of a LED lighting fixture is 50,000 hours to 100,000 hours. They can last anywhere between 5 to 10 years. In some scenarios, LED lighting fixtures last up to 12 to 14 years, subject to the condition that they are used properly.
Similarly, frequent usage of LED lights can reduce their lifespan to 3 to 4 years. In either case, an LED light can last 3 to 5 times longer than a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) and 30 times longer than an incandescent bulb. LED lights can last 2 to 4 times longer than sodium vapor lights as well as metal halide lamps.
Whether it’s a wall pack lighting fixture or commercial parking lot lights, every type of LED light helps in protecting the environment. As already mentioned in this blog post, LED lighting systems consume most of the electrical power supplied to them for producing light.
In fact, only 5% of the total electricity or energy gets wasted by getting turned into heat. On top of it, the lumen output of a LED lighting fixture is much better than any other type of traditional lighting fixture. Therefore, less energy is required to obtain the same level of brightness in any kind of environment. People can replace a high-wattage traditional lighting product with a low-wattage LED lighting product.
Power generation causes harmful effects on the environment. One of these harmful effects is greenhouse gas emissions. Less power generation ultimately leads to a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. Another reason that makes LED lights environment-friendly is that they don’t contain mercury, unlike mercury vapor lamps, fluorescent lamps, and fluorescent tubes. Mercury is a toxic heavy metal that can damage the immune system, nervous system, lungs, kidneys, and liver.
When the lifespan of the lighting products containing mercury ends, their disposal in a landfill might create environmental hazards. Disposal of such products requires special care and arrangements. On the other hand, disposal of LED lighting products is not difficult.
Since the lifespan of LED lights is larger than the lifespan of traditional lights, they need to be replaced less frequently. So, fewer lights need to be manufactured. As a result, fewer resources are required for manufacturing and packing the LED lights. The decline in power generation as well as the number of lights to be produced reduces the carbon footprint on the planet.
- Little to No Warm-Up Time
Lighting fixtures usually need a few seconds of time to warm up before they can light up fully. You must have seen how fluorescent bulbs and other types of lights flicker before turning on properly. However, LED lighting fixtures turn on and reach full brightness immediately without flickering. LED lights have little to no warm-up time.
- Withstand Frequent Switching Cycles
People are usually scared to switch on and off their lights frequently, as it can decrease the efficiency and lifespan of lights. One of the benefits that LED lights provide is that they can withstand frequent switching cycles. Their efficiency and lifespan are unaffected by frequent switching on and off.
- Directional Emissions
The emissions generated by LED-based lighting are directional. In simple words, LED lighting products emit lights in a specific direction. They emit light at 180O around them. Traditional sources of artificial lighting emit light at 360O around them. In such a case, the light emitted to the ceiling and areas that don’t need to be illuminated gets wasted. Thus, LED lights help you to light up specific areas without wasting electricity.
- Design Flexibility
LED lighting fixtures are smaller in size compared to standard lighting fixtures. The reason behind the same is that the LED devices inserted within them are quite small. Some light-emitting diodes can even be smaller than 1 mm2.
Hence, LED lights offer tremendous scope in terms of flexibility in the design. They can be used in a number of lighting applications. They are ideal for decorative lights in residential, commercial, and industrial environments. Moreover, LED lights don’t necessarily need a glass covering, as they are solid-state lights (SSLs). They don’t generate much heat and are less prone to breaking, so they don’t need a protective layer of glass. These points increase their flexibility even more.
- High Color Rendering Index (CRI)
Color rendering index or CRI is an index used to measure the ability of an artificial source of light to show the true colors of objects. The criterion for measurement is the comparison between the colors shown by artificial lights and the colors shown by natural daylight.
Basically, CRI measures how a light source shows the colors of objects illuminated by it in contrast to how the sunlight shows the colors of objects. All types of artificial lighting sources have a color rendering index. The values of this index fall between 0 and 100. A value between 90 to 100 is preferred the most. Higher CRI implies that a light source can show the colors of objects just as they would have appeared in natural daylight.
