When we think of lighting systems, we tend to focus on interior lighting. Though we spend most of our time indoors bathing in the benefits of interior lighting, exterior lighting is just as impactful in our everyday lives. Outdoor lighting does more than illuminate a space. The various types of outdoor lighting for commercial businesses enhance security, safety and aesthetics.
At Illuminated Integration, we try to shine a light on AVL systems that will benefit our clients’ lives. The importance of exterior lighting is mistakenly overlooked by business owners who may not understand how these versatile systems can instantly transform their outdoor spaces. Let’s take a moment to consider how exterior lighting is used, what benefits these systems provide and which commercial lighting ideas can revolutionize your building’s exterior.
Where Exterior Lighting Is Used
Great exterior lighting is certainly noticeable. However, we’re willing to bet that you’d notice a lack of exterior lighting before you notice high-quality outdoor lighting. Regardless of the setting, we immediately notice when an outdoor area is not properly lit. Dark parking lots or garages feel unsafe. Dimly lit walkways or corridors can be more difficult to walk through. Navigating an unfamiliar space on foot or in a vehicle can be inconvenient when exterior lighting is at a minimum.
To provide visibility where employees, clients and customers need it most, commercial buildings install exterior lighting systems in heavily-trafficked areas. Pathways, corridors and sidewalks have adequate illumination so pedestrians can safely travel. Parking lots, parking garages, loading docks and drop-off stations are filled with light. Doorways, entrances, exits, landscaping, statues and wayfinding signs are properly lit to make navigation convenient. With proper outdoor lighting, any visitor can feel comfortable and confident when entering or exiting a building during the moonlit hours.
There are many other places where exterior lighting equipment is installed. You’ll notice that many commercial buildings use similar lighting set-ups while other spaces like educational institutions, places of worship and themed entertainment venues use additional outdoor lighting features tailored to their unique needs. Although exterior lighting applications differ from business to business, they all share a common goal — enhancing the safety, security, appeal and versatility of an outdoor space.
Benefits of Outdoor Lighting
Choosing exterior lighting systems for your facility is much more of a thoughtful process than simply providing light where there’s darkness. Consider the reasons why a homeowner installs exterior lighting in specific spaces. Small pathway lighting enhances the safety of those coming in and out of the home. Motion sensor lighting in the backyard or over the garage deters trespassers. Landscape lighting enhances the home’s aesthetic. When you’re thoughtfully considering commercial lighting ideas, think about the four benefits you need most — safety, security, curb appeal and versatility.
Safety should be your number one priority in everything you do. No matter who visits your property, you should ensure that they can move around your property safely. Clear visibility helps drivers and passengers navigate their way safely into and away from your building. Proper lighting will also ensure that any employees working outside can see what they’re doing and ensure they’re working safely.
However, you can’t simply install a floodlight and immediately assume that your outdoor space is safer. The fact is that properly placed lighting can make an area safer, but improper lighting can increase safety risks. Glares can distract drivers as they maneuver through your parking lot. Intense lighting in one area can create deep shadows in another. Even the presence of exterior lighting shining into the interior of your building can distract those inside and potentially give them headaches or cause eye strain.
A major component of preserving safety is keeping your facility secure. If you aim to prevent crime from occurring on your property, commercial lighting ideas should be one of the first items on your agenda. Studies have shown that the presence of outdoor lighting can reduce crime rates. Motion sensor lighting can deter trespassers when your business hours have concluded. Outdoor lighting also makes your cameras and physical security more effective, providing an additional element of protection that helps secure every corner of your property.
Just because you’re investing in an exterior lighting system that prioritizes functionality doesn’t mean it can’t also enhance your facility aesthetically. Outdoor lighting for business, educational or worship buildings can be used to create an attractive exterior. Landscape lighting, for instance, increases the functionality of your outdoor spaces while also boosting your curb appeal at night. Shining the right amount of light on landscaping or architectural features of your building can be a dramatic and beautiful upgrade. Lighting enables fountains, banners, entranceways and other features to take center stage, even at night.
Ideally, you need an outdoor lighting system that can deliver all of these benefits and function in versatile ways as your needs change. When brainstorming commercial lighting ideas, think of creative ways in which your lighting system can provide multiple benefits from a single source. For instance, you could forego lamp posts and outdoor wall lights for a single large floodlight if you believe your entranceway needs the maximum amount of light possible. Consider all the possibilities for your facility — there are endless options for all building sizes.
Improving the safety and security of your facility is never a bad decision. Exterior lighting effects allow you to achieve improved safety and security while creatively designing the system in a way that can also enhance your landscape and architectural features. By integrating a versatile outdoor lighting system around your property, you’re taking the steps necessary to go the extra mile for your clients, customers and employees.
Types of Exterior Lighting
When your building’s exterior is shrouded in darkness, it’s obvious that exterior lighting should be a priority — but which type of lighting? Just as you install specific types of lighting sources throughout your interior to maximize visibility, mood and productivity, you need to be aware of which exterior lighting sources you require. Safety, security, atmospheric enhancement and maximum versatility are great benefits, but you can only get them from the right outdoor light fixtures. The following are examples of exterior lighting commercial buildings utilize.
