Before our team of Oakville outdoor lighting system installers arrive, most homeowners have already given a lot of thought to the design of their new night time landscape. How the property will be used during the evening, which areas to light, the types of lights and effects to be employed and the overall mood created by the outdoor lighting are all things that most people consider before the installation. Ultimately, safety, security and personal well-being should all be enhanced through a good lighting design.
And what is the one thing that most people don’t think about during the planning stage? The neighbours. In the dark, it’s easy to forget that your property is not isolated, and any addition of light can potentially affect the people next door. The form of light pollution caused by a glaring or unshielded Oakville outdoor lighting system is called light trespass. Not only will your neighbours find it annoying to have their sleep disturbed by your lights shining into a bedroom window, but it may also present a safety hazard if their steps and pathways are obscured by the glare from your home.
Before finalizing the plan for your Oakville outdoor lighting system, our designers will always work to prevent the problems of light trespass. As you do your own thinking about the kind of lighting design you want, consider your neighbours with these simple tips:
Aim Before You Fire
Every light should only illuminate the intended area, and should never be directed along common lines of sight. When lights are improperly aimed, the resulting glare reduces rather than improves our eyes ability to see at night and could cause danger.
Most fixtures you use should be adjustable, especially lights that are mounted at or above eye-level.
Lights that are vertically mounted, such as PAR lights and other types of spot light should always be aimed at less than a 45 degree angle, and never straight out.
Some of our past articles have suggested using a number of flashlights around your property while you’re deciding on the kind of illumination you want. While doing this, pay attention to the direction of the light and what other nearby areas might be affected.
All good lighting designers will tell you: The thing to admire about a good lighting design is the effect it creates, and not the bulbs or fixtures used. If a bulb is clearly visible, then it is causing glare and it will throw light into unwanted areas, such as your neighbour’s yard.
Professionally designed fixtures that are intended for use in an Oakville outdoor lighting system will always be shielded. This allows for placement of the fixture in such a way that the beam can be accurately focused without exposing the bulb. It also prevents light from bleeding into surrounding areas.
If your existing lighting uses an unshielded floodlight or other type of bulb, you can purchase shields to fit most sizes of fixture.
Don’t Overdo It
It’s amazing how bright the light of the full moon can be on a clear night, and is quite often enough illumination to easily navigate. A full moon casts roughly 0.02 footcandles brightness. Compare that to the brightness of a night time sports arena at about 20 footcandles, and you begin to get the idea of just how little light your really need to enjoy any outdoor activity around your home at night.
You don’t want you or your guests to be on display like a department store window. Using soft light at lower levels not only promotes a relaxed mood, but is also quite enough for enjoying a meal and a conversation.
Use small, finely focused task lighting for areas that require a bit more illumination, such as around a cooking area or a pool deck.
Well-designed landscape lighting will improve your home’s safety and create a wonderful space for you to enjoy in the evening, without being a cause of neighbourhood feuds. Contact us today for more advice on preventing light trespass.