Exterior LED Wall Packs Provide Better Safety, Security and Visibility

Exterior LED Wall Packs Provide Better Safety, Security and Visibility

Exterior LED wall packs are a simple, cost-effective way to enhance outdoor light quality. Outside, they’re everywhere. If the goal is to boost outdoor illumination around the building for pedestrians and vehicles, LED wall packs are the fixture of choice.

LED wall packs have been around for a while, so they’ve been powered by different lighting technologies over the decades. High intensity discharge (HID) lamps and mercury vapor lights were the standard for a long time, but they’re quickly being replaced by LEDs.

Where Is Wall Pack Lighting Usually Installed?

There are many applications for wall pack lights, though you’ll usually see them in outdoor areas. Here’s where they fit best:

  • Building facades and exteriors – You’ll most often see wall pack lights hanging from a building. From this position, LED wall packs are in a perfect position to illuminate pedestrian walkways below. Wall pack lighting can also be used to illuminate features of interest, like a sign or a store window.
  • Parking lots and garages – Security is a major need for parking lot and garage owners. To meet this need, many opt for wall pack lighting. Wall pack LED fixtures can be mounted to garage overhangs or nearby buildings to provide a large amount of high-quality illumination.
  • Warehouses – Wall packs can be installed inside or outside a warehouse. Outside, LED wall packs can be used to illuminate entrances and loading dock areas, where they provide additional visibility for workers and help with security.
  • Industrial and commercial campuses – If you have a large area to account for, like a sprawling work campus, wall pack lighting can provide a bright layer of general illumination on walkways.

LED wall packs are an extremely versatile lighting solution, as they can be adapted for nearly any location and remain effective.

Five Reasons Why LED Lighting Is The Best Option For An Outdoor Wall Pack

LED lighting is quickly becoming the industry’s frontrunner and replacing older forms of lighting in a multitude of applications. Wall pack lighting is one example, as LED technology is a good fit. Here are five reasons why:

  1. Superior energy efficiency – LED light bulbs are the most efficient on the market, outclassing all other fixtures. Lighting efficiency is measured using a lumen-to-watt ratio. The more lumens per watt created, the more output you’re getting per unit of energy.
    LEDs have a lumen-per-watt ratio between 75 and 110. Metal halides emit 75 to 100 lumens per watt, and mercury vapor fixtures between 35 and 65 lumens per watt. LED’s efficiency advantage is even greater when considering system efficiency, and not just source efficiency. Because LED fixtures emit directionally instead of radiating in all directions, most of their illumination can be aimed where it’s needed – at the ground. This gives LED a major system efficiency advantage over metal halide fixtures.
    With excellent energy efficiency, LED lighting can be powered around the clock at a reduced operating cost. Eventually, lower operating costs more than make up for the slightly higher price of LED fixtures.
  2. High quality output – In the past, LED lighting was unable to compete with the quality of HID illumination, but that’s no longer the case. Now LEDs generate extremely high-quality lighting that is brilliant and evenly cast.
    Enhanced visibility also enhances feelings of safety. That’s important if your business relies on foot traffic. Potential customers aren’t going to shop at a business that’s poorly lit – and that’s just not a problem with LEDs.
    Also, some LED lights are designed to render color with excellent accuracy. These high-CRI fixtures improve visibility further by displaying colors in their true hues.
  3. Unmatched lifespan and reliability – LED wall lights last much longer than other wall lighting fixtures. On average, an LED wall pack will provide 50,000 or more hours of excellent quality illumination. Compare this to metal halides, which provide about 10,000 hours before failure.
    With fewer replacements needed, you’ll get more value from your LED lighting investment.
  4. Better durability and safety – LED fixtures are built on solid state circuitry instead of glass bulbs, metal filaments, or pressurized gas chambers. As a product of modern engineering, LEDs are built with durability in mind, and can take the occasional bump without issue.
    They’re also shatter resistant and contain no toxic chemicals, like mercury. This means if they do break, they won’t become a health or environmental hazard.
  5. Extensive controllability – With solid state circuitry underpinning their functions, LEDs are compatible with a wide range of lighting controls and accessories. For example, installing a photocell on your LED lighting will automate on/off switching based on the level of ambient light. Timers use pre-programmed times to automate on/off switching while occupancy controls trigger when someone walks by.

A Couple Features To Look For In Your Outdoor LED Wall Pack

Outdoor LED wall packs are built for rugged outdoor use, and to ensure that they can handle the elements, look for the following:

  • IP rating – Electronics, including light fixtures, are given an IP rating based on their resistance to water and dust intrusion. This rating is expressed as a pair of numbers, from zero to seven. The higher the number, the better the protection, and ideally, the wall pack lighting you pick will have an IP rating that’s strong enough to protect from rain and wind-blown dust. Anything with an IP rating of 65 or above is sufficient for outdoor use.
  • Aluminum housing – Aluminum is corrosion-resistant and handles exposure to rain and heat well. As such, it’s a popular option for exterior wall pack lighting, especially in areas with high airborne salt content. That’s why you’ll find aluminum fixtures along the coast and in locations of high humidity.
  • Polycarbonate refractor lens – A polycarbonate lens will not shatter even if the entire fixture falls from its mount to the ground below. They are also resistant to impact, so polycarbonate is the right choice for wall pack fixtures that are close enough for people to reach.

LED outdoor wall packs come in a huge variety of designs and specifications. As such, you’ve got a lot of options, and it can be a challenge matching the right design to your application. With so many types of LED wall packs to choose from, consider working with a knowledgeable lighting expert.

How To Light A Pickleball Court

How To Light A Pickleball Court

So you’ve decided to dive into the fast-paced, hard-nosed world of pickleball. Well, maybe not hard-nosed, but definitely fast-paced.

Throw tennis, table tennis and badminton in a blender and what you get is a pickleball smoothie. The court has the same general shape and size of a tennis or badminton court, the paddles are similar to what you would use in ping pong (only larger) and the rules are borrowed from several different racquet sports. You can throw whiffleball in there, too, because a pickleball ball has the same weight and hole-filled design.

