Dusk to dawn lights are a key element of proper outdoor lighting that every home should have. It doesn’t matter if you live in the suburbs, in a gated community, or in the countryside – you can really benefit from using dusk to dawn lights. So here’s everything you need to know about dusk to dawn lights, how to set them up, and why you should use them:
What Are Dusk to Dawn Lights?
Dusk to dawn lights are special LED lights that are able to measure the level of light in their surroundings and adjust accordingly! Dusk to dawn lights include a special photocell placed inside that is sensitive to light. When the photocell is being exposed to sunlight, the light bulb will not turn on. However, when it no longer detects high levels of light, the light bulb will turn on by itself. There are even some types of dusk to dawn lights that allow you to customize the light level that will activate the photocell. At the same time, there’s also the option to simply purchase individual photocells and screw them into the socket of a regular lightbulb.
How to Set Up Dusk to Dawn Lights?
If you’re looking for a quick and easy set up with minimal maintenance, then you definitely want to buy an LED light with a built-in photocell like the Night2Day LED Light Bulb by Boundery. With this bulb, there’s no need to install a separate photocell or ever turn it on or off. Once it’s in, it will do all the work for you for a long time thanks to its 30,hour lifespan! Dusk to dawn lights are a great alternative to old-fashioned light timers that don’t adjust with seasons and time changes. No matter the time of year, your dusk to dawn light will be able to tell when the sun rises and sets to provide you with consistent maintenance-free light all year round!
Why Use Dusk to Dawn Lights?
Obviously, you know that light is important inside your home – but it can be just as important outside too! Unfortunately, outdoor lighting is an area that many people seem to forget about or neglect until something happens. Maybe one day you happen to trip coming up the front steps in the dark. Or maybe you go away on vacation and experience security issues since people will assume that you’re not home if all the lights are off. In any case, dusk to dawn lights can help keep you and your home safe – whether you’re there or not!
Even though safety is a hugely important factor, money is too. And believe it or not, dusk to dawn LED lights can also help you save money in energy costs. LED lights are already extremely efficient and use up to 75% less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs. When you add in a photocell, that percentage increases to 80%! This is because this smart light bulb will eliminate the possibility that you forget to turn off your outdoor lights in the morning. You might not think that leaving them on for a couple of days a month won’t really make a difference, but these things can add up quickly! This is especially true if you have a large outdoor area or yard with multiple light sources. Not only will you save money, but you can also help save the environment by using less energy and reducing your emissions. Just make sure to recycle your LED light bulbs properly once they burn out to really minimize your environmental footprint.
How to Incorporate Dusk to Dawn Light Outdoors?
Dusk to dawn lights are definitely one of the best types of outdoor lights that every home should have. That being said, there are other types of outdoor lights that can be effectively used alongside dusk to dawn lights for a cohesive, effective, and secure outdoor lighting scheme. Here are some different types of outdoor lights that you can utilize alongside dusk to dawn lights:
- Motion-sensor lights: Motion-sensor lights are the perfect complement to dusk to dawn lights. Unlike dusk to dawn lights that come on any time it’s dark outside, motion-sensing lights only turn on when it’s dark and they detect a heat signature from a human or an animal. The best motion-sensing bulbs have a range of ten feet in which they can detect heat. After not detecting a heat signature for 30 seconds, they will turn back off. Motion-detecting lights are another great way to scare off potential intruders and startle them with a burst of bright LED light!
- Stair lights: Stairs in the dark can pose a major safety hazard. One way to make stairs a lot safer is to install solar LED stair lights. All you have to do is peel off the sticker on the back and place them along stairs, railings, or any potentially dangerous areas. These lights are solar-powered so there’s no need for any extra cords, batteries, or maintenance.
- Garden lights: Garden lights are a great way to light up sidewalks and paths in your yard. Most of these lights are solar-powered and can simply be placed into the ground thanks to durable plastic stakes. They only come on at night and come in tons of cool designs and colors so that you can really add some personality to your yard while making it safer at the same time.
- Colored spotlights: If you’re looking to spice up your outdoor patio or yard, then colored LED spotlights are a great way to do that! Battery-powered LED lights are the best option, and many of them can be controlled and customized with a remote control! Waterproof colored spotlights can even be used in pools, ponds, or other water features for a really cool effect that’s bound to make you the talk of the town.
