Ideas + Inspiration

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 from Hubbardton Forge

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 Light from Hubbardton Forge

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.

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.

Shard Large LED Outdoor Wall Sconce from Hubbardton Forge

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.

Airis Outdoor Wall Sconce by David Martin, from Hubbardton Forge. Available with a Coastal Outdoor finish.

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 LED Outdoor Wall Sconce by Paul Marr-Hilliard, from Hubbardton Forge

With the current wide range of options for outdoor lighting, your day can continue on–strong and stylish–long after the sun goes down. Take a look at just some of your options here.

Hubbardton Forge

Hubbardton Forge

With a history spanning more than four decades, Hubbardton Forge has built a reputation in the lighting industry and among designers and consumers for high quality and handcrafted artistry. With a team driven by design, the newest designs being created – from idea to finished fixture – are winning awards and accolades, but more importantly, they’re finding a place in the finely designed spaces of our customers. Best of all? All the magic happens under one roof in the Green Mountains of Vermont.

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