Most LED lights have a color rendering index value between 80 and 90. Some LED lights on the higher end have a CRI of greater than 90. Depending on the illumination needs of different indoor and outdoor areas of your property, you can choose the most suitable LED lights.
- Correlated Color Temperature (CCT)
Just like CRI, correlated color temperature or CCT is a useful characteristic that makes LED lights better than other types of lights. CCT is a rating used to measure the quality of white light. It describes the color of the light emitting from a light source.
Measured in Kelvin Celsius, correlated color temperature defines the hue or color tone of the light. It is also known as light-color temperature. While red and yellow colors are considered warm, white and light blue colors are considered cool. The CCT rating usually falls between 2200 Kelvin degrees and 6500 Kelvin degrees. LED lights are available in a vast array of correlated color temperature values. Thus, you can find LED-based luminaires that emit cool white color as well as luminaires that emit warm yellow light easily.
Apart from the benefits mentioned above, LED lights are also helpful in some other ways. Thus, whether you are looking for flood lights, hardscape lights, or downlights, LED-based lighting systems are a perfect option. All types of LED lights, ranging from basic LED bulbs used at home to commercial parking lot lights, come in a large variety of sizes and color temperatures.
Now that you know why LED lights are important and their advantages, you must be able to understand why the use and popularity of LED lights are increasing day by day. LED lights can help fulfill both simple and complex needs related to indoor and outdoor lighting applications.
However, as LED outdoor lights are a focal point here, we will keep our discussion limited to outdoor lighting applications only. So, we have explained in the next section how LED lights are the most suitable option for outdoor lighting needs.
How LED Outdoor Lights Can Amp Up Outdoor Spaces?
Every outdoor area, whether fully enclosed or partially enclosed, needs sufficient lighting to become safe for use. Garage, backyard, front yard, garden, lawn, pathway, walkway, driveway, landscape, patio, porch, deck, veranda, balcony, recreation room, sun room, entertainment room, al fresco dining room, outdoor kitchen, outdoor bar or mini bar, swimming pool, gazebo, pergola, and terrace are some of the outdoor spaces present in residential, commercial, and industrial properties.
Apart from these, some other outdoor spaces are also there. For example, parking lots, plazas, stadiums, open-air theaters, open-air auditoriums, and parks. These days, a lot of commercial places are designed and built in a way to create an outdoor environment. Rooftop garden restaurants, outdoor office spaces, and outdoor gyms are a few examples.
The aforementioned outdoor areas can be further divided into different types depending on various elements, such as size, elevation, roofing, and purpose. While commercial outdoor areas are built with the objective to conduct business activities, residential outdoor areas are built with the motive to create extra living space.
But irrespective of the type, dimensions, or purpose of an outdoor area, illumination is a must to make the area safe and functional. In the case of a new lighting installation project for one or more outdoor spaces, you can approach an electrical contractor who can provide you with practical lighting solutions. There is a high chance that the contractor will recommend installing LED-based lights in your outdoor spaces.
In the case of outdoor spaces that need replacement of lighting fixtures, you should consider installing retrofit LED lights. Retrofit LED lights replace traditional or standard lights. You can buy and install reliable and affordable LED Outdoor Lights made especially for residential applications in order to illuminate the porch, veranda, garden, deck, and other outdoor spaces of your home.
You can install commercial parking lot lights if you want to illuminate parking lots and garages. Similarly, if you want to light up large outdoor playing areas, you can install flood lights. Thus, you can find a suitable LED-based lighting product for all your outdoor lighting requirements.
A wide range of LED lights is available in the market today. The type of lights you choose plays a crucial role in enhancing the overall appearance of your outdoor areas. Along with the roofing, flooring, furniture, privacy, thermal insulation, ventilation, and other factors, lighting or illumination also affects the look and ambiance of an outdoor area. Therefore, you must buy the lighting fixtures after thorough research and careful consideration. The right LED lighting systems and the correct installation can amp up your outdoor spaces.
