Do you want more brand recognition, a better customer experience, or an increase in sales? Outdoor lighting for your business has many benefits. It draws people in, keeps them comfortable, and makes them want to come back. When installing landscape lighting for your business, these are the top five things to know about illuminating your space:
#1 - The Importance of Lighting
Landscape lighting will not only enhance and change the look of your building, but also the mood. With careful design, lighting can make your building memorable by standing out from the rest.
Accent the architecture, entrance, and signage of your business with lighting. Draw the public’s eye into your establishment with linear lighting or a well-lit path. An Outdoor Lighting Designer can help you choose the style of lighting that will suit your business best.
By carefully planning the level of lighting on your outdoor walkways as well as the interior of the building, your clients will feel welcome, comfortable and ready for your brand’s experience.
Hues of light are important as well.
Different hues in lighting can set the mood for your customers. For example, red and orange hues have been shown to heighten people’s appetites – restaurants tend to choose those colors. Bars or clubs may choose lights with a slight purple or blue hue- these are comfort colors and people tend to socialize more readily.
Color temperature to increase sales.
Just as various hues evoke mood, a soft glow versus bright lights will create a different customer experience. For example, car dealerships use overhead lighting to display options and instill confidence in customers.
#2 – Choosing the Right Fixtures
Lighting fixtures are now made from a variety of materials. There are hundreds of designs to choose from. However, when choosing the right lighting it is important to take these factors into consideration:
- The weather patterns
- Level of humidity
- Landscaping as well as hardscaping
- Long-term expectations
Let's check out some of the material options:
- Plastic – Plastic fixtures last short-term as this is the cheapest and least expensive option.
- Aluminum – There are finishes that are added to aluminum that help decrease corrosion. However, aluminum is a low-quality element that will not last long term outdoors unless it is coated. This process may extend the useful life to 3-3.5 years. For coastline structures, these products should be avoided as the salt can increase corrosion.
- Stainless steel – When choosing a stainless-steel feature, be sure to check the finish details to prevent discoloration from the weather. Check the grade of steel-a grade 316 is very durable. Once again, high humidity and exposure to salty environments can harm these features.
- Copper – Copper has high corrosion resistance. This material works well in coastal areas. Copper develops a patina over time, providing a barrier to corrosion and rust.
- Brass – Brass has high corrosion resistance and holds up well in weather. Over time, it too will patina. Brass is the most popular material used for lighting fixtures due to its longevity. It creates beautiful fixtures that get better looking with age.
- Bronze – Bronze has a higher corrosion resistance than brass and is very durable. Look for <15% zinc to ensure a quality fixture with more corrosion protection. Bronze is serviceable for many years without the need for replacement. Using bronze fixtures can become pricey in a lighting design. Placing them throughout an entire property is not cost effective.
#3 - Types of bulbs
LEDs have taken over the landscape lighting market. Halogen bulbs, though cheaper, do not last as long as LEDs.
- Halogens – Halogen bulbs last about 2,000-5,000 hours. They offer energy efficient light that helps cut down energy costs. Although the energy cost savings don’t match that of LED lights, halogens can be used with timers–one less thing to worry about.
- LED – LED bulbs are more expensive on the front end. However, since they can last 40,000-50,000 hours, they will ultimately save you money over the long haul. Due to their longevity and energy efficiency, they have become very popular in outdoor lighting.
#4 - Lighting Performance & Client Expectations
Choosing the right landscape lighting system that will meet your expectations and deliver the quality and performance you deserve is important.
Here are some suggestions of things to consider:
- Lighting should not create hot spots – lighting should “flow”
- Fixtures should have the option of staging at multiple angles
- Timers should be easy to set up, work effectively, and be easy to maintain
- Lighting should effectively highlight desired areas – It should achieve the look and safety measures desired
- Be sure to capture special features such as fountains, trees, and entrances
- The color hue should enhance the building and landscaping
Solar lighting vs. low-voltage lighting
More businesses are choosing to go green and making the switch to solar lighting. But low voltage lighting is a green option too! It’s energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Here are the differences in quality and lighting abilities between solar and low voltage lighting:
Solar lighting benefits:
- Energy efficient
- No use of electricity
- Uses LED lights
- Won’t burn out–just lose their brightness
Downsides to solar lighting:
- Not as bright as low voltage lighting – desired lighting effects may not be obtainable
- Areas that don’t receive ample sunlight would not benefit from solar lighting
- Limited styles
- Solar panels need to be maintained/cleaned to maximize sunlight absorption
- Don’t need a timer to turn them on/off
- More fixture options / better quality lighting.
- Brighter bulbs offer more options for fixtures/angles/widths
- More control over lights using timers
- Low energy cost
#5 - Think About Natural Foot Traffic
By thinking about the way your client’s move about the premises, the appropriate lighting placements for your business can be determined. An outdoor lighting professional will help you think about the paths along your property that customers might use, areas that could be hazardous, and security issues. They will show you how to properly illuminate those walkways and keep foot traffic in the areas you want it most.
Landscape lighting for commercial properties serves as a guide and provides a customer experience.
A commercial landscape lighting design and installation should enhance a property by creating curb appeal, safety, and security. It should welcome customers and help them remember your brand.
Contact us for more information about increasing the visibility of your business. Our Outdoor Lighting Designers are ready to help you today!