24 May Outdoor House Lights Guide: 6 Points to Consider
Outdoor house lights are a great way to make your home more aesthetically pleasing. You can use outdoor house lights to illuminate walkways. You could also use them in your backyard for events or make them motion-detectable for safety purposes. Outdoor house lights come in many unique styles. From string lights to motion detection to wide-range lamps and ground-level path lights, you can find a set of outdoor house lights for any situation. But is it good to leave outdoor house lights on at night? Should you leave them on all the time? Here at Mister Sparky Electrician Kansas City, we’ve found answers to some of your most pressing questions about outdoor lighting.
What to Consider When Choosing Outdoor Lighting
1. When to keep your Porch Light On or Off
Most people leave their porch lights on at all times, regardless of whether they are home or not. Of course, there are pros and cons to this. But if you strategically use your porch light, you can maximize the safety and usability it provides. A porch light is an effective way to deter burglars from approaching your home. But when people leave home for vacation, they tend to leave the light on constantly. If a potential burglar sees your porch light on during the day, it may signal to them that you are gone. A smart light or timed light that turns on from dusk to dawn might fix this issue. Well, when is a suitable time to leave a porch light on otherwise? It’s good to leave a porch light on when you are home at night. This helps alert potential burglars that you are home. Also, leave a light on when you know you will be returning home late. This will help you see your way to your front door when it’s dark out.
2. What are the Best Lights for Security?
As we previously mentioned, if you leave outdoor house lights on at night it can great for security. But which lights are the best? Mister Sparky Electrician Kansas City recommends a motion detection floodlight for security. A floodlight is a wide-beamed, high-intensity light that can cover a broad range of an outdoor area with ample light. Pair it with a motion detector, and a floodlight will rapidly illuminate when a person walks by. A floodlight can quickly alert you to someone approaching your door when you are home and not expecting visitors.
Even better, low-energy floodlight options provide plenty of light without using up substantial amounts of energy. For those who want extra security, you can buy floodlights with motion detection AND motion-activated cameras. So, when someone walks by, they’ll be covered in light and recorded on video.
3. Which Outdoor Lights don’t Attract Bugs?
The issue of bugs and insects around lights is a serious one. They are annoying, can ruin the aesthetic of your home, and can be harmful as some insects carry diseases or may cause allergic reactions to people. There is a simple way to avoid this. Use yellow-colored lights! That might sound silly, but it’s true. Yellow light emits a wavelength that’s difficult or impossible for insects to see. So if they don’t know the light is there, they won’t be attracted to it! Even better, yellow light is more popular for aesthetic lighting than white or blue light because of its warmer color temperature. So, if attracting bugs is a pressing issue for you regarding outdoor house lights, install yellow-colored ones!
4. Will Outdoor Lights keep Raccoons away?
While outdoor lights are great are thwarting away burglars, they can also scare off other hairy thieves: raccoons! However, you must carefully plan out your anti-raccoon light strategy. If not, the infamous mammal might outsmart you. If a raccoon regularly visits your home at night and notices you always leave outdoor house lights on at night, then it won’t be afraid of them. Instead, it will approach your house without fear, and rummage through your trash freely. But, if you employ lights with motion sensors, it’s a different story. The raccoon will cautiously approach your home, and when the lights suddenly turn on, the raccoon will be scared away. So, the best way to repel raccoons is with motion-activated outdoor house lights.
5. Can Outdoor Lights get Wet?
This one is a little more complicated. Some outdoor house lights can get wet, and others can’t. However, Mister Sparky Electrician Kansas City recommends that you get ones that can handle rain or sprinklers if you are in the market for outdoor lights. You can protect your outdoor lights against water by having certain things in mind, for example, looking for the light’s IP rating. An IP rating tells you how secure a light is from rain and dirt. The minimum IP rating for lights that can withstand water is IP43.
Additionally, keep an eye out for the light’s general durability, the materials used in production, if the light is sealed well from the outside, etc. Also, take note of the light’s electrical components, like the plug insert, buttons, battery compartments, etc. Lastly, to ensure maximum protection against water, plug your outdoor light into a surge protector. That way, it is protected from any electrical surges that water may cause.
6. Are Outdoor Lights Expensive to Run?
The cost of running outdoor lights varies and if you leave outdoor house lights on at night it could get pretty pricy. The number of lights, size of lights, how long the lights are on, and type of light are key factors. When it comes to the number of lights, you don’t need as many as you might initially assume. Outdoor lights typically have a good range of light, meaning less light will get you the light you need. Modern lights are very efficient while remaining small in size. A smaller light will carry as much light as a bigger one. Many people make the mistake of leaving their lights on into the daytime. If you stay on track and only use the lights at night, you’ll save money. Most importantly, use LED bulbs. While they are more expensive to buy initially, they will save you money on your energy bill over time.
Mister Sparky Electrician is proud to offer professional installation of outdoor house lights. So give us a call, check us out on social media, or visit our website today to set up an appointment to make your house safer and more beautiful.
Mister Sparky Electrician KC, America’s On-Time Electrician, serves the Kansas City, MO area with a team of certified electricians also in Overland park. In addition to emergency electrical repairs, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, electrical wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections. Call us today at (816) 535-8808 to schedule an appointment!