The cottage is a quiet, restful, home away from home. The cottage is not the city, so you can’t use outdoor lighting in the same way. A big percentage of outdoor lighting in the city is for security, but being able to see the stars (minimize light pollution) is what people want from the cottage. Here are some tips to help you choose appropriate outdoor lighting for that weekend getaway.
1. Point Light Down
In order to preserve that view of the starry night sky, keep light pointed down. Using shields, covers, or downlights will help keep the light off the sky. This doesn’t mean you can’t put a light over the front or back door, but you may want to skip the uplighting to highlight the façade on the front of the house or avoid the spotlights pointed up at trees for curb appeal.
2. Use Lower Wattages
Another aspect of preserving dark skies is to use dimmer lights at the cottage than you would in the city. Our experts can recommend a variety of fixtures to accommodate this.
3. Lights On When Needed
The point of the cottage is that it’s supposed to look different than the city. Maintaining the dark sky is important to many cottagers. Only leave outdoor lights on when they’re in use. Ask our experts about motion sensors and timers so that lights aren’t left on unnecessarily. Consider a self-imposed light curfew and have all lights off by 11PM for instance.
4. Security Is Still Important
Security at the cottage is important too. Unlike in the city, often the cottage will have uneven terrain, steep slopes, and other hazards including shorelines, docks, and forest paths. Ensure that where sure footing or staying on the path is important that appropriate lighting is provided.
Those after-dark swims are heavenly but not if someone twists an ankle on the way because they stepped off the path or fell down the stairs. This doesn’t mean your security lighting be entirely utilitarian. There are a lot of options to provide safety lighting in attractive and appealing ways. We have some creative pathway lighting tips here.
5. Lighting Work Areas
Are there areas where you do work after dark? A nighttime fishing trip or a late night barbeque may all require additional outdoor lighting on a deck, dock or boat house. Motion sensors may be just the ticket for areas where activity at night is more sporadic.
6. Keep It Simple
You might want to skip the chrome or polished fixtures for something more traditional. Choosing a black or pewter finish means the fixtures will blend in at night when not in use. Ornate and intricate fixtures will look out of place in a rustic cabin or cottage. Instead, consider fixtures that incorporate reclaimed wood, or textured natural elements.
7. Don’t Want Electric Lights?
Some cottage owners prefer not to have electric lights at the cottage at all. Nite Time Décor Oakville has a variety of solar powered lighting options to choose from that will provide safety and keep the get-away atmosphere you want at the same time.
We are more than happy to answer your outdoor lighting questions or help you design a truly unique lighting design for your cottage, home or business. Contact our experts to learn more about our lighting services or view our gallery of one-of-a-kind designs.