This hodge-podge of ingredients make for a game that’s quick and easy to learn, but also a little tough to play at night. Like with most sports, the speed is frequently cranked up with pickleball. And when it is, like during a volley, it’s impossible to keep up unless there’s sufficient lighting.

But just because the sun is down doesn’t mean you have to put the paddle down. With quality pickleball court lighting, optimal visibility can be maintained on your pickleball courts.

What Is The General Approach To Lighting A Pickleball Court?

When lighting any sports arena or field, the goal is to get as much of that light down to the field’s level as possible. That’s the goal, but what’s the process?

Whether it’s a pickleball court or a pickle farm, lighting experts use photometric analysis to model the area and determine how light moves through it. Photometric analysis technology is visually sophisticated stuff, allowing designers to see how a set of lights would work before they’re installed. To do that, the designer builds a 3D model of the space and drops fixtures in various spots. Each light is tagged with fixture-specific information, so it emits exactly the same virtually as it would in reality.

USA Pickleball – The sports leading advocate and maintainer of pickleball standards states that the optimal court lighting solution hews to the following standards:

  • Lighting poles should be between 20 and 26 feet high.
  • Lighting poles can be square, round straight or round tapered.
  • Medium or large zone lighting, depending on whether the court is for recreational or professional purposes.
  • Luminaires are arranged so they result in minimal glare.

LED Spot’s court lighting options take these standards into account.

What Does A Pickleball Court Lighting System Include?

LED Spot has performed photometric analysis for our pickleball court clients, and based on our analysis, this is how we put together our pickleball lighting kits:

  • Four lighting poles, each 20 feet high and designed for 20-foot lighting mounts. Our lighting poles are built with 10-gauge steel and a 4-inch diameter, so they’re beefy and can take a lot of punishment. This is handy for players that get a little animated when the pickleball doesn’t fall their way.
  • Four medium zone LED lights, designed to operate at a 4000K color temperature and capable of emitting a large amount of lumens. More than 26,000, to be exact. The fixtures are mounted at a 20-foot height to take advantage of this expanded lumen output. As for the color temperature, 4000K is a neutral choice that will not affect color perception, which is important for safety reasons. For professional courts, USA Pickleball recommends 5000K fixtures, but 4000K is more appropriate for residential and recreational settings.

During installation, each pole is placed outside the play surface, well beyond the sidelines. They’re organized in a square-like formation, each covering one of the court’s quadrants. It’s exactly what you would think if you were trying to light a rectangle.

The LEDs themselves emit in an offset pattern, so they can sit away from the court while still aiming their illumination at the play area. Extra bonus – our pickleball lights do not emit at viewable angles from the court. In other words, your lights won’t blind the player and leave them exposed to getting pickled by the ball.

LED Lights Are The Best Choice For Pickleball Players Of All Levels

So far, there’s been no mention of any other type of light other than LED lighting. There’s a reason for that. LED fixtures have become the first choice for most sports lighting applications, including lighting solutions installed at the professional level.

But even if you’re just installing lights for a neighborhood court, LEDs are still the best available option. Here’s why:

  • LEDs are energy efficient – LED lighting is the most energy efficient lighting there is. That’s been LED’s calling card since it was introduced decades ago, and it’s still the case. LED lighting needs a lot less energy to generate the same number of lumens as older lighting technologies. That adds up to energy savings – savings that can be pretty significant when considering a large-scale lighting system like court lighting.
  • LEDs require practically zero maintenance – LEDs are tough. Unlike filament or gas chamber-powered lamps, LED lamps don’t run on flimsy engineering. They don’t generate a ton of extra heat, either, which reduces wear on the light.
    Put it all together and you’ve got a fixture that you don’t have to think about once it’s installed. You’ll get years of effective lighting with minimal maintenance, which is about as good as it gets for property owners.
  • LEDs produce crystal clear illumination – LED lighting just looks good, too. One of the most important factors for sports lighting is whether the fixtures generate high-clarity lighting. LEDs do just that because they emit illumination evenly and with precision. Another perk – LEDs typically come with high color rendering index (CRI) ratings. High CRI lighting renders color without altering their tones, so color accuracy if you will. Strong color rendering isn’t just good for the players, it’s helpful for any spectators tracking the action.

Does Pickleball All Day And Night Sound Good? We Have The Lights You’ll Need To Do That

Pickleball is a mass-appeal sport, attracting people of all ages and fitness levels. So it’s no surprise that there is a growing number of pickleball fanatics honing their gaming skills at all times – including in the middle of the night.

If that sounds like you or someone you know, LED Spot can help you unlock your pickleball potential with nighttime court lighting. Our court lighting products have been implemented in a variety of athletic venues, from parks to stadiums, so we know how to bring light to the pickleball arena for effective play day or night.

Landscape Lighting Kits Make It Easy To DIY Your Outdoor Lighting

Landscape Lighting Kits Make It Easy To DIY Your Outdoor Lighting

With hundreds of landscape lighting products to choose from, it’s a challenge to know where to start when designing a landscape lighting system. To keep it as simple as possible, we offer complete outdoor lighting kits.

Each kit comes with everything you’ll need to illuminate your home like a professional. You won’t need to sort through hundreds of fixtures and components to piece together your system. You won’t need to pay for professional installation. That means you can get a professional look without a professional price – and it’s all bundled together for maximum convenience.

What Items Does A Landscape Lighting Kit Come With?

Every landscape lighting kit has what you’ll need to design and install your system. Inside, you’ll find:

  • A set of luminaires. Luminaries include the lamp and associated components that distribute the light and protect the fixture. In other words, the optics and housing. Included luminaries are usually either path lights (sometimes called area lights) or bullet lights. Some kits include both, so you can get both lighting effects.
  • A low voltage transformer, responsible for stepping down line voltage so the fixtures can safely operate. Standard operating wattage for landscape lighting transformers is 100W.
  • Heavy duty cable, long enough to connect all the fixtures. This cable will be buried underground, so it should be heavy gauge.
  • Some sets of landscape lights also come with additional control components, like a photocell timer for automatic on/off switching.
  • Some outdoor lights also come with installation tools for easier placement and mounting.

