Street and area lighting is something most city-dwellers take for granted, but as anyone who has lived in a rural area knows, street lights can be a welcome addition to a dark street or park. Street and area lighting provide additional security, decrease accidents from darkness and will make the surrounding area simply look more inviting.
The first thing to research before purchasing or installing street or area lighting is the codes and regulations for outdoor lighting in your area. Because street and area lighting is produces a considerable amount of light and requires electricity and potentially underground wires to be installed in a public area, there are differing regulations in each city.
As the name hints, street lighting is meant to light streets, driveways and other pathways such as trail through parks. Street lighting has the same look as a post mount light, but is usually taller and supports a much stronger light bulb. Typically street lighting will use energy efficient lighting solutions such as fluorescent or high-intensity discharge light bulbs (HID). For most street and area lighting situations, HID light is more desirable than the traditional incandescent because they are more energy efficient and have a much higher overall luminous efficacy, or ability to shine more brightly.
Area lighting over laps with street lighting in that many street lights can be used for area lighting, but there are some other unique options as well. For example, an outdoor café might prefer lighting strung from poles across the top of an outdoor seating area.
When shopping for street and area lighting it is recommended to purchase high quality products since the lighting will be outdoors and must stand up to the elements. Aluminum is a common material used in the manufacturing out street and area lighting because of its durability.
Although street and area lighting has been proven to reduce accidents or attacks there are some dangers to adding lighting in a new area which must be considered when planning where lights will be installed.
The first issue is loss of night vision. If drivers are used to a street being dark their eyes will be prepared for dark and might be surprised if they come across a newly installed street light and their eyes are not given time to adjust to the change which might lead to an accident. Ensure that new street lighting will not be placed in an area that could blind a driver.
Second area and street lighting will create light pollution. Light pollution is a common problem in big cities and many people are working to reduce light pollution so that people can enjoy the stars. More seriously however, light pollution on a greater scale can lead to a lack of the production of the hormone melatonin in people which can lead to health problems. It is important to consider light pollution so that new street lighting can be designed to not add more to the problem than is necessary.
Street and area lighting is available in a variety of styles and colors including black, white, bronze, modern, traditional and many more options. Color and style can add to the aesthetic appeal of outdoor lighting if it has been carefully selected to match its surroundings.