Dusk to dawn lights can help you save money on energy and help make your home feel more secure. They are super easy to install, require no maintenance, and can last for years. When used with other types of outdoor lighting, you can rest assured that the outside of your home is as good as the inside!
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Dusk-to-dawn LED fixtures are triggered on and off by the amount of light reaching the fixtureâ€™s sensor, making them suitable for outdoor areas such as streets, roadways, parking lots, and pedestrian areas. The dusk-to-dawn feature of a light will cause your motion light to activate only when it is dark.Â This feature uses a small photocell to detect the presence of available and/or existing light.Â If light is detected, the motion light will not trigger.Â If light is not detected, the light will turn on once motion is detected. Therefore, during the day when natural light is present, the light will not activate when motion is detected, which saves energy. Here is a breakdown of the features and advantages that come with the dusk-to-dawn feature:
- Automatically triggered on and off by the amount of light reaching the fixtureâ€™s sensor
- Great light output and efficiency
- Inexpensive and widely available
- Significantly longer life
- Low maintenance
- Security: Provides enough light to see an intruder and, therefore, deters an intruder from entering an area
- Safety: Mishaps and accidents can be significantly reduced if you illuminate doorways, sidewalks, and driveways
- Convenience: You donâ€™t have to remember to switch the light on or off
- Conservation: Offers low intensity to conserve electricity and to keep from disturbing neighbors
Dusk-to-dawn lighting can be a useful addition to your home or establishment. Remember, when choosing the type of dusk to dawn lighting source you may need it would be best to check the lumen output of your fixture based on how much light you would like the light to emit, as light intensity is measured in lumens.
Everything You Need to Know About Dusk-To-Dawn Flood Lights
There are many ways how you can increase the safety of your home. Some of the most common of the methods such as proper locks and high-quality alarm systems are probably already known to you. However, another feature you should certainly consider is the illumination of your house since the environmental design is known to play a significant role in ensuring safety.
Although there are not too many data available proving or disproving whether illuminated house is more attractive to burglars or not, it is a common view that a porch or yard which is being illuminated during the night-time will at least give you a larger sense of security and will make it easier to notice any unwanted movements and actions going on around your property.
For these purposes, people mainly go for outdoor flood lights as due to their specifics (wide beam angle) this is the best choice for illuminating wide areas and large objects such as your home. There are many types of flood lights available with different features and sensors included. One type of outdoor flood lights is dusk-to-dawn flood lights and this article will give you all the relevant information on what exactly dusk-to-dawn flood lights are and how do they function plus at the end of the article you will be provided with some basic tips that can be helpful if you are actually about to go to a store and make dusk-to-dawn flood lights part of the exterior of your home.
What are dusk-to-dawn outdoor flood lights?
In order to understand the specifics of any type of flood light it is good to establish the knowledge of what a flood light is and for what particular purposes it is usually being used.
To put it in brief, flood light is an artificial light source that has a peculiarly wide light beam. Therefore by using a flood light it is possible to illuminate large and wide areas such as football fields, parking lots, entrances of buildings, swimming pools, concert halls, etc. In many cases, flood lights are also used to provide lighting for large-scale events (e.g. sports games, outdoor concerts, theatre plays, etc.). Since there is no other light that could illuminate the whole house and yard better than a flood light, more and more private house owners make the decision to install flood lights in front of their houses for extra safety and aesthetic reasons.
Dusk-to-dawn flood light
Of course, ever since its invention, the technology of flood light has been developed quite notably so now you have multiple types of flood light available to choose from. The newest generation flood lights come equipped (or are compatible with) different sensors that can be used according to one’s needs. One of such features is a dusk-to-dawn sensor which makes the light to go on during the particular hours of the day.
Flood lights with dusk-to-dawn settings basically work by sensing the amount of natural light and they turn on only when it has reached particular level of dimness. As the name of the flood light indicates, it works from dusk to dawn i.e. it will work only during the darkest hours of the day and will automatically switch themselves off in the morning. This option seems to be a lot more reasonable and energy-efficient than having your flood lights on all evening and morning. Some people also go for motion sensors but they can be a bit too annoying and react to the movements that you do not want or need to be detected e.g. cars and people passing by. If your main purpose of installing flood lights is to illuminate your home and yard during the night only, then out of the three given options (no sensor, motion sensor or dusk-to-dawn lighting), dusk-to-dawn outdoor flood lights simply seem to be the most reasonable of the choices. Nevertheless, some consumers claim that for them the combination of two sensors has worked out the best. For instance, it is possible to combine dusk-to-dawn settings with passive infra-red (PIR) detector that detects movement.