Can I Install Landscape Lights Myself?

Professional landscape lighting installation may cost thousands of dollars, but if you’re willing to dedicate an afternoon to the process, it can be done yourself. Roughly, this is what the process looks like:

  1. Verify where existing buried cables are located – Before installation is complete, you’ll need to do some digging and burying, so first locate all existing underground cables. This is a critical safety step and it is important that you call 811 before beginning. While most utility lines are installed at least 18 inches below ground level, older lines may not adhere to this standard. By calling 811, each utility company will come out and flag the location of their lines so you know where not to dig.
  2. Put the fixtures together – Prior to mounting anything, you may need to put the fixtures together. This is simple stuff, like installing light bulbs and mounts to the fixtures.
  3. Mark and dig out trenches for wire runs – It’s your choice where the fixtures go, as long as you have enough length of wire. If you haven’t mapped out everything, take the time to do so and mark out the wire runs in the yard. By doing so, you’ll know if you have enough cable to work with and you’ll know where to dig when it’s time.
  4. Find a spot for the transformer and mount it – The transformer is the heart of your system. It delivers power to the low voltage lights and ensures they operate safely.
    Installing and working with the transformer is the most technically complicated part of the process, and takes a few tools to manage. You’ll likely need some pliers, a flat head screwdriver, a Philips head screwdriver and a drill (a hammer drill if you’re installing in masonry). You’ll also need some wire cutters and a wire stripping tool.
    The transformer needs at least 12 inches of space on all sides and should be placed at least 30 feet away from any water features. Most people choose to mount their transformer to the side of their house and run the cable through a PVC sleeve that runs underneath.
  5. Wire everything up – Once the transformer is mounted, you’ll need to connect each fixture’s wiring to the transformer.
    Make double sure that the transformer is not receiving power before continuing. You’ll have a chance to test the landscaping lights after everything is wired.
    Connect your transformer to the system’s main runs (the cables that will run close to each fixture). You may need to connect a 12V and 15V run separately to compensate for longer runs. The additional voltage in the 15V run helps offset losses in fixtures placed further away from the transformer.
    Once the main runs are connected, wire each fixture’s leads to the main runs. Many low voltage lighting kits come with easy-to-use connectors to facilitate this, like twist on connectors.
  6. Test and adjust the lighting – Supply power to the transformer and take a look around your property. If you’ve done everything correctly, your lights should be functioning. At this point, you can make adjustments as needed, to ensure everything is illuminated to your satisfaction.
    Once the testing and adjustments are finished, pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

Three Reasons To Consider LED Landscape Lighting Kits

Modern landscape light sets are usually powered with LED technology. There are many reasons for this, and a few standout benefits of LEDs include:

  • Brilliant, directional light quality – LEDs emit directionally, and some types of landscape fixtures take advantage of this. Bullet fixtures, for example, produce a strong beam of concentrated light (like spotlights) that can be used to illuminate trees, a garden, or interesting architectural features.
    LED light quality is strong and comparable to halogen in terms of brilliance and color rendering potential. With LEDs, you won’t lose out on visibility or display quality.
  • Excellent operating efficiency – LED’s reputation as an efficient lighting technology is well-earned. Compared to halogen, it consumes 90 percent less energy per watt. LED’s lifespan is also impressive, extending out to 50,000 hours before replacement is likely. That’s far better than all other lighting technologies, so LEDs are much more cost efficient over the long run.
  • Durability, reliability and safety – LED bulbs are extremely durable, as they don’t rely on sensitive components like filaments or gas chambers. That means they can take the occasional bump without any problems, which is handy when you’re DIYing an outdoor installation. There’s nothing more frustrating than setting up a fixture, only to find that you’ve damaged it somehow. Not a problem with LEDs.
    Also, LEDs are less likely to shatter, and if they do break, they won’t release any harmful gasses or chemicals like mercury.

LED Spot Has Landscape Lighting Kits For Every Home Or Business

LED Spot offers a variety of landscape lighting kits, along with a deep inventory of lighting fixtures, lamps and accessories. If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and show off your home in a new light, our team of lighting experts can help match your lighting needs to the best lighting kit available.

What is a Photometric Drawing?

What is a Photometric Drawing

A photometric drawing (also called a photometric lighting plan or design) is essential for any lighting design as it allows lighting professionals to visualize a system before it is installed. Photometric plans are often used in tandem with an AGi32 calculation tool for accurately predicting the photometric design. This is essential before breaking ground on a lighting project, for several reasons. The lighting industry uses photometric plans to arrange fixtures and ensure output intensity is distributed evenly.

There’s a lot of data included with every photometric study, and this data can be presented as raw numerical values or as a visual example. To generate this photometric report, lighting specialists use software such as AGi32, which is designed for the task.

How Do Lighting Designers Use Photometric Software?

Every light comes with its own photometric properties. Some lights emit directionally, while others radiate in every direction. Some lighting fixtures spread illumination further than others. This data is collated and provided to lighting professionals by the manufacturer.

During a photometric analysis, the lighting designer arranges each fixture inside the software, placing them in a rendered version of the client’s property. Fixture-specific photometric data is plugged in for each fixture and the software does the heavy number crunching. This includes taking measurements of lighting levels at every point in space.

What Does a Photometric Plan Look Like?

Photometric plans can be presented in many ways. One way is to analyze the system with nothing but numerical data. The software will compute how much light, in lumens, is present at each location. As the fixtures are changed or rearranged, the software will recompute light levels at each area. Lighting designers can study this data on its own to spot potential issues.

It’s more common, though, for lighting professionals to visualize the system using photometric software. Some professionals will produce a 3D rendering of the client’s property and simulate the distribution of light as the human eye would see it.

Photometric software can also generate wireframes or heat maps to detect areas that are receiving too much illumination and spaces that are too dark.

When is a Photometric Lighting Design Needed?

