Commercial outdoor lighting can make a surprisingly significant difference in how a community entrance, business entrance, business building, or any commercial area looks. A building or property can go from blending in with the rest of the businesses in the area to really standing out in the evening and looking inviting and safe. Proper lighting can elevate the business to look more professional and prestigious at night. However, there are a lot of important details in designing and installing a commercial outdoor lighting system so it looks right and lasts. Let’s go over what those factors are.
Always use an experienced, creative lighting designer for your commercial outdoor lighting project
First and foremost, using an experienced and creative exterior lighting contractor is always the most important element for the success of any commercial outdoor lighting project. There are many reasons for this, starting with the ability of the designer to be able to imagine the possibilities and understand the limits of what can be achieved and what the lighting design could look like. Numerous aspects come into play. These include the size of the building, its architecture and color, the materials that it is made out of, where wiring can be hidden if the exterior lighting is to be installed on the building itself, electrical outlet locations, obstacles for the lighting, wiring and installation, and hardware and mounting materials that could be required.
Evaluating lighting fixture types, materials, placement, safety, and other important elements
Next, knowing what kinds of fixture types, materials, transformer sizes, and correct brightness, color, and angle of spread of light might be appropriate for the project are all crucial variables that must be considered to develop a proper lighting system design.
Finally, understanding how to position the light fixtures is critical. It may seem easy enough to disperse some lights around landscaping or a building, but there is a huge difference between having some lights spread around and having lights and shadows in the proper places to achieve the desired effects that result in a safe and aesthetically-appealing result. For example, a fixture should not be placed in an area where it could be a trip hazard or in danger of being damaged or broken (i.e. such as in the grass where a mower, edger, or weed-eater may damage it).
There are also many ways to light up the same feature. Let’s take a 30-foot tree with a flower bed around the base of the tree. The tree can be lit from the flower bed using spot fixtures (one side or up to three); it can be illuminated from further away, lighting the outside of the tree rather than the trunk and inside of the canopy; and lighting can be installed inside the tree, itself. Each of these techniques results in a different look and they all depend on the type of tree, how it is trimmed or maintained, if the flower bed will be replanted once or more throughout the year, and the goal of the customer’s overall lighting plan.
Proper outdoor lighting installation is critical
Besides understanding lighting design, another critical factor in commercial outdoor lighting systems is installation. All too often, we here at Pro Lighting Outdoors come across a poorly installed (and designed) system that is not working properly, falling apart, or is constantly in disrepair. No one wants to throw good money after bad so it is always best to do it right the first time.
Proper exterior light installation consists of having the right materials including the correct-sized transformers, appropriate gauge wiring, and the necessary materials for proper and safe installation. We have often replace old installations where dry wire nuts were used as opposed to outdoor-rated. As a result, the connection had corroded causing the wiring to start to touch. This causes arcing, smoking, and sometimes, even fire.
Another seemingly minor mistake that can also cause a fire is simply not burying the wire deep enough or in the proper manner. This oversight can result in lawn maintenance hitting the wire with an edger blade causing two sides of a circuit to touch and, once again, cause arcing and fire. If there are dry leaves or wood mulch in the area, a fire can start very easily. Besides the safety of the system, you should not see wiring anywhere and it should be buried properly, not just laying underneath a bit of mulch. The wiring going into the transformer should be protected and the connections should all be waterproof.
Many variables are involved in creating a properly designed commercial lighting system
We’ve covered a lot of ground. To summarize, a properly designed commercial lighting system should take advantage of the property, buildings, and signage. The lighting designer/contractor should use the proper materials, fixtures, and lighting techniques and the light colors, brightness and spread should all be planned and coordinated correctly by an experienced professional. Finally, the installation must be performed correctly so that the system is safe, effective and has a long life. Too often, we have seen where someone carelessly hired a “handyman” to install some lighting and when problems arose, that person was nowhere to be found.
Trust Pro Lighting Outdoors, North Florida’s Commercial Outdoor Lighting Specialists!
Pro Lighting Outdoors has designed and installed commercial exterior lighting systems for numerous community entrances, buildings, parking areas, and landscaping areas throughout Northeast Florida from neighborhoods on Amelia Island to Ponte Vedra Beach, all over Jacksonville, and south to St. Augustine. We have designed and installed various types of lighting plans for commercial businesses including Farah & Farah, Chick-Fil-A, and multiple condo complexes and community entrances.
Sometimes, our clients have a specific lighting vision that we help them bring to life while other times they desire to brighten a specific area or building, but don’t know exactly what would be best. That’s where our creative design expertise comes in. We can use a wide variety of lighting and installation techniques to bring out the best features of a building, business entrance, property, or landscaping. We have over a decade of outdoor lighting experience in designing and installing and we are quick to take care of any issues that may arise (lighting strikes, accidental damage, etc.). We test all the components that we use and know which ones work and which do not. Even if you decide to have your lighting installed by a different company, it is worthwhile to at least consult with us, first. You can learn much and gain a different perspective that another company may not even entertain or have the ability to offer.
Commercial outdoor and landscape lighting is as much an art, as it is a service or product. Four different companies will come up with four different designs and installations with different components. If you are planning an outdoor lighting project, our advice would be to consult with a few different service providers, review their design galleries, consider their experience and reputation, and make sure that will be covered with a great warranty and prompt service, if needed. You certainly won’t regret Pro Lighting Outdoors being one of those companies.