Landscape Lighting: No UFO’s Need Apply | Washington DC

As you drive up to your house at night, you notice it needs some lights. You want it to look like the neighbor’s on the right with soft lights that seem to have been placed with an artistic eye. You don’t want it to look like the neighbor’s on the left who some nights might be mistaken for a UFO.

So, how do you decide how much landscape lighting and how little landscape lighting? You want your property to be safe, secure, and beautiful. Yet, you do not want to contribute to outdoor light pollution like the one neighbor.

How can you avoid contributing to outdoor light pollution?

  1. Lights need to be aimed carefully. This means someone needs to aim them when it is dark. You want to show the walkway, but not blind the person walking on that walkway. You don’t want cars driving by to shield their eyes.
  2. Bulbs need to be shielded. This means choosing the right reflectors and shielding for the lighting effect you want.
  3. Choose wattage carefully. You want enough wattage to create that artistic effect, but not the UFO effect. Higher wattage creates harsh light while lower wattage bulbs can provide the safety and the effects.
  4. Use controllers. Controllers can ensure you are saving electricity by not having the lights on all day. The controller can turn the lights on and off as you desire.