Monday, July 20, 2009

Types of Fixtures

The kind of fixtures you choose will be dictated primarily by the area you are working with and what you want to achieve by adding lights to that area. You will likely want to put different types in different parts of your property as you go. For a front walk, you might prefer some stakes or bollards to light the way for visitors. Motion lights installed atop a garage can deter would-be intruders, while floods around perimeter areas looks nice and enhance security. Look through the list below to familiarize yourself with the most common types of fixtures available on the market today.

  • Stake Lighting- Stake (or stem) lights are one of the most common types of outdoor lighting used by homeowners to add a quick, dramatic upgrade to any outdoor area. A bollard sits atop a stake that is driven directly into the ground. These are most popular to line paths and walkways, and are also beautiful distributed throughout beds & displays.
  • Well Lighting- This type of fixture is recessed into the ground and so, of course, requires more work to install. These kinds of lights can serve to create a kind of fluidity where light seemingly emanates from the ground itself. Like bollards, they’re most often used along paths or in beds.
  • Bollards- Bollards, also known as post lights, are an increasingly popular option. Like stake lights, they stand vertically from the ground – usually between 1-3 feet in height. Bollards, though, are encased all the way up so that they look like a column or post. This kind of light fixture can look very impressive, stately, and dramatic. A major advantage of installing this kind of lighting is that the outer encasement not only looks nice; it serves to protect your actual light fixtures from damage inflicted by weather, pets, landscapers, and so on.
  • Flood Lights – Sometimes called spot lights, flood lights are used to illuminate a large area, providing enhanced security. They can be great for brightening up an area used for parties or gatherings, too. Floods placed at the outlying areas of a large property can be a good way of eliminating any temptation for thieves and such types to lurk in the shadows there.
  • Post Cap Lighting- This type of light fixture sits atop a fence post or column, and can also make a great addition to a deck or patio. Another nice use for post caps are on driveway posts, if you have them. It can be a nice way to welcome visitors, while simultaneously deterring possible trespassers.
  • String Lighting- String lights are just what they sound like, and consist of many small bulbs strung along a line. This is an especially fun way to liven up any outdoor area. Use them under an arbor, wrapped around a tree, or even on an apartment balcony. There’s a huge variety of this kind of light out there, from the silly (with bulbs encased in miniature margaritas, peppers, lobsters, the list goes on and on..) to the serious (tiny, understated, twinkling glass bulbs).
  • Wall-Mount Lights- Again, the name says it all. A wall-mount fixture is attached to the side of your house, garage, or other structure. A wide variety of lights are offered in this type of fixture, whether you want a soft and subtle glow, a bright flood effect, or anything in between.
  • Motion Sensor Lights- Primarily used for security purposes, these lights also save energy since they only come on when triggered by movement. Motion sensor lights are most commonly found in wall-mount fixtures, but can be found in other types.

Each of these types of lights are available in energy efficient models, like those using solar and LED technologies. They can also be found in vastly varying styles and colors.

If you have questions not answered by the information on this page, please post them in the comment box below.

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