Outdoor step lighting is typically referred to as a form of safety lighting. This is because its purpose is to guide someone safely from one level to the next while highlighting the path your feet must follow.
It goes without saying, if you aren’t able to see where you’re going at night, a trip or fall could lead to a serious injury. In some cases (particularly for the elderly) the injury could be life threatening. Not to mention, the older we get, the more difficult it is to see at night.
This means that the need for effective outdoor lighting is even more warranted when it comes to our older generations. Here are a few additional thoughts to keep in mind when considering step lighting:
In order to fully appreciate quality step lighting, it’s important to discuss glare. Glare is known as a very bright, harsh, dazzling light, which means, whenever attempting to see where to step, glare is not your friend.
As a matter of fact, glare actually diminishes a person’s visibility of a step by drawing your eye to the bright light, instead of directing your vision to the uneven surfaces. Proper step lighting fixtures must be able to minimize glare from all angles in order to create safe pathways to walk.
There’s a wide range of options when it comes to step lighting. Especially when you consider the the tremendous advancements in LED lighting, which have caused the options to explode over recent years.
However, many outdoor lighting professionals won’t recommend a few options for step lighting. This includes the usual in-step brick light with either a louvered face or flat glass front. The glass face fixture is notorious for creating a significant amount of glare which can actually distract you from looking at the step itself as you’re approaching it.
At the same time, the louvered option solely lights a very miniscule area of the step as opposed to the whole step. A better option would be LED linear lights which fit have the ability to fit under the lip of your step. Additionally, the linear design not only gets rid of any glare issues, but also effectively lights the entire step.
Another fantastic option in many applications is a deck style light, which can be mounted on a post or wall, and — because they’re smaller fixtures — could be installed on one or both sides of your steps.
A deck light points the light down to the step and away from your eyes, spreading the light more evenly on the steps. This is a smart choice as it has the ability to light more than one step at a time which will allow for fewer fixtures in order to accomplish the task.
Yet another method would be to place path (or spread) fixtures at the top of/along the steps, in flower beds or planters. Path lighting is typically seen as a decorative element within the landscape, and comes in a wide range of designs in order to accommodate virtually any style preference.
Here in Atlanta we are fortunate to have some very beautiful night skies. However, this also means we have some very dark changes in steps or elevations.
Let NightVision Outdoor Lighting perform an evaluation on your outdoor spaces in order to find the absolute best method for illuminating those dark areas for you. Contact us for a free estimate here.