Energy Efficient Outdoor Lighting: Types and Its Benefits

Why Would I Need Energy Efficient Lighting?

There are doubts that in the modern ecology-concerned world obsolete devices guzzling energy are frowned upon. Besides, people always tend to spare some money at the expense of electricity bills. Being very energy-consuming because of using powerful bulbs, outdoor fixtures can still be both efficient and aesthetical.

What Bulbs to Use?

Halogen incandescent bulbs (aka energy-saving bulbs). These bulbs not only consume much less energy than traditional lamps, but also last 200% longer than traditional lamps do (rough estimate). There are plenty of different halogen bulbs to choose from, so you can easily find the one of the color, shape and intensity you need.

Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs are highly efficient, yet there are a few types and some of them are inadequate for outdoor usage. Check specification thoroughly, since some CFL bulbs shut down in sub-zero temperature. CFLs can boast of their extreme longevity and efficiency – they last 900% longer than traditional bulbs and consume one quarter as much energy. Just like halogen bulbs, these ones come in wide array of colors, shapes and wattages.

High intensity discharge (HID) lights. On the one hand, these lamps are pretty energy-efficient, durable and can be used at low temperatures, on the other hand, they require specific fixtures to mount them and it takes a while for them to warm up and work at maximal power, which is a reason why HIDs are applicable for continual outdoor lighting and unacceptable for places where light is to be frequently turned on and off.

Light-emitting diodes (LED) bulbs not only come in different colors; they also may be dimmable or offer convenient features, for example, daylight and motion sensors. Being only a bit more efficient than CFL, LEDs are considerably cheaper, cold resistant and practically everlasting – one such bulb can illuminate your access road up to 50 thousand hours. Of course, it’s up to you to decide, but this bulb seems the most convenient option of all.

Outdoor Solar Lights

When it comes to green energy, the first thing that usually comes to mind is solar panels. At first glance powering lamps with solar energy seems like trying to herd cats. Nevertheless outdoor solar light is a very convenient, practically maintenance-free device, which gets energy from sunlight, stores the electricity within its batteries and then utilizes the energy for powering the bulb when the sunlight is gone.

The main disadvantage of this device is that it is unusable in the areas where it rains cats and dogs all the year round and where the fixture can be flooded over the top so that sunrays cannot reach its photovoltaic cell (sure, it’s a joke, but you get the point). Units come in completely different sizes, varying from small, pathway markers to pole-mounted lanterns and high-beam security lights. LED bulbs with photovoltaic panels have already proven to be efficient in commercial lighting, e.g. colleges of Odessa and New Jersey City campuses.


Except for outdoor solar lights, fixtures do not have built-in automatic switches, so you may wish to consider timers, thanks to which you will not have to manually turn the security and utility lights on and off every morning and evening. Additionally, you can mount a motion sensor for areas that should only be lit when someone is in there, which is one more thing, capable of cutting your energy expenses. In general, properly attuned automated control features may have a great impact on outdoor lighting energy efficiency.

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