Guest Submission By Nadya Jones, writer and co-founder of Allen Roth HQ, a website covering home design and improvements
Today’s homeowners are becoming savvier than ever by incorporating smart technology and energy-efficient lighting solutions into their outdoor spaces. Transform your landscape by trying some of these ideas for eco-friendly outdoor lighting.
Use Solar and LED Outdoor Lighting
The most obvious step towards making your background lighting eco-friendly is to replace those old incandescents! Now that energy-efficient options have become mainstream, it’s easy to make the switch to solar powered or LED lighting for your outdoor needs.
Solar lighting is a great replacement to old incandescent fixtures as they convert the sun’s powerful (and free) energy into electricity! They are easy to install and require little maintenance. Think of replacing the lights in places like your walkway, your patio lights, around your door, in your lamppost, or in your garden with solar fixtures to start. Installing solar in these areas first will help you figure out the most beneficial places for you to use solar lighting before making a total switch. You won’t have to worry about wasting energy when you forget to turn the porch light off either!
Swapping your old bulbs with LED lights is another simple solution to make your outdoor lighting eco-friendly. According to Treehugger, one LED bulb can “reduce energy consumption by 80-90% and last around 100,000 hours.” Talk about a cost saver!
One of the most important things to keep in mind when installing outdoor lighting is safety. LED bulbs are much safer and sturdier than regular lighting. Using LED bulbs reduces the risk of combustion during those long, dry summer months because they burn much cooler than traditional light bulbs. LED bulbs are also more weather resistant as they manufactured using strong epoxy instead of glass. Finally, LED bulbs’ light doesn’t attract bugs like regular lights do, allowing you to have pest-free summer nights.
Install Innovative Technologies
Once you’ve installed the eco-friendly hardware, you can look into the eco-friendly technology available to make your home’s outdoor lighting even more efficient. In today’s environmentally-conscious world, there are hundreds of tech options to “go green” with your home.
Downloading Free Apps like Kill-Ur-Watts, Energy Tracker, and Wiser EMS is a great way to start saving energy. These apps exist to educate consumers about ways to save energy, reduce consumption, and lower monthly costs. For example, Kill-Ur-Watts will pull data from your utility providers and help you identify places you can cut costs. With a few simple clicks, you will have a better understanding of the direct impact you can have on your home’s sustainability.
Create a Smart Home Hub
Home automation is becoming more and more mainstream. Smart home technology allows homeowners to remotely control everything from lights, heating, and water to pet feeders, doorbells, and blinds with the click of a button. While this option might sound too sci-fi for some, connecting your home to a smart system can actually be quite simple. If you have internet, you can connect your ‘hub’ to your network and have complete control over your utilities from anywhere in the world.
For example, what if you left your patio lights on and leave for a month-long vacation? Having those lights on for that period of time could really hike up your electric bill! By connecting to a smart home system you would be able to log-in on your phone and turn the lights off even if you were out of the country. Take a look at PC Mag’s list of top smart home devices to learn more about this energy saving option.
Make It Your Own
Now it’s time to turn on your creative thinking and make your outdoor lighting customized to your lifestyle. Here are a couple of ideas:
As outdoor living becomes increasingly popular, exterior kitchen spaces are here to stay. While you’ll want bright LED lights in the actual cooking area, consider something more intimate for your outdoor dining area – like solar string lights.
Today’s homeowners have become more interested in “holistic landscapes that promote well-being” and have been incorporating the Danish concept of Hygge into their eco-friendly landscape solutions – striving to create an atmosphere of “coziness by embracing the simple pleasures of life”.
When you are designing your outdoor space, use sustainable lighting options to embrace this trend. Create a conversation area by using small solar-powered lighting and chairs in a quiet corner of your yard. Maybe add LED tiki torches around your patio for a cool glow in the evening. Remember — integrating the concept of hygge in your outdoor space is more about creating a feeling than the actual hardware you use, so let your imagination run wild!
Learn more about eco-friendly landscaping:
About the author:
Nadya Jones is a blogger and an entrepreneur. She is the co-founder of Allen Roth HQ, a blog about home design and improvements. With her husband Brett, she writes tips and tricks they learned while renovating their house in Raleigh, North Carolina. Nadya handles the interior design. Brett implements her ideas in a cost-efficient way. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.