Weekends at the cottage are just as much a part of the Canadian experience as hockey games, poutine, and afternoons on the patio. That’s because the cottage symbolizes freedom from the city – an escape into nature. As such, when it comes to lighting the exterior of your cottage, you’ll want to keep things neutral. Less really is more when installing outdoor lighting in the great outdoors; the whole reasons for having a cottage is so that you can see the stars, after all.
When deciding on exterior lights for your cottage, take a page from our Oakville outdoor lighting guide: focus on simple details and these general guidelines.
Don’t Forget About “Dark Sky” Designations
Many cottages are in designated “dark sky” areas, which means that property owners need to be extra-careful about the type of lighting fixtures they choose to use. As such, our Oakville outdoor lighting experts advise clients to take extra pains when positioning their lighting shields. This is because upward-shining light contributes to light pollution and can disrupt the natural cycles of local wildlife.
Downlight to Prevent “Light Trespass”
Light trespass, or accidentally lighting your neighbour’s property with your outdoor fixtures, can cause quite a bit of tension in cottage country. To avoid this, don’t over-light. Instead, opt for low wattage downlighting effects to ensure a subtle, manageable glow.
Keep an Eye on the Time
Be respectful of your environment and keep your lighting system on a timer. Our Oakville outdoor lighting experts recommend automatically shutting your system off at 11 p.m. every evening.
Areas to Illuminate at Your Cottage
Of course, outdoor lighting isn’t just about aesthetics and ambiance. Your lighting system is also designed to illuminate safety hazards and high traffic areas. As such, our Oakville outdoor lighting experts advise cottage clients to pay close attention to these areas when putting together their lighting design:
Your Address Marker
An illuminated address sign is crucial in an emergency situation. When designing your outdoor lighting system, don’t forget to request a strategically placed spotlight for your address post, marker, stone, or mailbox.
Paths and Stairs
Nothing ruins a trip to the cottage quite like twisting your ankle on a rocky path. Avoid these sorts of accidents by installing shielded, low-wattage path lights along any walkways. Step lights should also be used on your deck and anywhere else a change in elevation occurs.
Cottagers love to make the most of their vacation, which often leads to lots of late night BBQs and impromptu bocce ball tournaments. Ensure these activities take place in well-lit areas with professionally installed task lighting.
Selecting Fixtures for Your Cottage
There’s a lot to consider when selecting outdoor lighting fixtures for your cottage. While you want the style to compliment the cottage feel, you’ll need to be careful about what materials you ultimately decide to use. Exposure to moist air can quickly take its toll on stainless steel components. As such, our Oakville outdoor lighting experts recommend using bronze fixtures. While brass and copper fixtures will rust and corrode, bronze fixtures are far more resistant to moisture and wind. What’s more, they’re often designed with a rustic feel, making them the perfect option for cottage life.
Find the perfect balance for your cottage lighting system. Contact one of our Oakville outdoor lighting professionals today for more outdoor lighting ideas.