In most cases, property owners are not required to get a photometric analysis before starting a commercial lighting project, but it’s strongly recommended for several reasons, including:

  • Commercial lighting systems must meet lighting safety codes – Commercial properties must maintain a minimum lighting threshold if they operate during evening or nighttime hours. Failure to do so could expose the property owner to legal action if an injury occurs due to poor lighting. Photometric analysis ensures your property meets those lighting codes without anything left up to chance.
  • They also have to follow light pollution regulations – On your property, you’ll want to optimize your system’s output. Off your property, you’ll be required to minimize any lighting trespass or pollution. In other words, keep the light you produce on your property. There are additional lighting codes that require this and violating those codes can result in hefty fines.
  • You’ll get maximum return on your investment with a photometric plan – Ideally, your lighting system will provide all the illumination you need with as few fixtures as possible. Too many fixtures are a waste and too much light is both uncomfortable and wasteful.
    Photometric plans allow designers to experiment with a variety of system layouts and fixture options. The goal is to find the best combination of layout and lamp to meet all project requirements. This degree of optimization is impossible without photometric software.

What Information Can a Photometric Analysis Provide?

A photometric analysis can answer a lot of questions about your lighting system’s projected performance. For instance, a photometric analysis can provide insight into the following:

  • The angle and distance of light emission – Using manufacturer data, typically IES files, photometric software can measure the angle each fixture is emitting at, and how far that light is reaching. This is critical for determining if light pollution is a problem.
  • The amount of light at every spot – Lighting intensity, as detected by the human eye, is measured in lumens. Photometric software prefers lumens when calculating how much light is reaching every part of the environment.
    That means photometric software can visualize how intense the light will be perceived at every point. This ensures the system meets all visibility, safety, and security requirements. It also helps designers spot overly intense or underlit areas.
  • Footcandle levels – Some projects require minimal footcandle levels, and a proper design plan is essential for determining the ideal footcandle calculation. This ensures the area is evenly lit with the proper intensity.
  • The ideal system layout – The goal of most commercial lighting systems is to produce enough illumination and even illumination. Photometric software makes it easy for designers to achieve both. The software responds to changes in fixture arrangement, so the designer can play around with fixture positioning to create an optimal system layout.
  • Which fixtures will work best – Photometric analysis can be used with nearly every type of lamp in existence, as long as there is data on it. The designer can cycle through all of the available luminaires and pick one that provides the best performance and appearance.

With all of these factors accounted for, construction on your lighting project can begin with a clear plan in place. This will save your build teams some valuable time, which saves you money.

Photometric drawings are vital for ensuring lighting plans will provide the intended illumination. They are useful for exterior lighting systems, including solutions for parking lots, commercial campuses and parks. Be sure the company you work with will follow strict lighting codes and has extensive experience with photometric analysis to provide a clear picture of how your new lighting solution will look long before it becomes reality. At LED Spot, our basic photometric plans begin at a modest cost of $250, which is an affordable way to ensure your lighting project performs as intended.

Golf After Sunset With Backyard Putting Green Lights

Golf After Sunset With Backyard Putting Green Lights

You’ve spent good money and plenty of time crafting the perfect backyard putting green, but can you use it once the sun goes down? If the answer isn’t yes, it’s time to consider backyard putting green lights. A putting green light provides crisp, inviting illumination for you, your friends and your guests to play by. There’s no better way to entertain on those warm summer nights.

Three Ways To Light Up Your Backyard Putting Green

You have a few options when lighting your backyard putting green. The design that will work best for your space mostly comes down to personal preference and aesthetics.

The most popular outdoor putting green lighting solutions include:

LED Down Lighting and Landscape Lighting

Down lighting and general landscape lighting can brighten up an entire backyard – not just your putting green. Down lights are called such because they emit downwards, so they can be installed along the perimeter of your home or even placed in a tree. With additional height to work with, a down fixture can emit across a larger area and provide maximum visibility.

Landscape lighting can also provide an impressive level of general illumination and can be integrated into your yard’s most impressive landscape features. Wherever you place them, LED landscape lights will bring out your backyard’s beauty, making your nighttime golfing a peaceful experience for everyone. With landscape lighting fixtures you can illuminate adjoining gardens, a patio, an outdoor kitchen, a fire pit, a bar top, or even a pool deck.

If younger family members frequently use the putting green, down and landscape lighting are ideal for additional safety (and for finding any golf balls that are hit off the green).

LED Path Lights

If you’d prefer to contain your outdoor lights to the green, LED path lights are an effective option. Each path light is mounted only a couple feet off the ground and emits a tight pool of illumination directly onto the green.

Path lighting isn’t intended for general illumination purposes and isn’t going to light up an entire yard. However, what it will do is produce plenty of attractive illumination for your putting green. This lighting washes over a smaller area, produces minimal shadows and is easier to control. The effect is clean and modern.

Even better, path lighting products come in a variety of designs, so you can match the perfect fixture aesthetic to your yard. Some even have a built-in holder for a drink or golf ball.

LED Cup Lighting

If you’re looking for a truly minimalist lighting solution, LED cup fixtures provide a look you won’t find anywhere else. With an LED cup fixture the lamp is installed directly below the hole and aimed up. The effect is a vertical column of illumination that fires into the air.

Cup fixtures can be fitted with one of several colored lenses, so you can customize your light’s appearance. The effect is one of high contrast, as each cup is brightly illuminated against its darker surroundings. Pair your cup lights with a transparent flag, and it’ll be even easier to see the cup from a distance.

Every cup fixture consists of a low-voltage LED lamp (4 or 6-watt), a high-impact convex glass lens, a GU5.3 bi-pin socket, a PVC sleeve for mounting and an unfinished brass housing. These components work together to ensure your cup lighting system is protected from water and weather, while still emitting excellent quality illumination.

Four Reasons Why Golfers Choose LED Outdoor Lighting For Their Backyard Putting Greens

LED lighting is rapidly outclassing and replacing older forms of lighting, such as halogen, fluorescent and high-intensity discharge lamps. As a result, you’ll see LED fixtures everywhere these days. Whether inside a bedside lamp or blanketing a massive parking lot, there are several reasons why LED lighting is the first choice for many applications, including putting green applications.

