RealManage Insight

Exterior Lighting for Community Associations: 3 Important Benefits

by Sandra Vela Mora on Feb 6, 2018 8:05:00 AM

Exterior lighting plays an important role when it comes to the safety, crime prevention, and the aesthetics of a community association. When properly done with just the right amount of lights and wattage, exterior lighting is a valuable tool in keeping members safe from falls and thieves. It is also valuable in relaying to non-members that the association takes pride in the grounds and appearance of the property. Let's take a closer look at how exterior lighting effects member safety, crime prevention, and property ambiance:

1. Safety

Depending upon the time of the year, a member is either leaving for work or returning from work in the dark. A dark parking lot or walking path is a recipe for disaster when it comes to falls and injuries. While no one wants a light shining in their window, if there is a safety issue a light might be necessary. Factors such as lighting levels, the glare of the light, and color of the light are important to consider when choosing the right lighting that ensures safety and that doesn't shine in a window.

2. Crime Prevention

Exterior lighting acts as a natural deterrent for criminals. The majority of criminals will not attempt a crime if there is a good chance they will be seen doing it. Word will also travel among area criminals to avoid the community because the risk is too great. Exterior lights do not have to be large, ugly spotlights in order to deter criminals. By simply weaving attractive lighting in with the landscape, an association still sends a message to criminals simply by keeping outdoor areas well-lit.

3. Property Ambiance

Outdoor lighting illuminating a community association entrance sign at night invokes a warm, welcoming feeling. It helps guests confirm they are in the right neighborhood. Lighted streets help guests navigate to their destination within the community. Most associations invest in landscaping that is even more attractive at night under the glow of outdoor lighting. Lighting up a community showcases it in such a way that it may attract new members. A type of low-key marketing, the right lighting throughout a community has only positive effects on property values. Seeing is believing and by using the right light in the right way, non-members will reflect positively upon their visit.

Finding Balance

Outdoor lights are no longer the glaring, spotlights of long ago. LED lights are 85% more efficient than incandescent bulbs and 10% more efficient than compact fluorescent bulbs. LED lights are long-lasting and require low or no maintenance. Softer yet bright lighting is best welcomed when it is not shining in someone's eyes or windows. For members who enjoy sitting outside on a warm evening, they most likely don't want a light glaring on them. However, should they need something from their car, they will want light guiding the way to and from the parking lot. Finding a balance with outdoor lighting may take some trial and error. There are usually not any regulations for community associations when it comes to outdoor lighting and most experts believe that is a good thing. It is better, they caution, to err on the side of safety with more lights than not enough lights.

Safety-first is a great rule of thumb when discussing outdoor lighting for a community association. Decide what areas need better lighting and discuss the best types of lights for the space. A variety of shades and bulbs are now on the market that allows for proper lighting without the ugly glare of a spotlight with a large shade. Do take concerns from members seriously as no one wants a light shining in their bedroom window. By working together as a community, your association will have a safe and inviting place to call home.

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