Farmhouse Outdoor Lighting Meets Smart Technology
It doesn’t matter if you live in the city or hundreds of miles out in a rural community. Any home can benefit from farmhouse decor. It heralds back to a simpler time when families worked and played together. Create that rustic charm at your home with farmhouse outdoor lighting. There are plenty of ways to modernize it with smart technology while still retaining that old-fashioned appearance.
What Defines the Farmhouse Style?
Modern farmhouse outdoor lighting was born in the rural part of the world. Old-fashioned farms and ranches were miles away from any stores full of building supplies. Homeowners used what they had at the property for nearly every need, including furniture, fixtures, and more.
The farmhouse style is often defined by materials that can be cut or manipulated on-site. Wood, metal, and stone were common selections. As you shop around for farmhouse decor, you’ll see these materials in either their raw form or a reasonable replica. Materials aren’t styled with a lot of curves. In fact, simple angles create the farmhouse decor that you’re familiar with today. Rectangles, squares, and simple lampshades are the fixture types you’ll find with modern amenities, such as the VerRon or CINOTON wall sconces.
Typical Farmhouse Lighting Models
Farmhouse exterior lights have been in the marketplace for many years. You might be familiar with some of the basic features, which may include:
• Motion sensing
• Light sensing
• Remote-control technology
Depending on the model, the lamp activates when it senses motion or illuminates from dusk to dawn. The remote-control feature is particularly helpful when you’re far away from the fixture itself.
The KISAD vintage wall lamp, for example, comes with both remote and solar power. The fixture still retains its farmhouse style, but you gain modern conveniences at the same time.
Everyday features may be convenient, but you might be looking for an even more modern product. Look out for farmhouse outdoor lighting with smart technology built into the product or compatibility with external elements. You’ll have greater flexibility with smart lighting when compared to older products.
Introducing Yourself to Smart Technology
A product is referred to as smart when it has connectivity to the Internet. This process can be achieved through connections such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
Some farmhouse exterior lights may have Wi-Fi compatibility where the product connects through frequencies to your home’s Internet service. As a result, your smartphone or tablet can connect to the fixture with that same Wi-Fi connection. Dim the light, schedule on-and-off times, and perform other functions with your device talking to the fixture. You can even control the light when you’re at work or on vacation.
Bluetooth is another smart connection that works in a similar manner to Wi-Fi. It uses frequencies too, but your smartphone or tablet must be within a certain distance range from the fixture. The Bluetooth connection doesn’t use the home’s Internet connection, which makes it a short-range option for some fixtures.
Converting Farmhouse Lighting Into Smart Products
There are countless numbers of farmhouse exterior lights in the marketplace today, but not all of them are necessarily smart. Expand your selection by converting those products into smart units with plugs or switches.
The GE Z-Wave outdoor smart plug gives you a chance to connect your farmhouse outdoor lighting to a power source. This plug also offers smart technology, which allows you to control your lights with a smartphone or tablet. Simply add a hub, such as Wink, to your home’s Internet source so that the plug and lights can talk to each other.
In most cases, you can turn the lights on and off along with scheduling times for automated convenience.
Also, consider a smart switch for the farmhouse lights. You’ll have manual control over the light at the switch, but connectivity through your smartphone when you can’t get to the front or back door.
Considering a Smart Bulb on Farmhouse Lighting
If you’d rather not use a hub, switch, or plug, there’s another way to create a smart connection to your modern farmhouse outdoor lighting. Add a LIFX outdoor bulb to your fixture. Smart technology is found within the bulb, which removes any challenges with Internet connections or wiring. Simply add the bulb to your fixture, and activate the power.
Control the light’s actions with the free app from now on. Along with on-and-off functions, this bulb’s smart technology comes with multi-color choices. Choose a different color every season so that your exterior has a unique appearance, for instance.
These bulbs, however, should only be used in enclosed farmhouse lighting. They’re vulnerable to moisture, so be sure to have strong glass protecting the bulb from the weathering elements.
Choosing the Perfect Farmhouse Style
Search for farmhouse outdoor lighting online, and you’ll be greeted by hundreds of products. They all have varied shapes, features, and prices. Narrow down your search by comparing the fixtures’ applications with your property’s needs. Lighting is certainly a decor choice, but it also involves security and safety for your entire family. Farmhouse fixtures can be functional and beautiful when installed in just the right area.
Illuminating a Wide Area
Farmhouse lighting fixtures are as varied as any other decor choice. Think about what you want to achieve with your smart lights. In many cases, illuminating a large area is the goal. Look for outdoor lighting that has a wide-open design, such as wall sconces or lanterns. These box-like designs have a narrow frame with four glass sections housing the bulb or bulbs.
The lights illuminate the area in almost every direction. Keep in mind that lanterns and sconces are meant for a relaxing glow; you won’t see a high-powered illumination from these products.
Add several lanterns to your front porch, exterior garage walls, and other locations. Select plain glass for the fixture instead of decorative opaque designs too. The light can illuminate the area better when it’s not diffused with a complex cover. The soft lighting highlights your property’s appearance at night while making it safe for loved ones to move about the exterior if necessary.
Spotlighting a Space
When you want to spotlight a particular area, such as a side door, look for a domed fixture with a gooseneck arm. The fixture’s domed shade directs the exposed bulb’s light to the immediate area below.
You can further spotlight an area by selecting the arm’s length with attention to your personal needs. These arms can extend from 10- to nearly 24-inches in length. Adjust the fixture until it gives you a perfect view of that area for safety and security.
Outdoor fixtures should be attractive, but they must also be functional. Think about the fixture’s location when it comes to the weather. Wind, rain, hail and other extreme weather can be an issue for some products.
Ideally, look for a product that has weatherproof materials or enhancements. The junction box connected to the fixture should be the most well-protected part because of the electricity involved, for example.
Enclosed fixtures, such as lanterns, keep moisture and debris from striking the bulbs. Use these fixtures in areas that might have some weathering activity.
In protected areas, such as under porches, any farmhouse lighting with an outdoor designation should work well from year to year. Domed fixtures with long arms are attractive and thrive perfectly in these covered spaces.
Pricing the System
Everyone has a different budget in mind for their modern farmhouse outdoor lighting. Consider the number of lights that you require for a given space. If you need more than one fixture, look for package deals that often come in pairs.
Remember the farmhouse style is a popular choice with some intricate designs involved with each product. Some fixtures can be expensive, so saving up for the upgrade may be necessary. Once you install these lights, they’ll last for many years with reasonable care.
If you’re converting basic or dumb exterior lights into a smart configuration, combine the added expense of a switch, plug, or hub into your calculations. Some homeowners may already have these items on hand, but it’s necessary to count them as part of your system’s price so that there are no surprises. You may be able to use the switch, plug or hub with other items in the home, which makes them great investments overall.
Caring for Your Farmhouse Outdoor Lighting
Caring for your light fixtures normally includes wiping them down on a periodic basis. However, take care of the smart elements too. Make sure that your switch, plug, and app are always updated with the latest software. Any updates will enhance the experience and protect the system from potetial hackers. Malfunctions can always happen when the software is running an older version than necessary.
Visit your local, home-improvement store or shop virtually for those farmhouse exterior lights. There are dozens of options that can enhance your property. Simply shop around because those favorite styles will entice any fan to upgrade their fixtures and bulbs today.