What are the Key Advantages of LED Outdoor Lights?
We have already shared the information regarding how LED luminaires are beneficial in numerous ways. They are not just great for the environment but also help in reducing the electricity bill. Moreover, they come in a variety of light color temperatures.
You can even buy LED lights that can be dimmed to adjust to the changing needs for lighting. Unlike other sources of artificial lighting, LED lights consume less energy once you dim them. Hence, you can further reduce your energy bills. LED lights with the latest features can even change colors. So, you can change colors to create a desired environment at a place.
All the aforementioned advantages are applicable in the case of both indoor and outdoor LED lights. Some other advantages that make LED lighting products a better option for outdoor areas are mentioned below:
- Waterproof LED Lights
Outdoor areas with no roofing need lighting sources that are waterproof. Such areas have no protection against rainfall and snowfall. The outlet wires of waterproof LED lights are cold-resistant. The drivers of such LED lights can withstand low temperatures. As a result, they are a perfect choice for outdoor lighting applications in regions with low temperatures. They perform well even during the winter season.
- Weather Resistant LED Lights
LED lights that exhibit resistance to extreme weather conditions are also available at both online and offline stores. These LED lights are suitable for use in outdoor spaces in regions that encounter harsh weather conditions.
- Decorative LED Lights
As mentioned earlier in this blog post, LED lights have design flexibility due to their small size and other reasons. Hence, they can be used for several types of exterior lighting applications. They are ideal for decorative LED lighting systems. Decorative lights can make your outdoor areas look beautiful and please your guests. You can use these lights to illuminate outdoor spaces where you want to hold parties, get-togethers, and celebrations.
LED-based lighting fixtures are a cost-effective option when it comes to lighting applications for outdoor areas. You already know how LED lights can save energy, thereby minimizing electricity bills. Some outdoor areas, especially commercial outdoor areas, are huge in space. Moreover, they need illumination 24/7 or maximum hours of the day. Hence, the number of lights required is more than the number of lights required in residential outdoor areas.
Thus, the lighting systems installed over there will consume a significant amount of energy. Consequently, the energy bill will also be huge. You can keep the electricity bills to a minimum by choosing to get LED lighting fixtures installed in outdoor areas.
A technician with sufficient knowledge can guide you in installing LED lighting fixtures at a proper height and a proper distance from each other so that only those areas that need to be illuminated receive lighting. Arrangements can be made to turn off lights that illuminate the areas not being used at the moment. Places like parking lots and parks have variable lighting requirements. You can switch on and off the lights even when you are not physically present at a place by using a suitable mobile application.
- Hassle-Free Maintenance
LED outdoor lights eliminate your stress regarding maintenance. Every lighting system needs periodic maintenance. Many types of traditional lights have to be replaced frequently, as they have a short lifespan. You need to invest time and money in repairs, replacement, and maintenance. However, LED lights have a long lifespan, with some lasting 12 to 14 years. You don’t need to worry about checking the lights and getting them replaced every few months.
Thus, you can see how LED-based luminaries can offer property owners, facility operators, and other parties a ton of advantages. You can make the most of LED lighting systems by planning the outdoor lighting design intelligently with the help of electrical contractors and other experts in the industry. You can even consider the option of a photometric plan.
Outdoor areas should be highly functional and versatile. The outdoor spaces in your home are relaxing spots for you. These spaces can be used to conduct various kinds of activities, such as studying, eating, sleeping, playing music, pursuing hobbies, playing games, reading a book, painting, woodworking, and so on. On the other hand, commercial outdoor spaces are meant for performing business activities. Properly functioning lighting products that emit sufficient light in a safe manner are a must for these spaces. Whether an outdoor area is residential or commercial, LED outdoor lights can enhance their functionality and aesthetic appeal.