Tips for installing dusk-to-dawn flood light
Now that you know for what purposes dusk-to-dawn flood lights are the most suitable, you can carry on with choosing one for your own home. As you will surf through online catalogs or pay a visit to your local retailer, you will notice that there is a quite large variety of manufacturers that provide this product. However, the manufacturer is not the most important of the elements you should focus on. Thorough planning of the installation of your flood lights is actually a lot more crucial. Here are some of the aspects that have to be regarded when installing any type of outdoor flood lights, including dusk-to-dawn flood lights:
- The light should not be too bright. You probably just want to illuminate your property and not the people passing by or what’s even worse – the house of your neighbors. While LED lamps tend to be the best option for energy efficiency, HID lamps can provide lower light levels without any glare.
- Locate the light so that it illuminates the object you actually want to illuminate. If possible, install the light no less than 3m (10 feet) above the ground and make sure they are angled downwards. As mentioned, flood lights can be very bright depending on the wattage of the bulb. If you will have your flood lights too bright and aimed awry, it might cause a completely unnecessary glare that actually can disturb the visibility and will have counter-effect of what you really want to achieve.
- Follow the costs. If you are really into the environmentally-friendly lifestyle but do not want to give up your flood lights, it is also possible to have them run by solar energy.
Solar dusk-to-dawn flood light
It will be a good long-term investment and actually is something you can surely consider if you plan to live in your house for many years to come. Also, installing proper bulbs can help a great deal in minimizing lighting-related costs. Certainly, forget about any incandescent light bulbs and better go for LED lamps that are more energy-efficient and won’t make your electricity bill rocket high after the installation of outdoor flood lights.
How do dusk-sensing headlights work?
Last week we explained rain-sensing windscreen wipers and you can read about that by clicking the link, and this week we’re looking at their partner, dusk-sensing headlights. We’ll keep this one brief.
Most vehicles on the market are offered with both rain-sensing wipers and dusk-sensing headlights, indeed, I think it would be impossible to find a vehicle offered with one and not the other. And that’s because they’re linked.
And, by that I mean they piggyback off the same light-sensor. And, in many cases, when the rain-sensing wipers activate the headlights are set to also automatically switch on, because of the low-light you encounter when it’s raining. Of course, for all of this to work, you need to roll your light switch to A for Automatic. This tells the system you want it to determine when and if the headlights should activate; usually the daytime running lights (if fitted) are on all the time.
Whats the history of headlights?
Very, very briefly headlights were, for obvious reasons, one of the first things to be made electric on vehicles with 6V electric headlights arriving in around and carrying on, more or less unchanged until around Halogen headlights took over, and then Xenon lights took over from them in and now LED headlights are becoming more and more common and this is because they afford a more natural-looking light, are more energy efficient and can be linked to sensors to allow for very clever lighting systems, like Audis Matrix system.
What’s the difference between, sunset, dusk and twilight?
We call them dusk-sensing headlights, but what does that mean? Well, let’s look at ‘sunset’ first because some of these lighting systems are set to activate at sunset rather than later in the day. Sunset refers to that moment when the sun hits the horizon. Dusk is the moment just after the sun has slipped below the horizon. Now, you might think that Twilight occurs after dusk but it doesn’t, rather it refers to the period between sunset and dusk.
What does a dusk-sensing headlight do?
Unlike it says on the box, a dusk-sensing headlight doesn’t just sense dusk and then activate, it is designed to detect low-light and then switch on the main-beam headlights. Usually the systems are designed in a way that they won’t activate when you travel under a bridge, although I’ve driven vehicles where the headlights do activate in that situation and then they’ll immediately switch off again when you pass out of the bridge’s shadow. You end up with an almost constant, and annoying, on-off situation.
So, most dusk-sensing systems are tuned to determine the difference between the shade of a tree, or bridge, and, say, a tunnel or indeed dusk. While most of these systems are provided to car makers by one or two external partners, some car makers set different parameters, like a more sensitive setting. For instance, Nissan has what it calls intelligent auto headlights and this system is simply designed to turn on a little earlier in the afternoon (around sunset) than some other system and this is based on research into pedestrian-based collisions where, according to Nissan, there’s a spike during sunset and twilight.
How does a dusk-sensing headlight work?
