Your front porch and other outdoor lights are often your most used lights, so they provide the perfect opportunity to save money and energy. Adding affordable Outdoor Lighting from Georgia Power is a great way to increase your energy efficiency while giving you peace of mind about your home’s security.
HID (High Intensity Discharge) Lamps
If you own a large property and are looking for bright, energy-efficient outdoor lighting, you should consider HID (High Intensity Discharge) lamps.
High Intensity Discharge or “HID” is a general term used to designate four different types of lamps used mainly outdoors: mercury vapor, metal halide, high-pressure sodium and low-pressure sodium.
The least efficient HID technology, mercury vapor lamps are known by the bluish cast to their light. They are not recommended due to their lack of efficiency.
Metal halide lamps produce a bright, crisp, white light that is more aesthetically pleasing than other HIDs, and is much more efficient than mercury lamps. They are ideal for larger residential properties seeking to generate a substantial amount of high-quality light at the lowest operating cost.
High- and low-pressure sodium lamps are more energy efficient that their counterparts and have a yellow cast to their light. High pressure sodium lamps are popular for roadway lighting, but low pressure sodium is very limited in its application because its light is monochromatic yellow and, therefore, does not allow you to discriminate colors.
One characteristic to note about HID sources is that each requires a few minutes to come up to full output. If power to the lamp is lost or turned off, the arc tube must cool to a given temperature before the arc can be re-struck and light produced. Mercury vapor lamps require the longest restrike time–sometimes up to seven minutes.
Much like an occupancy sensor, a motion detector is designed to automatically switch a light on when it senses movement. Standard models can detect activity from about 50-80 feet, assuming the device’s built-in optical sensor has a clear field of view. Once the activity ceases or a built-in timer is triggered, the light will turn off. In addition to increasing energy efficiency, they are a great tool for outdoor security.
Fixtures featuring photosensor technology turn on or off depending on ambient light levels, turning off when there is enough existing light. Triggered by a light-sensitive photocell, they are ideal for outdoor use, since they require no manual operation.
Solar-Powered Outdoor Lights
Solar powered outdoor lights can contribute to your home’s aesthetics and improve safety and security–all without impacting your electric bill.
Solar powered lights operate using a photovoltaic panel that generates electricity when the sun shines on it. During the day, electricity is stored in a battery. At night, the stored electricity energizes the light. Some models are turned on manually, while others are turned on automatically by photosensors or motion sensors.
An added advantage of solar powered walkway lights is they require no trenching or wiring; they are attached to a stake that simply pushes into the ground. Most solar lights do not generate a large amount of light, but they are very useful for lighting the path to the driveway, so people can easily find their way to and from your home. Solar lights are available that provide a lot of light, but these are more expensive and less common in residential applications.