Four of those reasons include:

  1. Excellent operating efficiency – No other form of lighting is as efficient as LEDs. Compared to halogen, LED lighting is more than 10 times as efficient. Compared to fluorescent, LED lighting is about twice as efficient. Those are big energy savings that mean a lower operating cost. Though LED lighting comes with a slightly higher price, LEDs make up for this with their enhanced efficiency.
  2. Extended lifespan – In addition to their efficiency, LED fixtures last much longer than other lighting technologies before replacement is required. The typical LED lamp will perform for 50,000 hours before failure is likely. Compare this to halogen (2,000 hours) and fluorescent (10,000 hours), and it’s clear that LED has a big maintenance advantage.
  3. Superior lighting quality – LED lighting quality is excellent, capable of rendering color well and evenly emitting light. Due to the way they’re engineered, LED fixtures emit directionally as well. You can aim them exactly where they’re needed and suffer no efficiency losses.
  4. Better safety – LED fixtures are shatterproof, produce little radiant heat and contain no toxic substances like mercury. That makes them a safe option for residential and outdoor settings.

LED Spot Has Everything You Need To Keep The Game Going At Night

LED Spot has helped avid golfers of every skill level set up their backyard putting green lighting. We have the LED fixtures, bulbs and accessories to start your project, along with expert advice and skill to help see the project to completion. If you’re looking to order lighting for your outdoor putting green or just want to explore your options, give the LED Spot team a call and we’ll make your golf lighting project a reality.

Ultimate Guide To Finding The Best Landscape Lighting

Ultimate Guide To Finding The Best Landscape Lighting

With all of the time and effort we spend making the interior of our homes and businesses as attractive and functional as possible with high-quality lighting products, why do we so often forget to do the same for the exterior? The truth is there’s no point in investing in the natural beauty of our yards and exterior spaces without the proper landscape lighting to tie it all together.

Here, we’ll go over the importance of landscape and outdoor lighting, types of outdoor lights, and where to purchase the best landscaping lighting.

What is Landscape Lighting?

Just like interior lighting, landscape lighting is a way for home and business owners to accent, highlight, and feature certain aspects of their outdoor space. Whether used to illuminate hidden details in the garden or help guide visitors along a pathway, landscaping lighting can provide everything from aesthetic beauty to dramatic effects to functional visibility at night.

Types of Landscape Lighting

Whether you look at your local hardware store or search online for unique options, there are many types to choose from when looking for landscape lighting. Each kind of outdoor light has its pros and cons. Generally, low voltage lighting is the most popular choice, as it is safer for homes and businesses. There are many varieties of safe landscape lighting to choose from. In order to choose the best type of light for your needs you’ll need to first understand the different kinds of lights available. Some of the most common types of landscape lighting include:

  • Traditional Landscape Lights – Using traditional light bulbs, this type of landscape lighting provides a warm glow that can be used on the ground to highlight features in the yard or in foliage like bushes or trees.
  • Integrated Landscape LED Lights – Using built-in high-quality LED modules offers better performance and reduces the need for constantly changing burned out bulbs.
  • Solar Powered Landscape Lights – Solar-powered lights allow for optimal flexibility in placing landscape lighting, as the sunlight charges the light, rendering a nearby plug unnecessary.

LED Spot offers a wide variety of the above landscape lighting types available for shipping. Whether you’re looking for copper, brass, gold, black, or other colors, our wide range of landscape lighting products in various LED types and sizes are sure to perfectly accentuate your outdoor space.

Unique Landscape Lighting Techniques

Landscape lights are not as effective without the right placement and design techniques. Choosing which light is best for your needs is just the beginning. Once you’ve selected a product you need to determine how the lighting will be arranged to optimize the look of your landscaping. Examples of types of popular outdoor lighting products and the best ways to use them include:

  • Path lights – These lights can be used to illuminate walkways, driveways and other locations that may be precarious in the dark.
  • Well lights – These kinds of lights are typically recessed into the ground and can be used to highlight plants or architecture from below.
  • Bollard lights – Available in various design styles, these usually come in either a round or square shape, 36” – 42” in height. They mount to the ground and are used to illuminate plants and pathways.
  • LED strip lights – These light fixtures are great for signage, as well as lighting walls from the top or bottom of your home or building.
  • Hanging light fixtures and wall sconces – Whether hung from a tree or placed on walls these lights can bring the eye up to fully take in the entire ambiance of your landscaping experience.
  • Ceiling fans with lights – On outdoor patios and gazebos ceiling fans can help keep outdoor spaces cool while also illuminating gathering spots.

By utilizing a variety of lighting options at varying heights and of various styles, you can create intricate light solutions in your outdoor space. Choose lights that compliment your outdoor space’s design style. If you’re into more modern designs choose sleek, streamlined lights. Whereas if you like more traditional lighting you can opt for more ornate fixtures. Choose colors that compliment your theme and be sure the landscape lighting products you choose are durable and weather resistant. There’s no point in investing in outdoor lighting that won’t last throughout the years. Lastly, choose a lighting provider that is known for selling quality products.

Choosing the Right Provider for Landscape Lighting

The world of landscape lighting is vast, encompassing all kinds of lighting types, bulbs, and design styles. With so many different types of landscape lighting products available, where does one even begin?

Since 1985, LED Spot has been providing the best residential and commercial lighting solutions to customers throughout the U.S. and beyond. Our more than 30 years of experience in the lighting industry has given us keen insight into the best and most high-quality lighting products available. We work with more than 20 manufacturers, allowing us to offer the latest in lighting technology to everyone from the DIY homeowner to professional contractors.

In an industry that is constantly changing, LED Spot maintains its reputation as one of the leading sustainable lighting solution providers. Ready to begin your landscape lighting project? Check out our extensive line of landscape lighting products and turn your vision into reality.

All About Light Pole Base Covers

All About Light Pole Base Covers

Many people don’t think about light pole base covers as they sit at the bottom and the light is at the top. It’s easy to miss the fact that the base cover is responsible for protecting the pole’s foundation, improving its appearance and enhancing safety.

We’re dedicating this FAQ to pole light base covers because there’s a lot to know about how pole lights work, and base covers are a big part of that.

Where Are You Likely to Find a Light Pole Base Cover?

