For commercial or home lighting, many options are available to illuminate walkways and paths. From LED rope lights to path lights to bollards, home and business owners can choose the lighting equipment that is best for their space. For the most structurally sound and durable choice, a bollard may provide the ideal solution.
A bollard is a short, vertical post used to separate things or to direct pedestrian or vehicle traffic. The original term was used to describe a post on the edge of a ship or boat that would be used for mooring the vessel. Since then, they have become common in public areas such as parks, school campuses, hospitals, offices, and shopping centers. Almost everyone has seen one at some point in their day to day life. Think of the entrance to a mall or popular department store. Typically, there will be a line of bollards along the front entrance as a deterrent to vehicles. Or how about along walkways in the neighborhood park? They are usually seen lining the paths of community locations. Their structural design, durability, and beauty make them a great choice for public and commercial places.
These posts are typically made of cement, metal, or plastic and most do not illuminate. However, lighted bollards have become a popular choice for exterior illumination for a variety of reasons. They provide a sense of security at night in dark areas such as parks, malls, schools, and apartment complexes. They also cast a gentle glow of light to an area as opposed to the bright, stark glare that a fluorescent street light would. In addition, they are a great option for highlighting landscaping and natural features in yards, around ponds, along trails, or highlighting flower gardens.
While bollards offer many of the same benefits of standard path lighting, such as increased visibility, safety, and aesthetic benefits, there are instances when this is a better choice than typical path lighting. Path lights typically require softer ground to stake into. Whereas a bollard is typically secured at the base either by bolting it to the ground or cementing it into the ground. This makes them a far better choice for parking lots, hospitals, hotels, public spaces, and anywhere a more sturdy and permanent solution is needed. Typically made of a highly durable material such as cast aluminum, the post must be able to withstand the elements of being outdoors 24/7. Path lights can be less sturdy if made of less durable materials such as plastic.
Bollards also come in a wider variety of styles and designs than traditional path lighting options. LED technology has changed the way that they can be designed, making them smaller when needed, as well as adding more design possibilities. LED bulbs are very small, yet powerful, allowing them to be placed inside smaller cavities than other types of lights. In addition, LED bulbs far outlast other bulbs, meaning they are an excellent choice for public places and commercial spaces, as changing them is rarely needed. LEDs are also very cost efficient, as over time they use significantly less electricity to run.