The most essential component to an outdoor landscape lighting system is the light bulb. Not all light bulbs are the same nor are they suitable for an outdoor environment. This blog post will be a short guide to light bulbs for outdoor landscape lighting. Keep these points in mind when determining the right light bulb for any outdoor landscape lighting project.
Types of Light Bulbs
There are four common types of light bulbs that are used for outdoor landscape lighting: halogen, LED, PAR, and MR.
Halogen bulbs are usually more affordable than LEDs. They are also more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs.
LEDs are quickly gaining popularity in outdoor landscape lighting. They can be a bit of an investment as they are a bit pricier than halogen bulbs, but they are energy efficient and have longer lifespans than most other bulbs. They are also customizable as they come in various sizes, shapes, and color temperatures.
PAR stands for parabolic aluminized reflector. PAR bulbs come in various sizes and usually have a bulbous shape. Older PAR bulb models have a reflective coating inside the bulb. This design allows PAR bulbs to produce a focused, narrow beam of light, usually no more than 45 degrees. Some outdoor landscape lighting applications include up lights or flood lights.
Multi-faceted reflector or MR bulbs also produce a narrow beam of light, but they are more focused than PAR bulbs. The beam of light can be between 15-45 degrees. Applications for these light bulbs include path lights and to highlight specific features of an outdoor space.
Each light bulb type has its pros and cons and it is best to consider them before making a decision to purchase.
Weather Considerations for Outdoor Lighting Bulbs
Choose light bulbs that are UL rated for outdoor use to ensure that they can function without fail in an outdoor environment. Find this information on the packaging for the light bulbs.
Another way to further protect light bulbs in an outdoor environment is to consider the Ingress Protection or IP rating which “grade[s] the resistance of an enclosure against the intrusion of dust or liquids.” Depending on the outdoor environment, choose a lighting fixture with the appropriate IP rating to ensure that the light bulb and fixture can withstand the rain, wind, snow and all other weather conditions.
It is important to choose light bulbs and lighting fixtures that are made specifically for the outdoors.
Light bulbs and Lighting Design
When coming up with a lighting design, the first thing to determine is the purpose and desired atmosphere for an outdoor space. The answer to this question, whether the space will be used for relaxation, entertainment, or a place to complete tasks will help choose the appropriate light bulbs and lighting fixtures. The size of the space will also determine the number of lights needed to adequately light the outdoor space. Other factors such as lumens, lux, and color temperature come into play when choosing a light, so it is best to keep them in mind as well.
For example, if the outdoor space is large, has steps or obstacles, and navigating the space safely is a great concern, consider choosing a light bulb that has a high lumens and is cooler in temperature. Maybe consider increasing the number of lighting fixtures around the area to ensure that there will be enough light to navigate the space safely in the dark.
Find the Perfect Light Bulbs at LightCh8in
Choosing a light bulb for outdoor landscape lighting can be daunting. There are many options to choose from, and how do you narrow them down? The good thing is that there is not one right answer. The best light bulb for an outdoor landscape lighting project is dependent on many factors such as what the outdoor space is for, budget, color temperature, lumens, and more.
Find all the necessary tools and components for an outdoor landscape lighting system at LightCh8in. Our impressive inventory boasts a wide range of light bulbs and you will find the perfect ones for any outdoor landscape lighting project. Log into your LightCh8in account or register for an account now.