Base covers wrap around light pole bases, so you’ll always find them at ground level around the bottom of the pole and right under the hand hole. They’re less than a foot high, so they’re compact in design.

A base cover can be used with just about any type of light pole, so the applications are endless. You’re likely to find them in a business parking lot, in a busy downtown district, or in an upscale neighborhood. In every instance, light pole base covers provide the same functions.

How Does a Base Cover Enhance Light Poles?

All pole light bases are subjected to unique hazards that the rest of the pole doesn’t have to deal with. For example, the base is what’s exposed to corrosive substances like dog urine and oil. When it rains, all of that water runs down the pole toward the base. If a stray shopping cart (or golf cart) runs into a light pole, it slams into the base.

Base covers shield the pole from this damage, protecting against water intrusion and providing a physical barrier for the fixture. The pole’s base is kept in place using long anchor bolts, and the base cover fits over these, providing them with protection.

Pole light base covers enhance the look of the light pole. Anchor bolts aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing thing to look at, and the base cover ensures they don’t become an eyesore.

They are made in a variety of colors and designs so they can fit in with any design style.

What Kind of Lighting Poles are Bases Used With?

Lighting pole base covers are intended for use with poles that are anchor-based. Anchor-based poles are attached directly to the installation surface, like concrete. Long anchor bolts are driven into the ground through a base plate, and it’s this base plate that the cover protects.

The other primary type of lighting pole is a direct burial pole. These poles are extended into the ground and buried without a base or base cover, as there are no anchor bolts to hold the pole in place.

How is a Lamp Pole Base Installed?

Compared to installing the pole itself, bases are extremely easy to manage. They come in two primary designs – either clamshell or drop-over. A clamshell base opens up like a clam on a set of brackets. To install it, the base cover is opened up, wrapped around the base and then closed using a threaded lock.

A drop-over base cover is one solid piece that is fitted over the top of the pole and slipped down to the base. Before a drop-over base can be installed, any light fixture, lamps or bulbs must first be removed. You may need to remove the pole caps as well.

What Are Base Covers Made From?

Most base covers are made from steel or ABS plastic, though some are also made from cast aluminum. Typically, the base cover material is matched to the material the pole is made from.

Steel bases are durable and sturdy, but like all steel components they will eventually rust. You can expect to get at least 15 years from a steel base cover before corrosion could necessitate a replacement, though some base covers can last upwards of 30 years before replacement is required.

ABS plastic is the primary alternative to steel and it doesn’t rust, so it works well in humid environments. Plastic also weighs less than steel, so an ABS base cover is typically easier to install.

What is a Powder Coat?

A powder coat serves as a protective layer over the light pole base cover giving it additional resistance to corrosion and UV radiation. You’ll usually find them on steel base covers.

Powder coats also protect the paint on your base covers, so they maintain their color longer.

Can Pole Lighting Base Covers Fit Any Pole Size and Shape?

Just as lighting poles come in a large variety of sizes and dimensions, so do base covers. There’s a base for every type of pole, ranging up to 6 inches in width or diameter. Pole bases are also compatible with both round and square-shaped pole fixtures.

What Colors are Available for Light Pole Base Covers?

Base covers come in a wide variety of colors, just like the poles themselves. Some of the most popular colors include:

  • Black
  • White
  • Bronze
  • Gray

If you can’t find a color you prefer, some brands of spray paint can be used to quickly customize your bases.

Are There Base Covers for Available for Residential Lamp Posts?

Residential lamp posts are also fitted with base covers, and they also provide additional stability and durability. They are built to fit a range of lamp post sizes and shapes. They’re also designed to match the classic lamp post aesthetic, so the lamp looks like one single piece.

Who Can Help Source the Best Light Pole Base Covers?

LED Spot offers a comprehensive selection of base covers and other lighting products including LED fixtures and lamps. If your pole lighting project is in the planning stage or already underway, our team can support you with everything needed to see that project to completion.

LED Light Automation Is Futuristic Technology Ready For The Present

LED Light Automation Is Futuristic Technology Ready For The Present

Although home automation technology has been around for decades, only recently has LED light automation become a viable solution for all home and business owners. LED engineering has improved greatly in just the last 10 years and many of the technologies required for effective lighting automation have also improved.

That’s great news for people seeking better efficiency and performance from their lighting solution. With LED light automation it’s possible to achieve new heights in energy savings, occupant comfort and security.

What Are Some Effective LED Light Automation Products?

One of LED lighting’s many benefits is its controllability. No other lighting technology can be controlled as easily or with as much versatility as LED lighting. This extends to full LED lighting automation, as your LED fixtures can be controlled using the following automation technologies:

Timers

Timers are used to define when the light’s settings should change. This could be a change in output level or when the light is switched on or off.

Occupancy Sensors

Occupancy sensors detect when people are in the immediate area and switch the lights on in response. They also switch the lights off when the area is clear. Most occupancy sensors rely on motion to work, though some can also detect heat.

Photocells

Photocells are essentially light sensors. When they detect light, they react. When used with LED lighting, photocells can be used to switch the fixtures off when ambient light is present and switch them on when ambient light is absent.

Dimmers

Dimmers can be used to make precise adjustments to the lamp’s output. Dimmers come in many forms, from tactile control knobs to programmable solutions that bring the lights up or down at predetermined times.

Color Controls

Unlike other forms of lighting LED lights can output a full spectrum of colors depending on the chemical substrate that powers the LED’s semiconductor. With automated color controls users can specify what colors to display at any given time.

LED Light Settings Can Be Programmed In Advance

LED light automation isn’t just effective, it’s convenient. As the term suggests light automation technology is designed to run with minimal input. Once you’ve determined what your lighting controls should be set at those preferences just need to be programmed in. Set dates, times and your lighting’s configuration and the system handles the rest.

Modern lighting controls can even be programmed from your own device. This greatly simplifies management and is particularly useful for people responsible for managing a lot of LED lighting at once.

What Are The Benefits Of Automating An LED Lighting System?