It’s quite simple, like the rain-sensing windscreen wiper, the sensor is the same unit for both applications but uses different sensors to determine the difference between rain drops on the windscreen and low-light but no rain drops on the windscreen. Of course, it only ‘activates’ when the headlights (or windscreen wipers) are set to Auto.
For detecting low light there are two sensors, in general, there’s a light sensor looking for ambient light and a forward-facing light sensor which is used to measure the light level directly in front of a vehicle. In combination, these two sensors are tuned to tell the difference between natural ambient light (or a lack of it) or artificial light from, say, street lights. Once the system determines the level of natural light has dropped below a certain level the headlights are switched on.
Sometimes, the sensor, as in the picture below is placed at the top of the windscreen while others are placed at the base of the windscreen. You can usually tell the location because of what looks like a little ice cube – this is the sensor.
Sensing lights dusk
What does dusk to dawn mean?
Outdoor wall lights illuminate several important areas around your home. They shine over walkways and enhance visibility near the locks on your door. They can also serve as theft deterrents. Thats why many homeowners choose to leave their lights on all through the night. Dusk to dawn lights automatically control your homes exterior lights, so you dont have to manually turn them on every night.
Light the Night in Style
There are three common ways to use dusk to dawn light fixtures at home. In many cases, these lights connect with timers that switch power on and off at specific hours. Other dusk to dawn lights use photocells or motion sensors to activate lights. Heres how to figure out which to use outside your home.
Photocell and Motion-Activated Dusk to Dawn Lights
Many lights use photocells for power. These units detect natural light and turn on the lights after sunset. They also shut everything down when the sun rises, so nothing burns power during the day. Many photocell fixtures come with motion detectors as well. These lights work as simple at-home security systems. They also accommodate seasonal shifts in daylight. It doesnt matter when the sun goes down. Because photocell-activated dusk to dawn lights sense natural light, they automatically adjust for longer and shorter nights.
Motion sensors keep lights turned off unless something moves nearby. Unlike many dusk to dawn lights, they dont activate for long periods of time. You can usually select how long you want these lights on. Some allow homeowners to select activation periods as short as five seconds and longer than 10 minutes at a time. Motion sensors are a common form of outdoor lighting, but they dont keep the yard lit all night long. Instead, theyre used in situations where you only need light when someones nearby. You can install them in backyards to let pets out at night or as theft deterrents around your homes exterior.
Time-Controlled Dusk to Dawn Lights
Time-controlled dusk to dawn lights help homeowners conserve energy. There are several types of timers, and many of them are made specifically for outdoor usage. Advanced systems can control porch lights and other major fixtures with programmed settings inside the house. Some timers remain outside all the time. They attach between the fixtures and electrical outlets and often have protective cases to prevent leaks. Time controllers use programmed information to activate lights at specific times throughout the day and night.
Some timers turn the power on at multiple intervals in a single hour period. You can have them turn on around sunset and off at a specific time every night. Distinct time frames keep the power off while you sleep, so you conserve energy during the night. Timers can also turn your path lights on when you wake up and off when you go to work. They illuminate connected path lights, wall lights and flood lights, so you can safely navigate paths before sunrise.
The Power You Need for Outdoor Light
As with other types of outdoor light fixtures, dusk to dawn lights connect to your homes power system in three different ways. Some of these use line voltage. They connect to standard wiring like most other lights around the house. The second is low voltage dusk to dawn lights. This style uses transformers to connect with your homes power system. A third style also exists. Some dusk to dawn lights have solar panels that charge internal batteries during daylight hours. Because they have their own source of power, many connect to wall outlets only for backup power.
Control Your Environment
Timers, photocells and motion sensors provide complete control over exterior lighting fixtures. When you dont want to manually activate your lights every night, you can rely on any of them to help with the job. Some units combine motion sensors and light sensors, but their photocells dont turn the lights on when the sun goes down. When paired with motion detectors, photocells keep lights off during daylight hours. They work as security lights in the evening, turning on when they sense motion after dusk. You can also adjust these fixtures to allow the motion sensors to work all day. Because these control systems are made for all sorts of homes, many have programmable settings to adjust their performance. Check the manual that comes with your fixture to find out how to make these adjustments, and your lights can turn on anytime you need them.
Dusk to dawn lights help you illuminate your homes exterior after dark. Whether you want a simple security feature that casts spotlights on specific areas or an automatic way to control path lights, these fixtures can help with the job.
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