A New Product We Like
At Form + Function we are always looking innovative lighting solutions and we are especially excited when we come across products that “just make sense”, like the Dark Sky light bulbs designed by Bulbrite.
These energy-star rated compact fluorescent lamps have a shielded base that aims the light only where it is needed. This eliminates the need to replace or retrofit an existing fixture to comply with dark sky regulations.
Using a 15W compact fluorescent lamp it produces the same amount and quality of light as your conventional 60W incandescent lamp.
Even if your neighborhood does not call for dark-sky-friendly lighting you might still want to consider these innovative bulbs as a responsible and at the same time aesthetically pleasing, glare-free solution for your outdoor fixtures.
Less Is More
Outdoor lighting is important not only for decorative reasons, but also to improve safety and security.
Many homeowners, however, are not aware that a little light goes quite a long ways outdoors. They think more is better and install an excessive amount of light sources, or – almost worse – a few harsh spotlights with high wattage that bathe their driveway (and half of the neighborhood) in a bright light.
Aside from these commercial spotlights just looking plain ugly and making your front yard resemble a prison camp, they are not a very neighbor-friendly or environmentally responsible solution.
Some people say they feel safer when their property is properly lit. However, light alone does not provide security. In brightly lit spaces you are exposed to glare as well as harsh shadows and the abrupt transition between these areas feels uncomfortable (someone lurking in the shadows?).
Good outdoor lighting design on the other hand defines the space in an aesthetically pleasing way. It just feels comfortable and safe. It is indirect, discreet and subtle. You know it when you see it, you feel it a sub-conscious level, but you don’t stop to think about why.
That’s the reason we recommend to light where you need it, when you need it, and no more.
Tip: If you live in an area where you feel there’s a need for a bright spotlight at times (just in case) put it on separate switch that you can turn on from inside your home – and keep it off unless it’s an emergency.
Having moved from Germany to New Mexico many years ago I still can’t get over the beauty of the starlit sky. For that matter I didn’t really know that there were THAT many stars before we moved here. Living in a large metropolitan area I had never actually seen them.
I therefore welcome the efforts our community is making to avoid or fight light pollution.
The phrase Light pollution was first coined by astronomers in the 1970s. It refers to the sky glow mainly above major cities that obscures our view of the night sky.
One could say that if light pollution were the inevitable price of progress, we’d just have to live with that loss and accept it, but it is not. Most light pollution is totally unnecessary, caused by inefficient light sources and lack of awareness.