Spring has (finally) sprung. There’s no turning back now: it’s time to pay attention to your outdoor lighting. We recently did a roundup of outdoor lighting tips, but we wanted to share two more questions to ask yourself along with some great manufacturers to consider.
1. What’s the fixture rating? You should always pay attention to whether your light fixtures are listed as appropriate for wet locations, but did you know that there is a costal outdoor rating as well? Sure, rain and snow bring moisture, but salt air can corrode light fixtures and cause water damage to boot. A coastal outdoor rating will usually come with a lifetime warranty and extra protection for your light fixtures from all elements. This can be a smart investment for landscape fixtures and other fixtures exposed to salty sea air.
2. What’s the fixture source? Landscape and outdoor lighting come in many flavors: incandescent, fluorescent, and LED.
- Incandescent is the old standby, and we love the warm glow and effortless dimming. The size of a lamp, however, dictates the size of the light fixture, which means that discrete or low profile light sources can be difficult to find (depending on the application).
- Fluorescent fixtures carry a longer life than incandescent fixtures, but often carry low CRI (meaning they don’t show color well). Fluorescent fixtures are energy efficient too, making them practical when you need light for long stretches of time. The size of fluorescent lamps can also affect the availability of fixtures, since they are often found in tube configurations, or with similar sizing to incandescent lamps in the case of CFLs.
- LEDs can also be effective in landscape and outdoor fixtures, since they can withstand vibration as well as hot and cold temperatures. Plus, LEDs require little maintenance due to long lifespans. Multiple color temperatures can allow you to custom tailor your landscape lighting, allowing use of warmer or cooler colored fixtures when desired. Not to mention, manufacturers are doing more and more with optics (the glass or lens that guides or bends light) to create fixtures that naturally “wash” or “graze” a surface. You can even create narrow or wide beam spreads, thanks to newer technology.
Here are some of our favorite outdoor lighting manufacturers:
1. Hinkley Lighting. Hinkley is a longtime manufacturer of lighting products with a robust outdoor and landscape collection. Need something extra hardy? Consider the Hardy Island series. These cast brass fixtures carry a lifetime limited warranty, and the gorgeous finish will naturally patina over time. One to consider: the Hardy Island Classic Path Light, which casts light down to safely light pathways and gardens. We stock this fixture in Waltham.
2. Hubbardton Forge. Hubbardton Forge continues to wow us with their fantastic customer service, gorgeous designs, and excellent warranties.
Hubbardton Forge also offers a specially formulated coastal finish for all of its outdoor fixtures, along with a limited lifetime warranty on the finish.
Looking for eye candy? Check out Hubbardton’s Portico Sconce (above). We love the clean lines and timeless frosted glass shade. See it in both showrooms in Coastal Black.
3. Northeast Lantern. We’re big on handcrafted fixtures—and Northeast Lantern doesn’t disappoint. Founded in 1987 and based out of New Hampshire, Northeast Lantern was formed as a brass and copper shop for light fixtures. The metals naturally patina and age with time for a one-of-a-kind look. We’re partial to the Lynn Wall Lantern, shown in both showrooms in Raw Copper.
As always, if you have any questions about outdoor lighting, our consultants would be happy to help. Stop by today or make an appointment soon.