Let There Be Light The Functional Beauty of Outdoor Lighting

There was a time when most large residential developments relied on glaring floodlights to brighten parking lots, front porches and entryways. Today, there is more to exterior lighting than just chasing shadows away and discouraging crime. Lighting is now a deliberately thought-out part of residential community design, with a lasting impact on value.

Lighting Plan

It is highly recommended that before your community decides to tackle exterior lighting, you consult with a professional that will be able to devise a plan that is most efficient and in line with your financial situation. In many instances, it may just take a simple replacement.

Rick Norwood, president of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives in Romeoville, says that his team recently worked on a community where instead of adding more fixtures, they replaced high pressure sodium bulbs with induction bulbs, which cast more light and are more energy efficient than traditional, and even LED lights, he says.

“In a lot of instances you don't have to buy a new fixture, you can retrofit the existing post lights or parking lot structures, to keep the fixtures but replace the bulb,” he says.

Ronique Gibson, LEED AP, and an associate architect, who contributes to Freshome and Stagetecture web blogs dedicated to design and architecture, advises HOA boards to “determine how many lights you will need in advance before you start installing. Homeowners often don’t take into account adjacent street lighting or neighboring houses, and other external factors that may cast light onto their property as well. Walk around your home at dusk, right before the sun will set. Take note of what areas need additional lighting.”

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