As the name implies, floodlights illuminate a large area with light. They are one of the most popular types of exterior lighting used because a single floodlight source can provide as much light as multiple, smaller light sources. Floodlights are quite common in your everyday life. Street lights, parking lot lights and lighting at stadiums or outdoor performance centers are all examples of floodlights. We recommend these types of exterior lights for facilities that want to maximize the safety, visibility and security for their guests.
2. Lamp Posts
While a street light may be a type of lamp post, most street lights are powerful enough to flood a large area with light for driver and pedestrian safety and visibility. A lamp post is a lighting source on a pole, but they’re smaller in size and are often used in areas of foot traffic like sidewalks, pathways, gardens or to mark the border of an area. While lampposts designs can be aesthetically appealing, they’re often used to increase visibility and safety in a small area.
Floodlights are perfect for covering wide areas, while lamp posts are ideal outdoor light fixtures for providing a patch of light around a smaller area. For business owners searching for a comparable middle ground, spotlights may be the best lighting source available. The main difference between a spotlight and a floodlight is the total area that the light illuminates. Spotlights have narrow, concentrated beams that focus on specific spaces. Spotlights are easier to control and can easily be moved to illuminate different areas.
4. Outdoor Wall Lights
Perhaps you manage a facility that has ample lighting via floodlights behind the building, lamp posts leading to your entryways and spotlights illuminating your signage. If you’re still looking for a way to use light to your advantage, consider installing outdoor wall lights. These lights affix to your building’s walls, and their exterior lighting effects range from enhanced safety and security in small areas to boosting the aesthetic of your architecture. Outdoor wall lights can be subtle, like accent lighting. or bright, like spotlights.
There are other variations of outdoor light fixtures that provide a range of benefits. When considering exterior lighting for commercial buildings, it’s essential to identify your needs before you begin choosing outdoor lighting fixtures. You may envision a spotlight shining on your marquee when, in reality, smaller architectural or landscape lighting would create a better presentation. Choosing the right exterior lighting effects and fixtures for your system doesn’t need to be difficult or expensive, especially when you have a knowledgeable lighting team available to guide you.
Designing Your Exterior Lighting Ideas
It’s essential for businesses to put as much thought into their exterior lighting systems as they do their interior lighting systems. Although maximizing aesthetics and space versatility are important goals to achieve, you must remember that exterior lighting is more than presentation — it represents your brand. It also plays a vital role in the safety and security of everyone who visits your facilities. Consider the following when designing your exterior lighting system.
- Current Business Goals: Before you define which type of lighting system you need, you must identify your problems. How does your current lack of outdoor light fixtures prevent you from reaching your current business goals? How do you envision your exterior and where would lighting be most beneficial? Discuss all of your thoughts and goals with your lighting team so they can design a customized lighting system that will match your vision.
- Future Business Goals: When you invest in an AVL system, you want it to cater to both your current and future needs. Take a moment to consider what significant changes might occur within your business that would require extra lighting. Will your operating or office hours change and require employees or customers to visit your space later at night? Will your venue, school or place of worship host outdoor events after dark? Consider and plan for all reasonable possibilities.
- Energy Efficiency: Choosing to install exterior lighting that features energy-efficient bulbs is a wise decision. For instance, using photosensors and motion sensors in lower trafficked areas reduces energy consumption, while using timers, reflectors and covers will reduce lighting pollution. Remember, you don’t want too much or too little lighting, as both can negatively impact a space. By integrating energy-efficient bulbs and functions into your system, you can provide the proper level of lighting where you need it for years to come.
- Maintenance: Although your lighting system will likely feature reliable components that need little attention, you must be prepared to maintain your entire outdoor lighting system in the short and long term. If you plan to task in-house employees with these responsibilities, consider what equipment you’ll need to invest in to help them complete their tasks. If you prefer to have a third-party service maintain your system, make sure you budget for this expense and choose a reliable team of specialists that are licensed, qualified and knowledgeable.
Designing and implementing a dynamic exterior lighting system is quite a feat. That’s why the talented team at Illuminated Integration is here to help every step of the way. From initial conceptualization to full-scale installation and long-term management, our AVL professionals will lend their knowledge and experience to your project. Together, we’ll create a fully-customized exterior lighting system from the ground up that completely caters to your unique needs. We can outfit any commercial, corporate or private gathering space with a stunning system that transforms your exterior forever.
Light Up the Night With Illuminated Integration
At Illuminated Integration, we know that a dynamic exterior lighting system can shine a light on a world of possibilities. From maximizing the versatility of your outdoor space to providing your employees, clients and customers with the visibility, safety and security they need, implementing your commercial lighting ideas are certainly bright ideas.
Let Illuminated Integration help you showcase your building in a stunning way. Our team of lighting design specialists is ready to guide you through the process from design to installation. We’ll create a 100 percent customized exterior lighting system that meets your evolving needs. Contact us today to learn more.