Landscape lighting can brighten up your garden, stop you from stumbling around in the dark, and make your outdoor space as smart as your home – but what are dusk to dawn outdoor lights and how do they work?
Discover our ultimate guide on outdoor lights and find the answers you need to decide whether dusk to dawn lights are right for you and your garden.
What Are Dusk to Dawn Outdoor Lights?
According to a survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the three most popular outdoor design elements in 2018 were fire pits/fireplaces (66%), lighting (64.5%), and seating/dining areas (64%).
The survey found that many families want flexibility and practicality from their outdoor spaces. When it comes to lighting this means that people want outdoor lights that work for them and offer more options than the traditional lights that you need to switch on and off. That’s where dusk to dawn lights can help.
But what does dusk to dawn mean? As the name suggests, these outdoor lights are placed in your garden or yard and operate after the sun has set and switch off once it rises again in the morning. Hence the name dusk to dawn.
These lights can be placed anywhere in and around your garden or driveway. However, unlike traditional outdoor lighting, dusk to dawn lighting doesn’t need to be manually turned on or off.
How Many Different Types of Dusk to Dawn Lights Are There?
There are four main categories of dusk to dawn outdoor lights, including time-controlled, smart/connected, photocell, and motion-activated lights. They operate in slightly different ways but can all be set up with ease and adjusted to your preferences.
Time-Controlled Outdoor Lights
Time-controlled lights are very flexible and can be programmed by you, which means you can choose what time you want them to come on and turn off. These lights can be adjusted at any time to suit your needs and the time of year.
Time-controlled lights are useful for those who want to be fully in control of their lights and energy consumption. For example, you can schedule the lights to come on when you go to work in the morning and then turn off when it’s light. You can also schedule them to turn on when you return home and then turn off again when you aren’t using them.
Photocell and Solar Outdoor Lights
Some dusk to dawn lights use a photocell as a source of their power. Photocell technology is used to identify when dusk has fallen, which prompts the lights to turn on. Similarly, these lights detect natural light and turn off when morning comes.
Photocell lights are activated by the changing of natural light, which means that they automatically shift with daylight changes and adjust when the nights are longer or shorter. Some photocell outdoor lights also contain motion sensors too.
Motion-Activated Outdoor Lights
Other dusk to dawn lights use motion-activated technology. This means that when they detect motion the lights turn on. Most of these lights allow you to choose how long you want the light to stay on (usually between 5 seconds and 10 minutes) once the movement has been detected.
Most dawn to dusk lights are activated throughout the night, but the motion-activated lights don’t remain on that long (depending on your settings). These lights are ideal for the back garden if you have pets and for deterring burglars.
Smart/Connected Outdoor Lights
Smart/connected outdoor dusk to dawn lights are similar to time-controlled lights, in that you can set the time you want them to be turned on and off, but this can all be controlled from your smartphone or other devices, such as a smart home system. Smart/connected lights can be controlled via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi which means you have complete control no matter where you are or what type of device you have.
Some smart/connected outdoor lights also have downloadable apps, such as VillaNERI. One benefit of an app is that your lights can use your device’s location and automatically turn on at sunset and turn off at sunrise. Learn more about the features of VillaNERI lights and find out how VillaNERI path lights work.
In addition to the above dusk to dawn lights, you can also get smart bulbs for your outdoor spaces. Smart bulbs can be connected to your smart home devices via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and can be set to specific times to turn on and off or be remotely adjusted. Even though they bring flexibility in the choice of lighting fixture, you are somewhat limited by bulb shape, design, brightness, and color temperature. You may also need to check compatibility and installation requirements. Keep in mind that smart bulbs won’t work if the light is accidentally switched off. Finally, you should know that smart bulbs aren’t necessarily made with durability in mind and typically last less than non-smart bulbs or full smart lighting fixtures. Regardless, smart bulbs are a quick way to turn your existing fixtures into a smart set up.
Why Should You Install Dusk to Dawn Lights in Your Garden?
Dusk to dawn outdoor lights have a variety of benefits, which is probably why they’re gaining popularity across the United States and the world.
Traditional outdoor lighting can improve your garden and increase your visibility at night. While dusk to dawn lighting can also help ward off burglars, minimise your chores, and help to reduce your energy consumption.
1. Improve Your Home’s Security
A study found that 83% of burglars said they would look to see if there was an alarm system, with 60% further stating they would find an alternative target if there was one.
Similarly, outdoor lighting can help to deter burglars. However, traditional lighting means you need to turn it on, which means you need to be there. One reason why many U.S. households rely on dusk to dawn lighting is because of how it can help secure your home, even when you aren’t in.
Dusk to dawn lighting can be activated remotely, on a timer system, or by using photocell technology. This useful feature means that when you’re not home, for example if you’ve gone on vacation or you’re working late, you can still rest assured that your outdoor lights are lit, and it looks like someone is home.
2. Minimise Your Chores
Sometimes no matter how much you do, it feels like you have an endless list of chores to complete. Luckily, you can now permanently remove turning on and off your outdoor lights from your chore list.
With dusk to dawn lighting you never have to worry about if you turned off the lights because the process is either automated (which means you can control it from wherever you are, if you need to) or uses sensors.
3. Reduce Your Energy Consumption
Reducing your energy consumption is great news for the environment but also for your wallet or purse. Most dusk to dawn outdoor lighting uses LED technology which means that it reduces energy consumption.
With dusk to dawn lights being automated, you’ll also save energy by never accidentally leaving the lights on again. The automation prevents you from wasting energy and spending money when you didn’t mean to.
Most dust to dawn lights also come with features that allow you to adjust when your lights come on and go off. This means you can save more energy and money in the summer months when the nights are lighter for longer.
4. Improve Your Garden
There’s no shortage of garden improvements you could make, from adding a pool to decorating your borders with seasonal flowers. But one easy and cost-effective way to improve your garden is to simply add outdoor lights. Dusk to dawn outdoor lighting comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, which means that you can find the right lights to suit your garden.
Not only can dusk to dawn lights aesthetically transform your outdoor space, but they can also improve your garden experience. Whether you like to spend time getting your fingers green in the garden or you like to host garden parties, you can be sure that whatever time it is you’ll always be able to see what you’re doing.
5. Increase Your Visibility at Night
And of course, outdoor lighting of any kind can help to increase your visibility at night. This means that you minimise your risk of falling over the kid’s toys or any other unexpected objects.
The additional bonus of dust to dawn lighting is that you don’t need to worry about turning them on. Whatever time you get home at, you can expect to be greeted by your path lights which’ll lead you up to your front door without injury.
Introduce Dusk to Dawn Outdoor Lighting in Your Garden Today
Are you sick of manually turning on and off your outdoor lights? Or maybe you’re always worrying about your home’s security when you aren’t there? Well, there’s a simple solution for you and your garden; introduce dusk to dawn outdoor lights.
Looking for dusk to dawn lights that automatically adjust throughout the year? Then you should try out VillaNERI. VillaNERI dusk to dawn path lights are also easy to set up and can be manually adjusted according to your needs and preferences.
Get in touch with the friendly team at VillaNERI to find out more about our dusk to dawn outdoor lights or to discuss your garden’s lighting needs.