When designing an outdoor lighting system for your home and yard, it is helpful to understand that the brighter the light, the darker the shadows will be in contrast. This is why very bright lights can create some fairly dark shadows that can cause confusion and discomfort for visitors and even for yourself. For example, if you have a bright light on one side of your house but it shines against part of a wall that is standing in front of the light, that wall will cast a shadow. Within that shadowy area, it will be very hard to see anything. This is due not just to the shadow itself but the problem your eyes have adjusting from light to darkness.
It is a fact of light that some people have more trouble making this adjustment than others, and the older you get, the longer it takes to be able to see in the dark once you’ve been exposed to light. This is why bright exposed light fixtures can cause almost as many problems as they solve. And this shows up most when it comes to driveway lighting.
Many people believe a bright lamp on the side of their house will give off plenty of light for people to see everything they need to see. However, for some, this just isn’t the case. They drive up to your house with a blinding light in their eyes. Once they turn their headlights light off and get out of their cars, their own shadows, and those of any trees, shrubs or other objects on and near your driveway, make seeing the ground quite difficult. It is possible to trip and fall even with a bright light shining on them because their eyes have to work too hard dilating and contracting. That is the problem with having one or two bright lights, especially if the bulbs are exposed.
The solution is outdoor accent lighting. This type of lighting uses low voltage power and low wattage bulbs to direct softer light along the ground. Outdoor accent lighting for driveways, walkways and landscaping is kinder and gentler to the eyes, while still fulfilling the purpose of outdoor lights. It illuminates objects that are close to the ground, the most dangerous area to be in shadow because of the potential for tripping and falling.
Outdoor accent lighting is friendly to your eyes, your wallet and the planet, because of lower energy usage. And it enhances the look of your home and yard. It hardly gets better than that!