Home automation has always promised compelling benefits for those willing to invest in the technology, but the technology has only become viable recently. Now that lighting automation solutions are now feasible for home and business owners there’s a lot to like about the technology. For example, with LED lighting automation you can look forward to the following:

Enhanced System Efficiency

Lighting is a primary energy expenditure for homes and businesses alike. If that lighting is on when people don’t need it, it’s a waste. Lighting automation technology ensures that your LED lighting is only on when people are present, minimizing waste and operating costs.

Improved Security

LED lighting automation can be used to switch the lights on when they are needed most for security purposes—at night. Photocells switch the lamps on when the sun is down. Timers can fill the same role. Motion sensors detect when potential intruders are nearby and switch the lights on as a warning. Lighting automation technology can also be used to power all the building’s lights on at once when someone is trespassing, and this can help law enforcement quickly respond to a potential break-in.

Reduced Maintenance And Manpower Needs

LED lighting automation extends each lamp’s life by powering them down when they aren’t needed. LED lighting already exhibits an impressive lifespan, but lighting automation enhances this and further reduces maintenance costs. Automation technology is also set-and-forget by design, so your LED lighting will require minimal babysitting once automation is in place.

Improved Lighting Performance And Aesthetics

No other lighting technology can be controlled as well as LED, down to the aesthetic level. With color controls, for example, users can change the lighting’s appearance in one room while leaving another room untouched. With dimmers, users can set their LED lights to slowly come up in the morning or slowly taper off in the evening for comfort or aesthetic reasons.

Compliance With Local Lighting Ordinances

LED lighting automation is also an effective solution for exterior applications, such as neighborhood parks and parking lots. Excess light pollution can be a problem for these settings, but automated lighting controls keep it under control. To keep nearby neighbors happy a neighborhood park could tie its LED lighting to timers that switch off when the park is closed. Dimmers, photocells and occupancy controls can also be used to control light spill in this way.

LED Lighting Automation Is A Wise Investment For Residential And Commercial Buildings

Automating your LED lighting will provide a compelling array of benefits—the kind of benefits that a residential or commercial property could benefit from.

In an office, LED light automation reduces waste and provides optimal illumination for productivity. In a warehouse or industrial facility LED light automation enhances security and safety with better color rendering and lighting performance. At the park LED light automation minimizes light pollution and ensures the park remains a good neighbor.

In the home LED light automation can do it all—reduce energy expenditures, ward off potential intruders, minimize lamp replacement and provide the kind of light that people are happy with.

That means LED light automation is no longer a far off, futuristic fantasy. Instead, it’s a viable present-day option for any home or business owner that wants more from their lighting solutions.

LEDs Are At The Heart Of The Best Commercial Lighting Systems

LEDs Are At The Heart Of The Best Commercial Lighting Systems

Well-designed commercial lighting systems enhance a property’s function and appearance, especially when they leverage LED technology. More and more commercial properties are turning to LED fixtures for their lighting needs, whether for a retrofit or for a brand new system. It’s easy to see why LED commercial lighting is so popular, as it represents an upgrade over fluorescent and HID fixtures in nearly every conceivable way.

What Should A Commercial Lighting System Consist Of?

Commercial lighting comes in many forms, and no matter what the property looks like or how it is arranged there is a commercial lighting system that makes sense.

Here are the most common commercial settings, and the lights that make the most sense for each:

  1. Office buildings – Traditionally, office buildings have been fitted with panel and troffer fixtures, most of which utilize fluorescent technology. Troffers and panels are still the dominant fixture options, but LED technology is now the light engine of choice for offices. LED fixtures can emit close to neutral white light, while fluorescent tends to leave a greenish, pale cast over everything. Because LEDs emit in a color range more similar to natural sunlight, they help workers stay focused and alert. Several studies have confirmed the impact of natural light on employees, and have noted a productivity boost among those regularly exposed to it. LED technology offers the best and most cost-effective match to sunlight so companies can invest in their employees’ well-being while also getting efficient, reliable lighting.

    Some offices are doing away with the panel and troffer fixtures and are installing commercial lighting systems that are more appropriate for an open office layout. Open offices are gaining in popularity, as they are seen as a way to unify departments and encourage collaboration. Commercial lighting systems in open offices should enhance this approach, with extended rows of linear suspended lighting and some strategic pendant fixture placement.

  2. Warehouses and storage facilities – Warehouses need maximum visibility and worker comfort more than anything else. When selecting warehouse lights the first decision is between high bay or low bay fixtures. High bay lighting is more appropriate for any building interior where the ceiling is at least 20 feet high. At this height the lighting must be specialized so that it can adequately illuminate the ground. This usually means adding a bulky reflector to the fixture, but in LED’s case only an angled lens is necessary.

    Some warehouse facilities still have HID lighting in place, and these facilities need an update. When updating from HID, it’s T5 fluorescent fixtures or LED fixtures that make the most sense. Increasingly, lighting experts are recommending LED high bay lights as they offer greater energy savings and require almost no maintenance for years after installation. This can keep operating costs down to a minimum, and makes up for the greater upfront cost of LED.

  3. Restaurants and shops – Businesses that rely on attracting patrons have a different goal in mind with their lighting. Restaurants and shops have to draw people in with attractive lighting, ensure the property is easy to traverse and use the lighting to encourage a purchase. The best way to accomplish this is with sophisticated, coherent design.

    LED technology is a natural fit into a modern commercial lighting design as it can be paired with most fixture housings. Further, LED technology is easily controlled so property owners can fine tune how the system looks at all times.

    Although there are plenty of ways to light a shop or restaurant, strong lighting design uses layering to get the most out of the space. Good layering would combine ambient, accent and decorative fixtures to bring cohesion to the property. For example, ambient lighting provides general visibility in the space using linear suspension fixtures, track fixtures, recessed fixtures or something similar. Accent lighting draws attention to points of interest, like restrooms, changing rooms or the checkout area, and it often consists of LED strip fixtures or pendant fixtures to stand out. Decorative lighting can be built into dramatic pendants or chandeliers or even custom designed for something one-of-a-kind. Whatever the choice, decorative lighting with LED technology is ideal, because it can be brought up or down so it always looks perfect.

