Southwestern PA summers can go from hot and humid to cool and dry and then back again the same week. The bugs in PA make the most of the summer with moths and other winged creatures gathering in the hundreds, if not thousands, as soon as you turn on a bright outdoor light. When you are illuminating your landscape, especially a deck, you want to have it bright enough for visual effect and functional use, but not so bright as to attract the bugs.
Lighting Up Your Deck
You could just install a few overhead floodlights to fully bathe a deck in light. However, your guests will not appreciate the shadows and glare or the droves of insects those lights attract. A better choice is to use subdued lighting strategically placed to light up stairs and obstacles while bathing everything else in a subtle glow. Your dark adapted vision does not need much illumination. A few low-voltage deck lights can light up your entertainment, spa or pool area without attracting bugs.
If you have a home in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, you likely take a lot of pride in your lawn and the planting beds where you have everything from your annuals to spiral topiary arborvitaes growing. Tall billowy pampas grasses are also likely planted here and there around your property for their summer beauty. Water features are also really popular. All of these elements should be lighted to enhance your personal enjoyment and improve the curb appeal of all your landscaping efforts to look as good at night as they do during the day. Artistic use of low-voltage flood, spot and underwater lights can give even a modest house an incredible nighttime look.
Here is where you really need to take some time and plan what effect you desire. Everything from the color temperature of the bulbs to whether they are flood or spot illumination fixtures make a difference. Some bulbs tend toward the cool side of the color spectrum, which gives them a bluish look. Solar lights typically use cheap LEDs that output a bluish color. This often looks harsh and odd against architecture. The professionals at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Pittsburgh recommend the latest LED low-voltage light technology that outputs a warm welcoming glow when arranged and aimed properly to illuminate the structural elements of your home and outbuildings. If you do it right, you get a great nighttime curb appeal. If you do it wrong, your home takes on the glaring look of prison yard lights at night.
There are so many options available today for lighting up the exterior of your home that it is worth a look at the new technology even if you have installed new landscape lighting in the last five years. If you have a dark spot that you want to tastefully and artfully illuminate at night, there is a fixture and LED combination that will give you the look you want.