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Learn about Accent Outdoor Lighting

Accent Outdoor Lighting

Accent lighting can light pathways, decks, or exterior surfaces of your home. LED products are preferred because of their efficacy and because the light can be directed to where it is needed.

The dark night sky is a valuable and endangered natural resource for stargazers, wildlife, and healthy sleep patterns in humans. Outdoor lighting should strive to follow the guidelines provided by the IDA (International Dark Sky Association). When you search for accent lighting, you will find that a lot of the fixtures are designed to point upwards, which is not dark sky friendly. Try designing lighting that only looks downward, and is shielded. Ensure that the light is only on when it needs to be - the use of timers will help with this - and that the light is only as bright as necessary. Try to find lights that are warmer colors, towards the yellow side of the spectrum. There is evidence to suggest that these colors are less disturbing to the circadian rhythms of wildlife and humans than blue spectrum light. Lights that are less than 3,000 K on the color temperature scale are night-friendly, being warmer colors than moonlight. Look for the IDA Fixture Seal of Approval for dark sky compliant lighting products.

LED outdoor lighting can provide light to needed areas, with very little energy consumption. Some outdoor lighting can even be solar-powered, with an integrated solar panel and a small battery to operate at night. Outdoor lighting can disturb wildlife and disrupt human sleep patterns, so it is best kept to a minimum for sustainability. Accent lighting that points downward (not up the walls or into the sky), is more friendly to the night-time need for the darkness of nocturnal and sleeping creatures.

The Town of Bon Accord, Alberta became the first recognized Dark Sky community in Canada in 2016, and the 11th town in the world to reach this goal. The town has installed Dark Sky compliant LED street lights and outdoor lights and encouraged all its residents to do the same. Due to its efforts, Bon Accord's night sky is dark enough for stargazing celebrations in its central park.