dark sky friendly outdoor lighting

saypoint(6b CT)October 3, 2009

I'm looking at replacing some old outdoor wall- and post-mounted fixtures, and would like to use fixtures that minimize light pollution. Some that I've seen use 13 watt fluorescent bulbs, others use incandescent bulbs, and from the photos, the bulbs mostly appear to be recessed within the upper enclosed portion of the fixture with the light beaming downward through the open, decoratively pierced, or frosted glass area, depending on the fixture style.

Before I plunk down a bunch of cash on several fixtures, has anyone had any experience with these and found that they emit a sufficient amount of light? At least similar in usefulness to my old 60 watt colonial lantern but without the blinding glare?

I'm specifically lighting the back steps, and if I like the fixture, will probably order a couple more for the front of the garage to light the arrival area. There is also a post lamp out front that I don't often use, mostly because the glare the bare bulb throws through the clear glass of the lantern.

I don't want to order fixtures online and find that they only cast a puny amount of light and have to go through the hassle of shipping them back.

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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

We need new fixtures, too, but I am trying to wait until they have some LED ones. The fluorescent bulbs save energy, but need to be recycled because of the mercury and tungsten in them. I have found LED lamps for the house and for outdoor holiday decorating, but nothing for outside fixtures yet.

Maybe you could replace the clear glass with a frosted glass to cut down on the glare and then you won't even have to replace!


    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 6:20PM
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holleygarden Zone 8, East Texas

DH requested that we replace some porch fixtures with some that had no bottoms - so the dead bugs would not collect at the bottom. Not only does it look better, but it is sooo much easier for him to change the lightbulbs.

I don't have any suggestions for you, just thought I'd throw that in so you'd also think about maintenance when picking something out. :)

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 8:40PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Having read a fair amount about fluorescents and dimished light output with colder temperatures, I'd be very skeptical about going that direction without seeing examples first hand.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 9:35PM
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saypoint(6b CT)

Thanks for the input. I didn't mention that I also want decorative fixtures that look better than the ones I have. I'm hesitating to commit to incandescents because of the energy use, though we don't leave these lights on for long periods of time. If fluorescents are wimpy, that's a problem too. Oh, well. Maybe frosting the glass on the old ones is a short term solution.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 10:07AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Our outdoor porch light is fluorescent, and it doesn't seem wimpy to me, it just takes a while to get going; it's dim when you first turn it on.

I am actually a die-hard incandescent fan; I am buying and hoarding them against future shortage. To read the instructions for what to do in the event of fluorescent breakage is to hate them. To me the incandescents are also a miracle of simplicity and the fact that they give off some heat is a bonus, not a detraction (since we do heat the house :-)). But for outdoor use, it doesn't make much sense to emit heat.

That's a long-winded way of agreeing with Cyn that waiting for LEDs might be a good idea.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 11:43AM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

I bought outdoor and indoor fixtures with opalescent glass and a gold overlay years ago, before all the new bulbs came out. It was a lot of work to change the incandescent bulbs on the ceiling and hanging fixtures, so when the spiral fluorescents came out, I was hooked on the long-life concept, the energy savings being a bonus -- not sure of the exact wattage, as they've been in place about 3 years now. Outdoors we have a front porchlight, a hanging lantern on the patio, a column mount near the steps, and a wall mount by the back gate, all in the same style, but varying shapes for the various mountings. The quality of the light is fine for everything except reading fine print. : ) And it sure beats the floodlight from our neighbor across the alley!

Here is a link that might be useful: Arroyo Craftsman lighting

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 12:12PM
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a good source for lighting specific to utah is http://www.utahlandscapelighting.com

Here is a link that might be useful: Landscape Lighting

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 12:14AM
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