The Importance Of Photometry In Commercial Lighting

When lighting experts plan out a commercial lighting project they observe photometric principles to ensure the system looks exactly like it should.

What is photometry? Put simply, it’s a way of measuring light so that the human eye is taken into account. Light emits across an entire wavelength spectrum, and our eyes do not perceive them all with the same sensitivity. In other words, some wavelengths (colors) of light are easier for the eye to detect, which means those wavelengths appear brighter in certain settings. Lighting experts consider this when setting up fixtures, because it more accurately represents what people will actually see when the fixtures are powered on.

Photometry is a critical consideration for most lighting projects, and is particularly important for commercial, industrial and artistic applications. For this reason, lighting experts will diagram the system prior to installation, and this provides some valuable information to the installers. For example, photometric diagramming offers clarity on:

  • How the entire system will be perceived, at every angle and from every spot on the property.
  • Where the light will be most intense and where it will be least intense.
  • Potential problem areas where too much or too little lighting is available.
  • How far apart the lights should be spaced to ensure even coverage.
  • What lighting technologies make the most sense for a particular project.
  • How many fixtures will be required, which makes it easier to provide an estimate for the project.

Because photometry is so fundamental to proper commercial lighting design, commercial property owners should prioritize lighting providers and installers that utilize it.

Commercial lighting systems function best when they are designed with the space in mind. A proper commercial lighting system can bring maximum visibility, worker comfort and safety, or smart design to a property. In each case, LED technology offers the best combination of efficiency, reliability and functionality.

Seven Reasons To Switch To LED Lighting

Seven Reasons Your Organization Should Switch to LED Lighting

LED lighting has gone from a niche product to a market favorite in just 10 years, and there’s no sign that this trend is slowing down. According to the International Energy Agency, 2021 marked the first year that LED technology was present in more than half of major lighting markets.

Residential, commercial or industrial – LED lighting is a frontline choice for a variety of applications. The question is, why have LEDs captured so much of the market so quickly? There are lots of reasons, but here are seven of the most prominent:

Bring Operational Costs Down With Improved Energy Efficiency

Energy efficient lighting is cost efficient lighting and LED leads in this category by a significant margin. Compared to linear and compact fluorescent fixtures, which are the most popular lighting options behind LED, LED lighting is around 50 percent more efficient. This number may be a little higher or lower depending on how your fixtures are arranged, but the bottom line is that LED technology can shave thousands off your organization’s operating costs over time.

This efficiency bonus is more pronounced over older lighting technologies like HID and halogens. You can expect to drop more than 80 percent of your lighting costs if switching from HID to LED.

LED’s Enhanced Lifespan Lowers Maintenance Costs

The more often your organization has to replace its lighting components, the more expensive it will be to maintain the system. Targeting lamps with a longer lifespan is one way to extend your system’s performance and LED lighting is also the frontrunner here.

The typical LED lamp will last more than 50,000 hours and may provide 100,000 hours of quality light before it needs to be replaced. That means if left on 24/7, an LED light will last for nearly 10 years at the minimum. Compare this to fluorescent tubes, which only remain functional for three to five years before they need to be replaced. Halogens, HIDs and other older technologies may burn out in a year (or even less).

A Longer Life And Strong Durability Means LEDs Are Extremely Reliable

LEDs are also more durable than other lights and are capable of dealing with rough handling. Unlike other forms of lighting, which use flimsy filaments or fragile gas chambers, LED lights are built on solid state circuitry. There’s no weak spot that could result in early failure. This advantage is notable during installation, where the occasional bump and knock is likely to occur. Because LEDs can deal with a little punishment, they are more likely to perform as long as they are rated. That’s additional cost savings.

LED Lighting Is Easy To Pair With Modern Controls

LED lighting has been designed with modern engineering processes, so it is designed to work with modern lighting controls. With dimmers, you can control the exact amount of illumination the lamp outputs. With occupancy sensors, the lights will switch on as soon as someone is nearby. With a photocell, the lights will switch on and off with the sun’s presence. With timers, you tell the LEDs when to operate and when to shut off.

All of this is simple to do with LED’s solid state engineering. It’s not as simple with fluorescent or halogen technology, so LEDs are the choice if controllability is a concern.

LEDs Can Also Be Paired With Existing Fixtures During A Retrofit

LED fixtures have come a long way in a decade. It wasn’t too long ago that installing LEDs meant ripping out the old system and replacing it with something completely new. That was expensive, but it’s no longer the only choice. Now many LED fixtures are designed specifically for retrofit applications and are compatible with most existing lighting systems. Retrofits are possible in most facilities and are a quick, less expensive way to get the benefits of LED without the upfront cost of a new system.

Modern LED Lamps Generate Brilliant Light That Renders Color Well

Much of the discussion around LEDs focuses on efficiency and longevity, but the illumination that LED lights produce is also impressive. LED fixtures output high quality, high clarity light that appears brighter and more neutral than HID or incandescent. Also, while LEDs once lagged behind other lights in their ability to render color, that’s not the case anymore. High-CRI LED fixtures are available and are ideal for either exterior or interior applications. Inside, high-CRI lamps can faithfully represent colors in clothing and artwork. Outside, high-CRI LEDs can help people see better at night, or they can be paired with security cameras for better imaging.

Aim Light Where You Need It With LED’s Directionality

Most lamps emit illumination omnidirectionally. That means they cast light in all directions at once. This can be of benefit in some settings, but it frequently results in a lot of light that’s wasted on the ceiling and low priority surfaces.

LED lamps are directional due to their engineering and can be aimed with precision. There are a couple of benefits to this. One, more light is directed to where it is needed which improves performance and efficiency. Two, LEDs can be targeted at a particular object or area, which can be used in display and security applications.

The Future And Present Of Lighting Is LED

With clear advantages in efficiency, longevity, performance and versatility, LED lighting is poised to dominate the market for the foreseeable future. That’s great news for organizations looking to make the switch to solid state lighting. Like with most technologies that have come before, economies of scale are driving down the cost of LED lights and driving up the quality of engineering. The result is a lighting technology that is across-the-board better than its competitors.