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The Evolution of Outdoor Lighting

Humans and outdoor lighting have experienced significant evolution together. It’s been a long journey.

Back in the day, our ancestors’ outdoor lighting was the sun. When it went down, it was time to head into the cave for the night. Eventually, fire was discovered, which extended the night somewhat, but was still not easily controllable as a light source.

Fast forward a few 100,000 years, and indoor lighting has gotten some major upgrades. For one, it exists, thanks to the invention of contained fuels and, most recently, electricity. But it also looks amazing, and for decades, it has provided aesthetic improvements to a variety of spaces.

However, the story wasn’t always as bright for outdoor lighting. Yes, it existed, but most often in boring, utilitarian forms. Fortunately, after years of getting the indoors “just right,” designers finally began looking outside. It was the perfect cue for people to once again leave their caves to spend more time outdoors in the evening.

Twilight Outdoor Wall Sconce

Outdoor Lighting = Outdoor Living

What resulted was a trend toward creating new outdoor living spaces. Having a second kitchen or a lounge outdoors could bring family and friends together. Having stylish lighting, which one might have once only expected to find indoors, was suddenly available for an outdoor living space.

Divergence Outdoor Pendant

It’s clear that outdoor lighting is no longer an afterthought or just a convenience. Style options cover the same range as indoor lighting, with choices ranging from traditional to contemporary and everything in between.

Shard Large Outdoor Wall Sconce

Improved Functionality

How the light is presented and functions has been top-of-mind as well. There’s no need to have light blinding you as you approach. Downlighting that sparkles through artisan glass or bounces off handcrafted metal provides plenty of light as you sort through your house keys. Downlighting and diffused lighting also keep the glow manageable for those who want to enjoy the night sky, but also want to be able to find their way back home.

Airis Outdoor Wall Sconce

Meanwhile, materials and finishes (like Coastal Outdoor finishes, designed specifically for the harshest coastal conditions) have been improved to ensure that outdoor lighting holds up even better to the elements.

LED Technology

LED continues to make inroads as well. With LED, the lighting source is easier to conceal and helps to place the focus on the design rather than the illumination. LED also performs in temperatures where CFLs might not light. And an added benefit–LED has a much longer life than standard or CFL bulbs, which means you’ll be coming home to a welcoming light year after year.

Ursa Large Outdoor Wall Sconce

With the current wide range of options for outdoor lighting, your day can continue on–strong and stylish–long after the sun goes down.

-All Fixtures shown are Hubbardton Forge

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