Sustainable building design is an art as much as it is a science, and lighting is one of its core challenges. The Energy and Resources Institute’s manual, “Sustainable Building Design” recommends a subtle approach to exterior lighting. Key problems include poorly shielded lights, too much brightness, and too many lights. Optical control that’s as subtle as it is thoughtful will deliver on aesthetics and energy efficiency.
Plan your lighting according to:
• Energy efficiency.
• Color palettes
Wasted light improves none of these aspects, but it does interfere with the biological cycles of plants, people, and pets. Computer modeling allows architects and designers to evade light pollution and plan lighting styles to achieve goals efficiently. Less is more, especially when it comes to light.
Achieve subtlety and efficiency by:
• Illuminating smaller areas only when light is needed.
• Avoiding light that is bright enough to obscure pathways.
• Projecting light upward with accent and sign lighting.
No project succeeds without careful planning, so know the objectives of every light you place and aim for the minimum levels. Clearly illuminated zones with accented hazards and safety zones for your children are best. Make use of layers to achieve contrast, and highlight key areas. Choose low ambient light so that accents have enough contrast.
Lighting is like any art: clutter is neither beautiful nor useful.
Energy efficient re-lamping can be achieved more economically by choosing new bulbs that fit into old fittings. Conversion kits are rarely needed. Today’s most effective lamps for exterior lighting are mercury vapor, metal halide, and sodium vapor lamps. To reduce light pollution, cut-off luminaires and low reflectance bulbs can be placed at ground level. This will also eliminate glare.
Premier Lighting can help make sure your outdoor lighting is safe and stylish. Check out their showrooms around the valley or visit their site today.